[11/03/09 - 06:05 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, November 3 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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APPETITE FOR SELF-DESTRUCTION (HBO, New!) - Steve Knopper's book, subtitled "The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age," is being developed as an original movie by the pay channel. Playwright Victoria Stewart is penning said adaptation, which chronicles the past 30 years, "beginning with the crash of the disco craze in the late 1970s, through the CD boom in the late 1980s and 1990s, the music industry's battle with Napster and other free file-sharing online services in the 2000s and the sharp decline in sales of CDs, which have been replaced by digital downloads." Bob Cooper is producing.
DELTA BLUES (TNT) - Clark Johnson ("The Shield") has been tapped to direct the drama pilot, about "an outstanding but unusual Memphis cop who moonlights as an Elvis impersonator and lives with his mother." He'll work from a script by Liz Garcia and Josh Harto. Smokehouse Pictures's George Clooney and Grant Heslov are executive producing the Warner Horizon Television-based hour with Henry Bronchtein and Abby Wolf-Weiss serving as co-executive producers.
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (FX) - Twentieth Television has cleared repeats of the cable comedy on 23 stations covering about 45% of the country. Tribune stations in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.; Fox stations in Chicago, Phoenix and Minneapolis; CBS stations in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas; and Sunbeam's Boston's station are all on board to carry the show's off-cable run, which begins in the fall of 2011.
JERSEYLICIOUS (Style, New!) - Endemol USA has landed an eight-episode order for a new reality series which tracks the intertwined professional and romantic lives of six stylists at a Central New Jersey beauty salon. Alex Duda ("The Tyra Banks Show") is executive producing the project, which will also feature "intrinsically Garden State makeovers and hairstyles." The series is expected to roll out in the spring of 2010.
THE MARRIAGE REF (NBC) - Tom Papa ("Come to Papa") has been tapped to host the Jerry Seinfeld-produced series, in which a panel of comedians and celebrities serve as advocates during marital disputes. Papa then will serve as the "ref" who ultimately judges which spouse is correct. Production on its six-episode order is set to begin in January. Ellen Rakieten is executive producing alongside Seinfeld.
REX IS NOT YOUR LAWYER (NBC) - "Doctor Who" alum David Tennant has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about "a top Chicago litigator who begins suffering panic attacks and takes up coaching clients to represent themselves in court." He'll play the title role of Rex Alexander. In addition, David Semel has been tapped to direct the hour from a script by co-creators Andrew Leeds and David Lampson. He'll likewise executive produce alongside showrunner Barry Schindel and non-writing executives Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein. Leeds and Lampson will then serve as supervising producers.
SHAMELESS (Showtime) - Mark Mylod ("Entourage") has been tapped to direct the drama pilot, about the working-class Chicago Gallagher family. William H. Macy is toplining the hour as the clan's alcoholic patriarch who "usually ends up passed out on the living room floor." Mylod previously helmed the pilot to the show's original U.K. incarnation. John Wells is behind the U.S. take and is executive producing alongside original creator Paul Abbott.
UNTITLED KRISTIE ALLEY PROJECT (A&E, New!) - The cable channel has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of a new reality series about the life of actress/tabloid fodder Kirstie Alley. FremantleMedia North America is behind the project, which will track her life as a single mom and her efforts to lose weight as well as launch a weight loss program. Alley previously toplined the short-lived Showtime series "Fat Actress," which took a comedic take on her weight struggles. George Moll ("Rock the Cradle") and Alley are executive producing alongside A&E's Robert Sharenow and Colleen Conway.
V (ABC) - "Chuck" executive producer Scott Rosenbaum has been tapped as the new showrunner of the freshman drama, which launches tonight on the Alphabet. Said development is the result of a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal Rosenbaum has inked with producer Warner Bros. Television. He'll take over from Scott Peters, who in turn took over from original showrunner Jeffrey Bell. Just four installments have been completed of its 13-episode order, the remaining installments of which will roll out in March. Peters nevertheless will continue as executive producer alongside Jason Hall while Bell is expected to depart.