[02/25/09 - 06:48 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, February 25 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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100 QUESTIONS FOR CHARLOTTE PAYNE (NBC)/AB FAB (FOX) - Sitcom veteran James Burrows ("Gary Unmarried") has signed on to helm both multi-camera comedy pilots. "Ab Fab," which has just completed casting, revolves around neurotic fashion publicist Eddie (Kathryn Hahn) and her best friend, Patsy (Kristen Johnson), an outrageous fashion editor. "Payne," which is still cast-contingent, then revolves around a young woman navigating life with friends in New York City. Christine Zander penned the Sony Pictures Television-based former and Chris Moynihan is behind the Universal Media Studios-based latter.
BROTHERS & DETECTIVES (ABC) - Nine-year-old newcomer Dakota Goyo and "October Road" alum Brad William Henke have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a low-level detective (Jimmy Wolk) whose genius 11-year-old brother helps him solve crimes. Goyo will play the latter role with Henke as the detective's partner and best friend. Daniel Cerone created the hour, which is based at ABC Studios.
HAPPY TOWN (ABC) - Amy Acker ("Alias") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a small town which had enjoyed a seven-year peace after a series of kidnappings until it is hit by another crime. She'll play the wife of Geoff Stults's character, the town's sheriff. Gary Fleder is helming the two-hour, ABC Studios-based project, which was written by co-creators Andre Nemec, Josh Applebaum and Scott Rosenberg.
I'M A CELEBRITY... GET ME OUT OF HERE! (NBC, New!) - The Peacock is reportedly looking to revive the short-lived ABC series, in which celebrities live in harsh tropical conditions and compete in challenges to earn rewards such as food and other basic comforts. At least a dozen episodes are expected to be ordered by the network to roll out this summer. While ABC's incarnation lasted just 15 episodes, the original U.K. series recently wrapped its eighth season (featuring such U.S. notables as Martina Navratilova and George Takei). Granada America is behind the project, which will likely run as a weekday strip.
MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Michael Rady ("Swingtown") is the first to be cast on the netlet's revival, which Davis Guggenheim is directing from a script by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer. Rady will play Jonah Miller, "a cute and quirky 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker who makes his living as a videographer of weddings and bar mitzvahs for the rich and famous after moving to Los Angeles with his fiancee a year ago," a role which is likened to Andrew Shue's Billy Campbell on the original series.
MERCY (NBC) - Taylor Schilling has booked one of the lead roles on the drama pilot, about three nurses bound together in friendship. She'll play Veronica Callahan, who works as nurse at Mercy Hospital after a tour in Iraq. Elizabeth Heldens penned the Universal Media Studios-based hour, which is being directed by Adam Bernstein.
THREESOME (ABC) - Eric Christian Olsen ("Brothers & Sisters") is the first to be cast on the comedy pilot, about a guy in his thirties who is caught between his girlfriend - a single mom - and his slacker best friend. He'll play Shawn, said guy, in the half-hour, which comes from creator Ricky Blitt and Warner Bros. Television.
THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK (ABC) - "Lipstick Jungle" co-star Lindsay Price has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about three young witches who come into their powers. She'll play one of the trio, Joanna, a hardworking, shy reporter for the local newspaper. Price's involvement is technically in second position to her duties on the technically still alive "Jungle." Pilot wunderkind David Nutter is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based hour from a script by Maggie Friedman.