[04/06/09 - 06:20 PM] Development Update: Monday, April 6 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DOROTHY GALE (NBC, New!) - Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights") is developing a new drama at the network billed as a millennial update of "The Wizard of Oz." Bridget Carpenter is penning the hour, which follows "the story of Dorothy, a girl from Kansas who tries to tackle modern-day Manhattan (her version of the Emerald City)" where she works in the art world and must deal with a wicked boss. Katims and Carpenter will then executive produce alongside Meryl Poster for one assumes Universal Media Studios.
THE GAME (The CW) - Creator Mara Brock Akil is reportedly pitching an hourlong version of the multi-camera comedy to CW executives this week. The news marks the latest creative progression for the series, which began as a traditional multi-camera show and eventually morphed into a "How I Met Your Mother"-esque comedy. Said evolution comes as The CW is expected to get out of the half-hour business completely by next season - no comedy pilots were ordered for the 2009-10 season and its fellow remaining half-hour ("Everybody Hates Chris") is also considered a longshot to return. Earlier this year, BET acquired the off-network rights to the series as well as began exploring the option of taking over first-run production should The CW ultimately decide to pass.
MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Laura Leighton has closed a deal to reprise her role of the irresponsible and scheming Sydney Andrews on the CW's update of the much-ballyhooed 1990s soap. While her character was presumed dead following the fifth season finale of the original series, showrunners Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin have apparently found a way to revive the character as the landlord to the new crop of tenants.
REAPER (The CW) - Co-creators/executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact essentially spells the end of the CW drama as the pair will no longer be based at producer ABC Studios. Instead they'll develop series projects for 20th. As for "Reaper," the sophomore series was already billed as a longshot at best to return.