LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE CW SUNDAYS - The netlet is on track to turn over its Sunday lineup to its affiliates starting this fall. "As we plan our 2009-10 fall launch, we are in talks with several of our top affiliate partners about a number of creative and mutually beneficial actions that will build on our growing record of success," the network said a statement. "These discussions include an evolution of the strategy, which began this season, to focus the CW's resources on Monday through Friday nights. As a result, we are now exploring the transition of Sunday night to our affiliates." The five-hour block, which begins at 5:00/4:00c, is currently home to repeats of "Everybody Hates Chris," "The Game," "The Drew Carey Show," "Jericho" and various theatrical films. Most CW affiliates are expected to continue with movies during the primetime portion as part of a new movie package from MGM. These new pacts, which are on a barter advertising basis, will give the participating stations six to eight minutes of ad time for local sales as compared with three minutes in their current arrangement with The CW. Prior to its current all-repeat lineup, The CW turned over its programming to Media Rights Capital in a short-lived arrangement that delivered record lows for the network.
HARD TIMES (MTV) - Paul Iacono has landed the lead role on the comedy pilot, about "a well-endowed high school geek (Iacono) whose social status is greatly improved after accidentally exposing himself at a basketball game." Seth Grahame-Smith penned the half-hour, which is being produced and directed by David Katzenberg.
MAD MEN (AMC) - Jared Harris ("Fringe") has booked a 10-episode arc on the show's upcoming third season. He'll play Lane Pryce, Sterling Cooper's financial officer. Production on the new season is underway for an August premiere.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE (CBS) - ABC has closed a deal with Warner Bros. Television to order 22 new episodes of the series should the Eye ultimately pass on a fifth season. The news marks the second year the Alphabet has made a play for the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-led half-hour, however odds are "Christine" will once again stay put on CBS. The de facto pickup ensures Warner Bros. will have enough episodes to explore syndicating the series to local and cable stations.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters