LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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COLD CASE (CBS) - Executive producer Greg Plageman has inked a two-year overall deal with producer Warner Bros. Television. The pact, financial details of which weren't released, covers his co-showrunning duties alongside Jennifer Johnson as well as calls for him to develop new series projects for the studio.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - The Eye is moving closer to ordering a spin-off of the veteran crime drama. Chris Mundy has been tapped to pen a backdoor pilot episode to air later this season from a story by he co-wrote with showrunner Ed Bernero. As for specifics, it's understood the hour will focus on a new team of FBI agents brought in to assist the current Behavioral Analysis Unit. ABC Studios, CBS Television Studios and the Mark Gordon Co. would then co-produce any resulting spin-off. CBS has flirted with expanding the franchise for over a year but didn't solidify its plans until this week.
DAMAGES (FX) - "24" alum Reiko Aylesworth has booked a recurring role on the show's third season, Entertainment Weekly reports. Not surprisingly, details about her character weren't released. She'll join incoming cast members Campbell Scott and Martin Short as well as special guest stars Lily Tomlin and Keith Carradine when the new season rolls out in January.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) - Kathy Najimy is set to guest star on the veteran Sunday soap. She'll play "a police officer with a surprising connection to Teri Hatcher's Susan," according to report from Entertainment Weekly. "Susan suspects Katherine was the one who attacked Julie, so she gets [a cop] to help her," creator Marc Cherry told the publication. "But then she finds out the policewoman went to high school with her - and Susan stole her boyfriend, too! So [Najimy] has been going around the past 30 years resenting her." Najimy's installment is set to air in late October.
INSIDE MARY BAXTER (NBC, New!)/LANEY SPARROW (FOX, New!) - Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("Drop Dead Diva") have landed drama scripts at FOX and NBC. Dana Calvo ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") is behind the FOX effort, "Laney Sparrow," "a character-driven legal drama," while Maria Maggenti ("Without a Trace") is penning "Inside Mary Baxter," "a dramedy set in a women's prison," for NBC. Zadan and Meron then will executive produce each hour with their respective creators. 20th Century Fox Television is producing "Sparrow" while no studio was mentioned as attached to "Baxter."
PREGNANCY PACT (Lifetime) - Camryn Manheim ("Ghost Whisperer") has joined the cast of the original movie, which is "inspired by the true story of teenagers at Gloucester (Mass.) High School who agreed to get pregnant at the same time." She'll play "the nurse who alerts the school of the increasing number of pregnancies and offers contraceptives to those girls who aren't pregnant." Thora Birch and Nancy Travis also star in the project, which is in production for a first quarter air date. Rosemary Rodriguez is helming the telefilm from a script by Pam Davis and Teena Booth for Von Zerneck-Sertner Films.
UNTITLED DIANE RUGGIERO PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Diane Ruggiero ("The Ex List") has scored a script commitment from the network for a new dramedy about "a group of dysfunctional siblings who are forced to live together in the family's haunted house after their father dies." The project is set up at the 20th Century Fox Television-based the Chernin Co. with Ruggiero executive producing alongside the latter company's Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
UNTITLED SETH GREEN PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Seth Green, Matthew Senreich and Tom Root ("Titan Maximum") have landed a pilot presentation order for a new animated comedy at the network. The untitled project, which comes from the 20th Century Fox Television-based the Chernin Co., will use "family life and a high school as backdrops for a wide cast of characters." The trio then will executive produce via their Stoopid Monkey Productions banner alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters