[03/23/09 - 06:12 PM]
Development Update: Monday, March 23
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) - Grant Show ("Swingtown") and Lennon Parham ("Boldly Going Nowhere") have both 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 (Jon Foster). He'll play the owner of the paper where she works while she's set as the younger sister of Elfman's character. Claudia Lonow penned the half-hour project, which is based at CBS Paramount Network Television. Pamela Fryman is directing.

THE BIG D (CBS) - Nat Faxon ("Happy Hour") and newcomer Kelen Coleman have landed roles on the comedy pilot, about a New York couple moves to the husband's hometown of Dallas, where his Southern belle mother (Deanne Dunagan) makes life complicated for his East Coast wife. Coleman is set as the husband's younger sister while Faxton is playing his cousin. Jackie and Jeff Filgo created the half-hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television.

THE BODY POLITIC (The CW) - Gabrielle Union ("Life"), Brian Austin Green ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), Jay Hernandez ("Six Degrees") and Jenny Wade ("Reaper") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, which is described as a look at Washington politics through the eyes of up-and-coming staffers. Green, whose casting is in second position to "Terminator," will play the president's "boy wonder" adviser with Union as his sometimes-girlfriend, a legislative director. Rounding out the group is Hernandez as a naval officer and Wade as an idealistic young staffer. Minka Kelly, Jason Dohring and Tim Matheson also star in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which Scott Winant is directing from a script by Bill Robinson and Jason Rothenberg.

THE BRIDGET SHOW (ABC) - Jeffrey Tambor ("20 Good Years") has signed onto the Lauren Graham-led comedy pilot, about "a popular talk-show host and relationship expert who walks away from her career to be with the man she loves, only to attempt a comeback five years later after he dumps her." He's on board as Marty Roth, her business manager. Alex Herschlag is behind the half-hour, which is set up at the Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount.

CANNED (ABC) - Amanda Bynes ("What I Like About You") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a group of friends who are all fired on the same day. She'll play Sarabeth, "a naive Midwesterner who's being exploited by her boss - and doesn't realize it." Tim Peper, Stephanie Lemelin and Baron Vaughn also star in the half-hour, which comes from creator Kevin Etten and ABC Studios.

COMMUNITY (NBC) - Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs are the latest additions to the comedy pilot, about a lawyer named Jeff (Joel McHale) who returns to school after his college degree is deemed invalid. Brown is set as a fellow student with Jacobs as the object of Jeff's affection. Anthony and Joe Russo are directing the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which was penned by Dan Harmon.

LIGHTS OUT (FX) - Veteran character actor Holt McCallany has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after his fighting days are over. He'll play the title character, Patrick "Lights Out" Leary, who's also battling pugilistic dementia and takes work as a legbreaker, collecting on unpaid gambling debts. Clark Johnson ("The Shield") is helming the Fox TV Studios/FX Productions-based hour, which comes from executive producers Justin Zackham, Ross Fineman and Phillip Noyce. Zackham penned the script. Production is set to begin next month on the pilot in New Jersey.

LIMELIGHT (ABC) - Matthew Davis ("What About Brian") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the teachers and students at a New York performing-arts academy. He'll play school's interim artistic director in the hour, which David Semel is directing from a script by K.J. Steinberg. Warner Bros. Television is the studio attached.

PARENTHOOD (NBC) - Peter Krause ("Dirty Sexy Money") and Maura Tierney ("ER") are both on track to join the cast of the drama pilot, based on the 1989 feature of the same name, as are Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Mae Whitman and Sarah Ramos. Krause will play Adam Braverman, "a married man with two children who is a lunatic beneath the surface," with Ramos as his good-girl daughter; Tierney as his sister, Sarah Braverman, a single mother; Whitman as her rebellious 16-year-old daughter; Shepard as the youngest Braverman, a slacker; and Nelson as their father, a Vietnam vet-turned-actor/hippie. Erika Christensen also stars in the Universal Media Studios-based, which was penned by Jason Katims.

PULLING (ABC) - Majandra Delfino has scored a lead role on the comedy pilot, about three single thirtysomething women (Lindsay Sloane, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Delfino) who move in together after one breaks off her engagement the day before her wedding. Delfino will play Louie Miller, a girl-next-door type. Charlie Finn also stars in the hour, which comes from ABC Studios. Elliot Hegarty is directing from a script by Rob Hanning.

SORORITY WARS (Lifetime, New!) - Courtney Thorne-Smith ("According to Jim") and Lucy Hale ("Privileged") are set to star in a new original movie at the cable channel set in the cut-throat world of college sororities. Faith Ford is also in negotiations to star the film, which centers on "18-year-old freshman (Hale) who ignites a full-blown sorority war after she snubs Delta, the sorority co-founded by her mother (Thorne-Smith) and her mother's college best friend (Ford), in favor of the more laid-back and less gossipy Kappa." James Hayman is set to helm the project from a script by Michelle Lovretta ("To Be Fat Like Me"). Patricia Clifford, Robert M. Sertner and Frank von Zerneck then are executive producing via their respective banners, Patricia Clifford Productions and von Zerneck/Sertner Films. Production is set to begin in late April in Vancouver.

THREE RIVERS (CBS) - Julia Ormond, who's currently recurring on "CSI: NY," has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about organ transplants as seen through three points of view: those of the doctors, the donors and the recipients. She'll play the head of surgery at the show's Three Rivers Hospital. Carol Barbee, Carol Fenelon and Curtis Hanson are executive producing the hour, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.

UNITED STATES OF TARA (Showtime) - Alexa Junge reportedly won't be returning as showrunner of the Diablo Cody-created series when it returns for its second season. No reason was given for her exit. The search then is underway for a new showrunner who will serve alongside fellow executive producers Cody, Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. "Tara's" freshman run wraps on April 5 with season two due sometime next year.

WORLDWIDE TRIBE (Travel, New!) - The cable channel has ordered 12 episodes of a new series about tattooing around the globe. Tattoo artists Chris Nunez, Ami James and "apprentice" Yoji Harada will host the project, which will visit such locales as Nepal, Japan, Polynesia, Thailand, Canada, Israel, Germany and Spain. Mike Beale, Adena Chawke, Craig Borders, Elizabeth Browde, Nunez and James then are the executive producers for Alchemy Reality and Love Hate Productions.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2009]  

· ER (NBC)

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