[08/13/09 - 06:51 PM] Development Update: Thursday, August 13 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BILLY STILES (FOX, New!) - Oscar-winner Denzel Washington is reportedly close to executive producing a new drama at FOX about a genius gang member-turned-cop. Virgil Williams ("ER") is behind the hour, which is based on a short story he wrote between staff writing jobs six years ago. The network is said to be close to a script order with sibling 20th Century Fox Television attached as the studio. Washington and Williams then would executive produce alongside of Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists.
BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC) - "Eureka's" Joe Morton has landed a multi-episode arc on the new season of the Sunday soap. He'll play the tough but nurturing anatomy professor of Dave Annable's character, who's now in medical school. It's understood Morton is on board for 7-10 episodes however it's not clear when said arc will begin.
COVERT AFFAIRS (USA) - Anne Dudek ("House") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about "a multilingual CIA trainee (Piper Perabo) who joins the agency while still reeling from a mysterious ex-boyfriend who appears to be of particular interest to her bosses." She'll play the sister of Perabo's character. Christopher Gorham also stars in the 90-minute pilot, which comes from Universal Cable Productions, director Tim Matheson and co-creators Matt Corman and Chris Ord.
MILDRED PIERCE (HBO, New!) - Oscar-winner Kate Winslet is set to topline a new mini-series on track to land at the pay channel. The project is based on James M. Cain's novel of the same name with Todd Haynes directing from his own script. "Pierce" revolves around "a bored housewife who gets into the restaurant business, an enterprise that leads to backstabbing, romance and murder." Fellow Oscar-winner Joan Crawford took home said prize for the same role in the 1945 feature film adaptation.
RENO 911 (Comedy Central) - "Reno 911! was cancelled at 1:30 pm today," co-creator Thomas Lennon tweeted this afternoon. "Won't be wearing the shorts again." The news marks the end of the long-running mocumentary series after six seasons. No other details about the cancellation were given.
TEACH (A.K.A. UNTITLED TONY DANZA PROJECT) (A&E) - The upcoming reality series, in which the "Who's the Boss?" star co-teaches a 10th-grade English class in Philadelphia, is awaiting approval by education officials to begin production. The School Reform Commission will vote next week on whether to allow the 13-episode series to begin filming at the city's Northeast High School. In anticipation of a green light (school commissioners received a letter of support from Mayor Michael Nutter this week), Danza is already attending teacher training with other first-year instructors in the district. Adam Reed and Leslie Greif are the executive producers on the project, which was ordered back in May by the cable channel.