LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CRESCENDO PROJECTS (Various, New!) - Don Cheadle, Kay Liberman and Lenore Zerman have inked a first-look deal with NBC. The pact gives the network first crack at their Crescendo banner's output. Already in the works are "Boston P.D.," from John Hlavin ("The Shield"), about "a homicide detective who discovers he shares a surprising connection to his new partner"; and "Gemini," from Sid Quashie ("NOLA"), about "an operative inside a little-known government agency that investigates crimes [who] finds himself balancing two lives, including a deep secret." Universal Media Studios is the studio attached to the former.
Outside of the Peacock, there's a small screen take on "The Star Chamber" at ABC, about "a judge who goes after dangerous criminals who are set free by a flawed judicial system." Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook and Yaphet Kotto toplined the 1983 feature. Zack Estrin ("Prison Break") is behind the hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television. Then there's "RX" at TNT, from Ed Horowitz ("Exit Wounds") and syndicated political columnist Norman Solomon, about "a young doctor who establishes a clinic in downtown Los Angeles." Liongsate Television is in talks to produce. Said quartet join the previously announced "March to Madness" at FX, which "chronicles the glory and the seedy side of college basketball." Joel Silverman created said hour and is executive producing alongside Pete Segal, Michael Ewing and Dave Miller for FX Productions.
DAMAGES (FX) - Sarah Wynter ("24") is the latest to land an arc on the show's upcoming third season. She'll play a mysterious "security specialist" helping a high-level assistant district attorney (Martin Short) unravel a financial scheme. Full details of course are being kept under wraps. Reiko Aylesworth, Campbell Scott, Keith Carradine and Lily Tomlin are also among the newcomers to the third season, which rolls out in January.
GUESTS OF THE AYATOLLAH (HBO, New!) - Mark Bowden's book, subtitled "The Iran Hostage Crisis, The First Battle in America's War With Militant Islam," is being eyed as a film at the pay channel. Said development comes 30 years "after militant students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and began a 444-day hostage crisis that affected U.S. and global politics." Featured writer Andrea Berloff ("World Trade Center") will pen the adaptation with William Horberg ("The Kite Runner") executive producing. Scott Rudin previously optioned the book for a feature incarnation at Paramount back in 2003 that never materialized.
JACK & DAN (FOX) - Zack Estrin ("Prison Break") has signed on as an executive producer of the upcoming drama, about Jack (Colin Hanks), "an ambitious, by-the-book detective whose habit of undermining himself has resulted in a dead-end position at the Los Angeles Police Department [where] he has been partnered with Dan (Bradley Whitford), a drunken, lecherous, wild-card cop who hangs onto his job only because of a heroic act years before." He'll serve alongside creator Matt Nix on the series, which comes from Fox Television Studios.
RECONSTRUCTION (FX, New!) - "St. Elsewhere" co-creator Joshua Brand and director/producer Peter Horton ("The Philanthropist") are set to team for a new drama at the cable channel set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era. Said hour would focus on Jason, "a proper East Coast gentleman who returns from the war a changed man and seeks refuge in the border state." Brand is writing the script for the project, which will include magical elements, with Horton attached to direct. The pair will also executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters