[03/02/09 - 06:49 PM]
Development Update: Monday, March 2
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!

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (CBS) - Pamela Fryman ("How I Met Your Mother") is set to direct the comedy pilot, which stars Jenna Elfman as a movie critic who finds herself pregnant after a fling with a much younger man. She'll work from a script by Claudia Lonow, who's executive producing alongside Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun for CBS Paramount Network Television.

AMERICA'S STRONGEST AMERICAN (CBS, New!) - Michael Davies ("Who Wants to Be a Millionaire") has completed production on a pilot for the network in which ordinary Americans compete in crazy strength competitions. Ben Bailey ("Cash Cab") and Michelle Merkin ("Celebrity Drive-By") hosted the hour, which was shot in Las Vegas over the weekend. Davies's Embassy Row and IMG are behind the hour with Barry Frank also serving as an executive producer.

CANNED (ABC) - David S. Rosenthal has been tapped as the showrunner of the comedy pilot, about a group of friends who get fired on the same day. Kevin Etten created the half-hour, the production of which was contingent on finding a showrunner. The pair then will executive produce alongside Peter Traugott of Brillstein Entertainment Partners for ABC Studios.

DAY ONE (NBC) - David Lyons, Carly Pope, Adam Campbell and Thekla Reuten are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about how a group of neighbors in an apartment complex deal with the fallout of a catastrophic event. Lyons will play the male lead, "a Marine and an Iraq veteran who is a natural leader," with Reuten as "an odd woman who keeps copious notes on other tenants" and Pope as "a brilliant young woman who lives with her boyfriend (Campbell), an MIT graduate and computer genius." Jesse Alexander created the Universal Media Studios-based hour, to be directed by Alex Graves.

HAPPY TOWN (ABC) - John Patrick Amedori ("Gossip Girl"), Robert Wisdom ("Prison Break") and Jay Paulson ("October Road") are the latest additions to 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. Amedori will play a wealthy teenager in a Romeo and Juliet-style romance while Wisdom will play the chief deputy and investigator with Paulson as a patrol deputy. Andre Nemec, Josh Applebaum and Scott Rosenberg are behind the project, which comes from ABC Studios. Gary Fleder is directing.

INSIDE THE BOX (ABC) - Kim Raver ("Lipstick Jungle") has joined the cast of the pilot, a drama set at a news network's Washington bureau. She'll play a knockout blond reporter who once was considered the next Diane Sawyer. Her casting is understood to be in second position to the still-technically-alive "Jungle." Co-star Lindsay Price has likewise booked a role on the ABC drama pilot "The Witches of Eastwick."

LIMELIGHT (ABC) - Sharon Leal and Brooklyn Sudano are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the students and faculty at a performing-arts college. Leal will play "a renowned choreographer-turned-actress who returns to her alma mater" while Sudano is on board as "a young dancer auditioning for the academy." David Semel is helming the Warner Bros. Television/Wonderland Sound and Vision-based hour from a script by K.J. Steinberg.

MY AMERICAN FAMILY (A.K.A. AN AMERICAN FAMILY) (ABC) - "Back to You" alum Ty Burrell is set to reunite with Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan on the comedy pilot, about three families who live in the same suburb. He'll play "the goofy, upbeat dad from the traditional couple who thinks he is cooler than he really is" in the project, which also stars Ed O'Neill, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sofia Vergara. Jason Winer is directing from a script by Lloyd and Levitan.

THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM (Comedy Central) - Executive producers Sarah Silverman, Dan Sterling and Rob Schrab have all reportedly threatened to quit after seeing their budget for a proposed third season of the series slashed from $1.1 million an episode to $850,000 an episode. The proposed cuts are understood to be the result of a decision by parent company MTV Networks. "Silverman" already operates will below the industry standard of $1.5 million-$2 million an episode for single-camera shows. Nevertheless, a resolution to either continue or end the series is expected early next week.

THREE RIVERS (CBS) - Newcomer Christopher J. Hanke is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about organ transplants as seen through the eyes of doctors, donors and recipients. Hanke will play the assistant to the transplant coordinator. Carol Barbee, Carol Fenelon and Curtis Hanson are executive producing the hour, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.

THREESOME (ABC) - Alyssa Milano has been cast as the female lead in the comedy pilot, about a guy in his thirties (Eric Christian Olsen) who is caught between his girlfriend - a single mom - and his slacker best friend. She'll play Rebecca, the man's girlfriend, a successful lawyer and single mother of two. Ricky Blitt is behind the half-hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television.

TICK TOCK (CBS) - The comedy, about a thirtysomething single mother who decides to focus her attention on finding true love, is the latest to get pushed after failing to meet casting deadlines set by the network. Production on the pilot, from creator Bill Kunstler, was contingent on casting the lead role. CBS Paramount Network Television was the studio attached.

TRAUMA (NBC) - Anastasia Griffith ("Damages") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a team of first-response paramedics. She'll play an EMT whose paramedic boyfriend has died in a helicopter crash. Jeffrey Reiner is directing the Universal Media Studios-based hour with Dario Scardapane, Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey serving as executive producers.

UNTITELD DAVID HEMINGSON PROJECT (ABC) - Leah Pipes ("Life Is Wild") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, a revamped version of creator David Hemingson's legal dramedy from last year. She'll play Beth, a new associate who was born and raised in Beverly Hills. Morena Baccarin originated the role in the previous incarnation. Ben Lawson, Matt Long, Norbert Leo Butz and Tina Majorino also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Michael Fresco is directing.

UNTITLED FRANK MILITARY PROJECT (CBS) - Melissa George ("Grey's Anatomy") has landed a lead role on the drama pilot, about federal prosecutors in New York. She'll play a Los Angeles ADA who joins her ex-husband's (Jason Clarke) team. Frank Military created the hour, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.

WASHINGTON FIELD (CBS) - Teri Polo is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about an FBI squad made up of experts who travel the world responding to crises that concern U.S. national interests. She'll play Amanda O'Donnell, "an expert in medical forensics and weapons of mass destruction, whose husband is also on the team." CBS Paramount Network Television is behind the hour, which comes from director Jon Cassar and co-creators Edward Allen Bernero, Jim Clemente and Tim Clemente.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2009]  


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