[02/09/09 - 06:41 PM]
Development Update: Monday, February 9
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!

100 QUESTIONS FOR CHARLOTTE PAYNE (NBC) - Chris Moynihan's comedy, about a young woman navigating life and the world of dating with friends in New York, has been issued a cast-contingent pilot order by the network. Universal Media Studios and Tagline Television are behind the multi-camera half-hour, which Moynihan wrote and is executive producing alongside Tagline's Ron West and Kelly Kulchak.

AN AMERICAN FAMILY (ABC) - Ed O'Neill ("John from Cincinnati") and Eric Stonestreet ("This Might Hurt") have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, a documentary-style look at three families. O'Neill will play a 60-year-old man who becomes a stepfather after marrying a Latina (Sofia Vergara) who is 30 years his junior while Stonestreet will join Jesse Tyler Ferguson as part of a gay couple who have adopted a Vietnamese baby. Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan are behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Jason Winer is directing.

CRISTINA'S COURT (Syndication) - Twentieth Television has opted not to renew the half-hour court strip for a fourth season. Production nevertheless will continue through September. "We would like to thank Cristina Perez as well as executive producer Peter Brennan, Lisa Lew and the entire staff for producing this high-quality, Emmy Award-winning television court program," the company's Bob Cook in a statement. The Cristina Perez-led series currently averages a modest 1.0 household rating.

LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (USA) - Fledgling netlet MyNetworkTV is set to add a two-hour block of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" repeats to its lineup next season as it adapts to what it's calling a "programming service model." "Due to the current economic environment, we wanted a creative, flexible solution that will give us a greater economic result," said MyNetworkTV chief Greg Meidel in a statement to the press. "This innovative new model allows us to build a strong primetime block with established well-known programming while reducing our overhead costs." In addition to adding the "Intent" repeats (NBC Universal Television Distribution won't receive any cash but rather half the advertising inventory), the network will cut its programming from 12 to 10 hours per week, returning its two-hour Saturday night block to its affiliates. Among its current slate, only "WWE Friday Night SmackDown!" is a lock to return next season, leaving just six hours - at least two of which will likely be devoted to theatricals - left for other first-run offerings. To date, MyNetworkTV has climbed 50% among adults 18-49 (0.4 vs. 0.6) and 57% among total viewers (1.1 million vs. 1.7 million) since last season.

LIE TO ME (FOX) - Former Universal Media Studios chief Katherine Pope has signed on as a consulting producer to the freshman drama. She'll assume said role for the final four installments of its 13-episode order. It's understood her role will mirror that of Katie Jacobs' duties on FOX's "House," who works alongside showrunner David Shore.

TRADING SPACES (TLC) - Host Paige Davis has confirmed to Connecticut's NBC 30 the cable channel's signature series won't be returning for a ninth season. "I'll remember the impact we had on people's lives, on homes and in the industry," she told the station. "It catapulted an entire genre of TV." A TLC spokesman confirmed the news, saying "We're not currently moving forward with producing new episodes of the show."

THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK (ABC) - Pilot wunderkind David Nutter, who remains 14 for 14 in directing inaugural installments (including this season's "The Mentalist"), has signed on to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, a small screen take on John Updike's novel-turned-film. Nutter, who recently reupped his overall deal with producer Warner Bros. Television for another three years, will work from a script by Maggie Friedman. Like its big screen take, "Eastwick" will revolve around three women who discover they have supernatural powers after a mysterious man arrives in their small town.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2009]  


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