LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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90210 (The CW) - Model-turned-actress Sara Foster has booked a recurring role on the freshman drama. She'll play the sister to AnnaLynne McCord's character who arrives in town to stir up trouble. It's believed her first episode airs May 5.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (CBS) - "Ugly Betty" co-star Ashley Jensen has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, which stars Jenna Elfman as a movie critic who gets pregnant after a fling with a younger man. She'll play the best friend of Elfman's character. Her casting is in second position to her duties on "Betty." Pamela Fryman is helming the CBS Paramount Network Television-based project from a script by Claudia Lonow.
BACK (CBS) - "Jericho" alum Skeet Ulrich has scored the lead role in the drama pilot, about a man who returns home to discover he was reported missing eight years earlier - after September 11 - and must now reconnect with his family and a world that has moved on without him. He'll play Richard Miles, said man, in the hour, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television and creator Dean Widenmann. Mark Pellington is directing.
THE BODY POLITIC (The CW) - Minka Kelly ("Friday Night Lights") and Jason Dohring ("Moonlight") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about young staffers in Washington. She'll play Hope, "an all-American girl who leaves her life in Michigan after the death of her mother and heads to D.C., where her long-lost dad, Sen. Webster (Tim Matheson), has just been appointed Attorney General, and takes a job on his staff." Dohring then will play Charlie Morris, a reporter with the Washington Post. Like Jensen (see above), Kelly's casting is in second position to her role on the NBC drama. Bill Robinson and Jason Rothenberg are behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which Scott Winant is attached to direct.
EASTWICK (ABC) - Sara Rue has booked a role on the drama pilot, about three witches (Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price, Jaime Ray Newman) coming into their powers. She'll play the best friend of Price's character in the hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television, creator Maggie Friedman and director David Nutter.
THE FISH TANK (CBS) - Former Nickelodeon mainstay Drake Bell is set to topline the comedy pilot, about a teen who winds up getting the family house to himself during the week when his parents start commuting. Bell's casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa are behind the half-hour, which is based at CBS Paramount Network Television.
GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP (NBC, New!) - BBC Worldwide Productions has landed an eight-episode commitment from the Peacock for a new reality series in which seven families will drive cross-country to complete in challenges at iconic landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and the Washington Monument. The project is set to roll out this summer, however no specific premiere date has been released.
HOUSE RULES (CBS) - Eion Bailey ("ER") and Kristin Bauer ("True Blood") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about the freshman class of Congress. He's set as Alan Levi, a former Wall Street hotshot who enters politics as a Republican congressman, while she's on board as a newly elected Democrat from California who is estranged from her husband. Michael Seitzman penned the hour, which comes from ABC Studios and The Mark Gordon Company.
MASTERWORK (FOX) - "The Tudors" alum Natalie Dormer is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, "a globe-trotting adventure in which a male FBI agent and a female MI-5 agent (Dormer) team to recover the world's most sought-after artifacts." Jeffrey Nachmanoff is helming the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour from a script by Paul T. Scheuring.
MTV ORIGINAL SERIES (MTV, New!) - The cable channel has ramped up its scripted development, giving a series commitment to the animated series "DJ and the Fro" as well as pilot orders to five projects. "Fro," which has a 20-episode order, follows two office drones who swap viral videos while surrounded by workplace mayhem. On the pilot front there's "Private High Musical," based on Taryn Southern's online series that produces raunchy versions of high school shows; "Long Distance Relationship," likewise based on Dan Levy's web series about a high school couple who go to separate colleges and conduct a relationship via webcam; "Popzilla," a sketch comedy show from "SCTV's" Dave Thomas that lampoons celebrity news and gossip; "Hard Times," from writer Seth Grahame-Smith and producer David Katzenberg, about a well-endowed high school geek whose social status is greatly improved after accidentally exposing himself at a basketball game; and "Who's Your Daddy?", an animated comedy from Les Firestein about the multicultural adopted kids of a celebrity couple.
REINCARNATIONIST (FOX) - Richard Schiff ("The West Wing") has been cast in the drama pilot, about investigators solving present mysteries caused by past-life traumas. He'll play a legendary scientist in the field of reincarnation. Deran Sarafian is helming the hour from a script by David Hudgins. Warner Bros. Television is the studio attached.
SONS OF TUCSON (FOX) - "Reaper's" Tyler Labine has signed on to star in the comedy pilot, about a thirtysomething man who's hired by a group of boys to portray their father while their real dad is in jail. He'll play Ron Snuffkin, the aforementioned man, a role which is in second position to "Reaper." Greg Bratman and Tommy Dewey co-created the half-hour, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters