[01/29/09 - 06:09 PM] Development Update: Thursday, January 29 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BACK (CBS, New!) - Storyline Entertainment's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have landed a pilot commitment from the Eye for a new drama about a man who disappeared in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks only to suddenly show up, eight years later. Dean Widenmann penned the pilot, which will track the man as he learns how to reconnect with his family and a world that moved on without him. The project is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television with Zadan and Meron executive producing and Widenmann serving as a supervising producer.
BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO) - Oscar nominee Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road") and Vincent Piazza ("Rescue Me") have joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the early 20th century origins of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shannon will play Van Alden, "a dedicated senior agent with the Treasury Department who with his team has been charged with controlling bootlegging in the Prohibition era," while Piazza is set as a young Lucky Luciano, "a young associate of Arnold Rothstein, a rich, blunt New York businessman who wants in on Nucky's (Steve Buscemi) liquor production." Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt and Kelly Macdonald also star in the hour, which Martin Scorsese is directing from a script by Terrence Winter based on Nelson Johnson's book of the same name.
LET IT GO (UNTITLED LAUREN GRAHAM/ALEX HERSCHLAG PROJECT) (ABC) - The Lauren Graham-led comedy pilot has formally received a production green light. Alex Herschlag is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which stars Graham as a self-help guru who teaches women how to "let it go" but fails to follow her own advice when her perfect boyfriend dumps her. Tantamount's Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum and Mitch Hurwitz are executive producing the project alongside Herschlag with Graham serving as a producer.
LOST IN THE '80S (NBC) - Billy Campbell ("The 4400") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, a family drama set in the 1980s. He'll play patriarch Pete Mobley, married with four kids and proprietor of a car dealership. Bob Brush is behind the hour, which comes from Sony Pictures Television and Tantamount. P.J. Hogan is directing.
THE NEW TWENTY (ABC, New!) - Tad Quill ("Scrubs") has scored a pilot order from the Alphabet for a new comedy about two forty-something friends who embark on very different lives - one has a newborn child, while the other has a kid heading into college. The project is set up at ABC Studios where Quill will write and executive produce.
SURVIVING SUBURBIA (The CW) - ABC is reportedly in talks to acquire the rights to the Bob Saget-led comedy, which was orphaned after The CW canceled its deal with Media Rights Capital. 13 episodes have been completed of the multi-camera half-hour, which comes from executive producers Michael Hanel, Mindy Schultheis and creator Kevin Abbott. Cynthia Stevenson, G Hannelius, Jared Kusnitz, Jere Burns and Lorna Scott also star in the project, about a misanthropic dad (Saget) who just wants to be left alone.
UNTITLED ELLEN BARKIN PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Ellen Barkin ("Ocean's Thirteen") is set to topline a potential new comedy at the pay channel about "a woman famous for her high-profile marriage who divorces and re-enters the singles market and finds herself developing a close, platonic bond with the 24-year-old son of her ex-husband." Shauna Cross is penning the half-hour and will executive produce alongside Barkin and Mosaic's Jimmy Miller with the company's Sam Hansen and Ann Blanchard also serving as producers.
UNTITLED FRANK MILITARY PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Frank Military ("The Unit") has set up a new legal drama at the Eye. The project, which has a pilot commitment, revolves around a team of federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan. Military wrote the pilot and will executive produce for CBS Paramount Network Television.
WASHINGTON FIELD (CBS) - Edward Allen Bernero's drama for the Eye has received a pilot order from the network. The project, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television, revolves around the FBI's Washington Field Office that houses the National Capital Response Squad, "a unit comprising elite experts in different areas who travel around the world, responding to events that concern the U.S. national interest." Bernero co-created the hour alongside brothers Jim and Tim Clemente, an FBI profiler and a former terrorism expert on NCRS, respectively. Bernero will then executive produce with the Clementes serving as producers.