[04/09/09 - 06:02 PM] Development Update: Thursday, April 9 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DAY ONE (NBC)/INSIDE THE BOX (ABC) - Xander Berkeley has booked recurring roles on both pilots. On the former he'll play Clark Christiansen, the father of Addison Timlin's character, who's injured in an explosion. The project, from Jesse Alexander and Universal Media Studios, revolves around the residents of an apartment complex who bind together after a cataclysmic event. On "Box," he's set as Fred O'Brien, the Washington Bureau Chief of NNC, the show's fictional cable news network. Richard E. Robbins created the ABC Studios-based hour, which also comes from executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
EASTBOUND & DOWN (HBO) - The pay channel has commissioned a second season of the comedy series, which will begin production later this year for a 2010 premiere. The series opened to modest 671,000 viewers on February 15, eventually climbing to 950,000 viewers on March 15 and closing its freshman season with 904,000 viewers on March 22. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Jody Hill, Danny McBride and Ben Best are the executive producers.
LIGHTS OUT (FX) - Melora Hardin, Elias Koteas and Kevin Conway have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Patrick "Lights Out" Leary (Holt McCallany), "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." Hardin will play his wife, Theresa Leary, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Conway then is set as Robert Leary, Patrick's father and former trainer, a widower who still runs a gym, while Koteas is playing Clay Tarpin, Patrick's boyhood friend who is his manager/business partner. Clark Johnson has also signed on to direct the hour, which comes from creator Justin Zackham, Fox TV Studios and FX Productions. Phillip Noyce and Ross Fineman also serve as executive producers.
PRISON BREAK (FOX) - TVShowsonDVD.com is reporting 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the final two installments of the series directly to DVD on July 21. Sister company 20th Century Fox Television ordered the episodes back in November, in addition to the two-hour series finale, which airs Friday, May 15 on FOX. Billed, "Prison Break: The Final Break," the single-disc release is detailed as follows: "The shocking series conclusion was just the beginning. Secrets revealed and mysteries solved. The truth will blow you away."
RONNA & BEVERLY (Showtime) - The cable channel has passed on the comedy pilot, about two middle-aged Jewish women (Jessica Chaffin, Jamie Denbo) who tirelessly promote their book, a dating guide for Jewish singles. Lionsgate Television was behind the half-hour, which was penned by Chaffin, Denbo and Jenji Kohan. Paul Feig was the director. It's understood the studio will shop the project to other outlets. Showtime passed on fellow entries "The End of Steve" and "The L Word" spin-off "The Farm" last week, leaving Tim Robbins's drama "Possible Side Effects" as the only pilot still awaiting its fate.
UNTITLED DAVID HEMINGSON PROJECT (ABC) - Noa Tishby ("Ghosts of Girlfriends Past") has been tapped to guest star on the drama pilot, about four young lawyers at one of L.A.'s most prestigious law firms. Her role however wasn't specified. Michael Fresco is helming the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour from a script by David Hemingson.