[07/15/09 - 06:23 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, July 15 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALIAS (ABC) - Jennifer Garner has signed a first-look deal with former producer ABC Studios. The pact gives the studio first crack at her and partner Juliana Janes Vandalia Films' TV output. The company already has a similar arrangement on the feature side with Warner Bros.
GARY UNMARRIED (CBS) - Keegan Michael Key ("MADtv") has joined the cast of the show's second season. He'll play Clean, an old high school friend of Jay Mohr's character, "a former minor-league baseball player who had a promising career until sidelined by a knee injury." It's understood the pair will pick up where they left off "alternating between best buddies and competitors."
GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - Martha Plimpton ("ER") has signed on for a multi-episode arc on the upcoming season of the popular Alphabet drama. She'll play the mother of a young patient beginning in the show's September 24 season premiere. No other specifics about her character were released.
THE LEAGUE (FX, New!) - Jeff Schaffer ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") has landed a pilot order from the cable channel for a new partially scripted comedy about a group of thirtysomething guys in Chicago who are part of the same fantasy football league. Mark Duplass, Steve Rannazzisi, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, Katie Aselton, Jon Lajoie and Alina Foley all star in the half-hour, which will focus on their respective marriages, friendships and family as a result of their involvement in Pete's (Duplass) - a married man pondering whether to have a baby - league. Schaffer will helm the FX Productions-based project from a script he penned alongside his wife Jackie Marcus Schaffer, both of whom are executive producing. Production is underway with Leslie Bibb also on board as an unspecified guest star.
NATHAN VS. NATURE (NBC, New!) - David Guarascio and Moses Port have scored a script commitment from the Peacock for a new comedy about Griffin Jennings, "a successful 35-year-old heart surgeon, who decides to search for his biological parents" only to find they had three more kids and kept them. The show's title comes from the fact said character was originally supposed to be named Nathan after his biological grandfather. It's understood Griffin will initially clash with his new "less-than-impressive" siblings, before ultimately learning "that he may have more in common with his slacker siblings than it seems." The project is set up at Sony Pictures Television where Guarascio and Port have an overall deal and has a significant penalty attached should it not go to pilot.
UNTITLED CHRIS ALBRECHT/ROB LEE PROJECT (Starz, New!) - Former HBO topper Chris Albrecht is set to team with IMG Global Media alum Rob Lee for a new drama the pay channel set in the New York fashion world. The pair are currently searching for a writer for the project, which would revolve around "the personal and professional trials of a femme photog trying to make her mark in the cutthroat couture biz." No other details were given.