[07/31/09 - 06:36 PM]
Development Update: Friday, July 31
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!

FUTURAMA (Comedy Central) - John DiMaggio, Billy West, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille have all closed deals to reprise their roles on Comedy Central's revival of the cult series. The news spells the end of the much publicized negotiations between the quintet and producer 20th Century Fox Television, which at one point saw the later issuing a casting call for replacement actors. "We are thrilled to have our incredible cast back," co-creators creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen said in a statement to the press. "The call has already gone out to the animators to put the mouths back on the characters." Financial details about their respective pacts weren't released.

GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - Tyra Banks is set to guest star on the upcoming episode of the series, Entertainment Weekly reports. She'll play "an actress co-starring in a film with [fellow guest star] Hilary Duff�s character" in the fourth episode back this fall. No other details were released.

ISH ENTERTAINMENT PROJECTS (Various, New!) - Michael Hirschorn and Stella Stolper's Ish Entertainment, best known for such reality fare as MTV's "Paris Hilton's My New BFF," has booked a handful of projects around town. Among the offerings are two scripted efforts: "Gnarly" at Comedy Central, a comedy from screenwriters Edward Cannistraci and Frederick Seton ("Pierre Pierre") about "two schlubby thirtysomethings who travel back in time to their high-school selves to see if they can correct what made them such losers with the ladies"; and "One If By Land" at CBS, about "a cafe in New York where couples go to get married" penned by Kevin Bisch ("Hitch"). On the unscripted side there's "Bridge and Tunnel" at MTV, about "a group of recent high school grads in the New York hinterland of Staten Island"; and an untitled project also at MTV executive produced by Lindsay Lohan. The company is also working on placing reality shows featuring new Los Angeles Lakers addition Ron Artest and a girl group formed by the daughters of rappers T.I. and Lil Wayne as well as "Bayside Boys," a scripted offering to be written and directed by Ed Burns which will also feature the multihyphenate in a supporting role.

MARIE (Syndication) - Program Partners has tabled its plans to launch the Marie Osmond-hosted, Las Vegas-based talk show despite clearances on stations covering 80% of the country. The company cited a weak ad market as the chief reason for the decision to nix the series, which was sold on a cash-plus-barter basis. Program Partners hoped to recoup its production costs via the 3.5 minutes of each hour held back for national ad sales in addition to its carriage fee. It's not clear when or if the company will revisit the project for 2010.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [july 2009]  


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