[12/12/08 - 06:35 PM]
Development Update: Friday, December 12
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

THE BACHELOR (ABC) - Reality guru Mike Fleiss has inked an multi-year, eight-figure overall deal with Warner Bros. Television and its sibling Warner Horizon Television. The pact sets up Fleiss's Next Entertainment banner at the studio for the foreseeable future where he'll develop new series projects. Best known for "The Bachelor," Fleiss's upcoming efforts include "There Goes the Neighborhood" (formerly "Block Party") at CBS, in which families vie with their neighbors for a large prize; "Hitched or Ditched" (formerly "For Better or Worse") at the CW, featuring couples as they go through the motions of planning their wedding before ultimately deciding whether or not to say "I do" for real; and "The Cougar" at TV Land, where young men compete for the love of an older woman. Also in the works: "Lady and the Champ" at Oxygen, starring boxer "Sugar" Shane Mosley and his wife Jin; and an untitled effort for E! toplined by "The Bachelor" season 12 winner/Lorenzo Lamas daughter Shayne Lamas.

THE DOCTORS (Syndication) - CBS Television Distribution has renewed its freshman talk show for a second season. The news comes on the heels of its significant ratings gains - the show drew a 1.9 household rating for the week ending November 19, up 46% over its September launch. Stage 29 Productions is behind the hour, which runs weekdays on most CBS owned-and-operated stations in the larger markets.

MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING (CMT) - CMT has ordered a third season of the network staple, which scours "the country to find the most down-home country couples" and details their "outrageous and over-the-top" nuptials. The new season, featuring returning host Tom Arnold, will kick off on Saturday, January 10 at 9:00/8:00c. 16 new episodes are set to be produced, double its sophomore commitment. Kimberly Belcher Cowin and John Ehrhard of Pink Sneakers Productions are the executive producers.

NCIS (CBS) - Entertainment Weekly has pulled the lid off the show's proposed spin-off, which is set to film as a backdoor pilot episode of the series in late February for an air date later this season. Casting is currently underway for the following characters: "Callen is an average Joe in his 30s... or so he'd have you believe. In reality, he's a human Transformer who can change personas as easily as you or I change clothes; Clara Macy is a tough former MP in her early 40s whose tender side shows in the way she plays mother hen to her colleagues; Nate "Doc" Getz, 30, is an operational psychologist who, underneath his razor-sharp wit, is as soft-hearted as they come; Kensi Lo is a twentysomething Asian-American whose academic record in forensics and criminology got her recruited young by the Feds; Sam Hanna, an African American (or Middle Eastern � depends on the actor) ex-Navy SEAL, is in his 40s and the team's only married member. So, between that and his stints in Afghanistan and Iraq, you just KNOW he can handle himself in combat; and Dominic Vaile is a thirtysomething surveillance expert who's still experiencing separation anxiety in the wake of his exit from the Navy."

THOSE LANDERS GIRLS (E!, New!) - Grammy-winning artist/producer Ted Perlman reports on his blog that Lindsay and Kristy Landers are set to star in a new reality series pilot at E! featuring the duo and their family. The sisters, who are part of the group "2 Girlz," are the children of actress Judy Landers and former L.A. Dodgers pitcher Tom Niedenfuer. Judy's sister Audrey and their mother Ruth are also apparently featured. No other specifics were given.

UNTITLED LAUREN GRAHAM/ALEX HERSCHLAG PROJECT (ABC, New!) - "Gilmore Girls" alum Lauren Graham is returning to the small screen, this time as part of a single-camera comedy from Alex Herschlag ("Will & Grace"). The Alphabet has given a pilot order to the project, which follows a self-help guru (Graham) who teaches women how to live a stress-free life - but struggles to follow her own advice when her boyfriend dumps her. The half-hour is set up at Hagada Hey and the Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount with the company's principals Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum and Mitch Hurwitz executive producing. Graham herself will also serve as a producer. Prior to landing ABC, the actress wrapped a one-year talent holding deal with NBC and Universal Media Studios.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [december 2008]  


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