[01/05/09 - 07:13 PM] Development Update: Monday, January 5 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE AMAZING MRS. NOVAK (Lifetime) - Variety's Liz Smith reports the Amy Pietz-led drama pilot - about a supermarket manager, wife and mother of two who, through a series of unexpected circumstances, becomes governor of New Jersey - won't be moving forward. Said hour, which also starred Kristin Dattilo and Tom Verica, rose to prominence in the media due to its pseudo-parallels to Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the current governor of Alaska. Vanessa Taylor was behind the hour, which came from Kudos Film & Television, Shine and Warner Horizon Television.
LEGALLY MAD (NBC) - British actress Charity Wakefield ("Sense and Sensibility") has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about a twentysomething woman who takes a job at her father's law firm and quickly becomes the practice's center. The casting notice details her character, Brady Hamm, as follows: "Late 20s, any ethnicity. Lawyer/den mother/babysitter/she is the center of this warped universe; in fact, she is the lifeline to everyone else's semblance of sanity. Easygoing, popular with friends and foes alike; she disarms with charm. Offered several prestigious clerkships out of law school, she instead chose to work for her father, who she remains deeply devoted to. Deadpan funny, it's often through her bemused eyes that we experience all the madness." Also signing onto the Warner Bros. Television-based hour is Jon Seda ("Close to Home") as Joe Matty: "30s, any ethnicity. Rugged, grumpy, abrupt, offensive, no reason for anybody to like him; everybody does. We loves Joe, we simply don't know why." Kristin Chenoweth also stars in the project, which comes from David E. Kelley.
SHAMELESS (HBO, New!) - "ER" executive producer John Wells is looking to import the British drama for the pay channel. The series, which has aired domestically on both BBC America and the Sundance Channel, revolves around a dysfunctional working-class clan led by an alcoholic patriarch. Original creator Paul Abbott is on board to co-write the U.S. incarnation with Wells for Warner Bros. Television. Wells and company have reportedly been trying to import the show for four years with Woody Harrelson rumored for the lead at one point at NBC. The sixth season of the U.K. "Shameless" begins on Channel 4 later this month with another season due in 2010.
SOUNDTRACK (NBC, New!) - Jared Bush ("All of Us") is developing a new drama at the Peacock about a misguided man whose life begins being accompanied by the music in his head. The project is set up at Universal Media Studios and Mosaic Television, with the latter's Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen executive producing. As for specifics, the lead character has lost his job and his ex-girlfriend has gotten engaged to someone else. It's then he starts to hear the music - the same iconic song, over and over again, which won't go away until he figures out its significance. The following week, a new song will be featured and so forth. Dana Sano ("Dan in Real Life") has been tapped to oversee the project's music.