LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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187 DETROIT (ABC) - Newcomer John Michael Hill is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about "a fictional documentary crew that follows a top homicide division." He'll play Det. Damon Washington, a rookie cop who's also an expectant father. Jeff Nachmanoff is helming the ABC Studios-based hour from a script by Jason Richman. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films also serve as executive producers.
AWKWARD SITUATIONS FOR MEN (ABC) - Tony Hale ("Chuck") and Matt Letscher ("Eli Stone") have both joined the cast of the Danny Wallace-led comedy pilot, about his experience "moving to the U.S. with his wife, Meg, only to discover that his everyday behavior clashes with American values and gets him into trouble." Hale will play Will MacDonald, Danny's first American friend and a travel writer who never seems to travel, while Letscher is set as Bob Randall, Meg's insecure ex-boyfriend whom she works with at the corporate headquarters of a smoothie giant. Wallace co-wrote the half-hour alongside Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo for Warner Bros. Television and Heyday Films.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - Matt Ryan ("The Tudors") is on track to join the cast of the potential spin-off, about "a new group of profilers who work outside the FBI bureaucracy." He'll reportedly play Mick Fleming, "a Cambridge-educated British ex-Mercenary, formerly of the British Special Forces, an expert sniper and a ladies man." Forest Whitaker also stars in the hour, which Richard Shepard is directing from a script by Chris Mundy and Ed Bernero. ABC Studios, CBS Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company are co-producing.
EMERGENCY SEX (HBO, New!) - Maria Bello, Simon Beaufoy and Russell Crowe are developing a new drama at the pay channel about "the larger-than-life exploits of expatriate nongovernment-organization workers who find their sanity tested in the face of atrocities, loneliness and primal desires." The Beaufoy-penned hour is based on Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson's memoir, "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth." Bello would also star in the project as well as executive produce alongside Beaufoy, Crowe, John Carrabino and Keith Rodger. No other details were given.
GLORY DAZE (TBS, New!) - Walt Becker ("Wild Hogs") and Michael LeSieur ("You, Me and Dupree") have scored a cast-contingent pilot commitment from the cable channel for a new hourlong comedy about "the lives of four incoming freshman in the 1980s who pledge a fraternity at a Wisconsin college." The pair co-wrote the project with Becker likewise attached to direct.
HOW TO BE A BETTER AMERICAN (ABC, New!) - Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley ("Scrubs") have scored their second pilot commitment, this time for a single-camera half-hour at ABC. Said project, from ABC Studios, centers on "a father who, in this case, embarks on a journey to be a better person and drags his family kicking and screaming along." The pair, who also have their redo of "This Little Piggy" at NBC, penned the effort and are executive producing.
JERSEY SHORE (MTV) - The cable channel has finalized a deal to renew the series for a second season. 12 new episodes are set to roll out this summer. To avoid the New Jersey winter however, production will be shifted to another location with Miami Beach believed to be a frontrunner. "Our audience has fallen in love with 'Jersey Shore' and its amazing cast who have really grown together as a family," MTV programming chief Tony DiSanto said about the pickup. "That bond gives the show its heart, and we're thrilled to reunite these friends to bring fans more of what they love - laughs, love, drama and of course, GTL."
LINCOLN HEIGHTS (ABC Family) - The network has reportedly passed on ordering a fifth season of the veteran drama, about "the lives of the Sutton family, led by Eddie, an ambitious police officer who moved his wife and three kids to the inner-city neighborhood where he was raised in hopes of cleaning it up and making a difference." No specific reason was given for the decision. Said move comes the same day the cable channel ordered its multi-camera comedy pilot "Melissa & Joey" to series.
MR. SUNSHINE (ABC) - Emmy-winner Allison Janney ("The West Wing") has joined the cast of the Matthew Perry-led comedy pilot, about "the manager of an aging San Diego stadium who realizes on his 40th birthday that he can no longer get by on just his charming, noncommittal ways." She'll play Crystal Cohen, his boss at said arena, in the project, which comes from Sony Pictures Television. Perry co-wrote the half-hour alongside Alex Barnow and Marc Firek while Tommy Schlamme is attached to direct. Jamie Tarses also serves as an executive producer.
PARKS & RECREATION (NBC) - The Peacock has given an early third season pickup to the Thursday comedy. The Hollywood Reporter indicates said renewal is being "done strictly for production reasons to lock in actors' schedules." "Parks" is the least-watched of the network's comedy lineup, which also includes "Community," "The Office" and "30 Rock." All three are likewise expected to return for the 2010-11 season.
UNTITLED DANA GOULD PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Comedian Dana Gould is set to topline a potential new multi-camera comedy at the Alphabet. The untitled half-hour, which Gould also wrote, revolves around "a guidance counselor at a local high school and father to two young children, who is caught between his father's old school parenting beliefs and his wife's very progressive ideals." Warner Bros. Television and 3 Arts Entertainment are behind the project, which Gould will executive produce alongside Tom Lassally and Dave Becky.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters