LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE 100-MILE CHALLENGE (Planet Green, New!) - The cable channel has acquired the six-part series from the U.K.-based Passion Distribution. The project, which bowed on Food Network Canada, "follows six Canadian families as they forego mass-packaged food for ingredients grown within a 100-mile radius for 100 days." Paperny Films is behind the series, the format of which has also been licensed to France, Benelux and Asia. David Paperny and Cal Shumiatcher are the executive producers with authors J.B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith serving as hosts.
THE DIAMOND AGE (Sci Fi) - Feature writer Zoe Green ("Tigress") has been tapped to adapt Neal Stephenson's novel, subtitled "Or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer," for the small screen. George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smokehouse Productions are behind the potential mini-series, about "a prominent member of a conservative futuristic society grows concerned that the culture stifles creativity, and commissions a controversial interactive book for his daughter, which serves as her guide through a surreal alternate world."
HEROES (NBC) - "Days of Our Lives" co-star Rachel Melvin is the latest addition to the show's upcoming fourth season. She'll guest star as Annie, the college roommate of Claire (Hayden Panettiere) and the previously cast Gretchen (Madeline Zima), a role which may be upped to recurring. No other specifics about her character were released.
I MARRIED A STRANGER (FOX, New!) - The network is taking a stab at its own arranged marriage series, this time from executive producers Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Scott Jeffress of A. Smith and Co. Production has been completed on a pilot for the project, which will track "a woman frustrated by the dating scene [who] agrees to wed a man she's never met." In addition to her blind wedding, each standalone episode will feature her friends and family as they select her new spouse from a pool of six eligible suitors. The bride then will get a glimpse of each as they are eliminated, but won't see the final groom-to-be until she says, "I do." "Stranger" comes on the heels of the similarly-themed "Arranged Marriage" at CBS, which follows one couple over the course of the entire series.
'TIL DEATH (FOX) - Co-creators Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith have inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with producer Sony Pictures Television. The pact is focused solely on development as the pair are no longer involved with the day-to-day operations on the series. In addition to "Death," the husband and wife duo was behind ABC's "Big Day" as well as the pilots "Stroller Wars" and "Fish Tank" at CBS.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters