[07/17/09 - 06:37 PM]
Development Update: Friday, July 17
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

CSI: NY (CBS) - "Shark" alum Sarah Carter has joined the cast of the veteran "CSI" spin-off. She'll play "a twentysomething forensic school graduate with aspirations to be a CSI who works as a crime scene clean up technician and harbors a secret." She'll presumably make her first appearance in the sixth season opener.

FUTURAMA (Comedy Central) - Talks have reportedly broken down with the show's original voice cast to reprise their roles on the 26 new episodes set to be produced for the cable channel. The news marks the latest struggle by 20th Century Fox Television to produce the series on a cable budget as the show is already using a smaller writing staff and a shorter delivery schedule. As for specifics, Variety reports co-stars Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille were asking for about $75,000 per episode, a number the studio apparently isn't willing to match. Subsequently, 20th has put out a casting call for replacement voices. "We love the 'Futurama' voice performers and absolutely wanted to use them, but unfortunately, we could not meet their salary demands," the studio said in a statement. "While replacing these talented actors will be difficult, the show must go on. We are confident that we will find terrific new performers to give voice to Matt [Groening] and David's [X. Cohen] brilliantly subversive characters." Said development however doesn't mean a deal with the original voice cast can't be reached as negotiations are still ongoing.

MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Brooke Burns ("Miss/Guided") has landed a multi-episode arc on the upcoming revival of the perennial FOX soap. It's understood she'll play Vanessa, the mentioned but unseen wife of Thomas Calabro's character in the pilot with whom he has a young son, Noah. Calabro's Michael Mancini is also the estranged father of co-star Shaun Sipos's character.

THE STATION (FOX) - John Goodman has joined the cast of the Ben Stiller-produced comedy pilot, about "a group of lackluster CIA operatives at a covert South American outpost, where they're charged with installing a new dictator." He'll play Ted Gannon, a gruff CIA vet and head of its Altamara Station. Goodman joins the previously cast Justin Bartha, Whitney Cummings, Rob Huebel and Julio Oscar Mechoso. In addition, David Wain ("Role Models") has come aboard to direct the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, from a script by Kevin Napier. Stiller then is executive producing via his Red Hour Films banner alongside Jeremy Kramer and Stuart Cornfeld.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [july 2009]  


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