[04/05/10 - 12:08 AM] Development Update: Monday, April 5 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE GAME (The CW) - BET is reportedly close to a deal to revive the CW comedy after nearly a year of negotiations. Director/producer Salim Akil will apparently take over as showrunner with creator Mara Brock Akil, who currently serves as a consulting producer on ABC's "Cougar Town," likewise serving as executive producer. No details on cast, episode order, target date, etc. were given however a formal announcement is expected as early as next week. BET will license the series from CBS Television Studios and take the lead on production.
HMS (The CW) - Dejan Loyola ("The Troop") has joined the ensemble cast of the drama pilot, about a group of bright students at Harvard Medical School. He'll play one of them, presumably Krisha, "a genial, happy-go-lucky Indian-American uber geek" who helps everyone with their technical questions. Ali Ahn, Jai Rodriguez, Megan Boone, Sarah Jones, Steven Strait and Tasso Feldman co-star in the Amy Holden Jones-penned project, which is set up at CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television.
MY NAME IS EARL (NBC) - Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, a former co-executive producer on the series, has inked a new two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios. The pact, financial details of which were not given, calls for the writer/producer to develop new series projects for the studio as well as serve on one of its existing properties next season. Sanchez-Witzel recently completed a stint as a co-executive producer on the Peacock's upcoming "100 Questions," which will run on Thursday nights this summer.
NEXT (NBC) - Duane Martin ("All of Us") has booked a role on the Paul Reiser-led comedy pilot, a semi-autobiographical look at "the former television star and family man dealing with life's day-to-day conundrums." He's on board as his friend, a restaurant owner. Amy Landecker co-stars in the half-hour, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television. Reiser himself penned the script.
OUR SHOW (NBC) - Tyler James Williams ("Everybody Hates Chris") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about a group of sci-fi fanboys in a small town who shoot their own version of a canceled TV show. His character wasn't specified. Also featured in the ensemble are Dan Bakkedahl, Jonathan Sadowski, Lauren Weedman, Mahaley Hessam, Maria Thayer, Nate Corddry and P.J. Byrne. Larry Charles is behind the project, which is being co-produced by Warner Bros. Television and Wonderland Sound and Vision.
TEAM SPITZ (CBS) - Jonathan Slavin is the fourth "Better Off Ted" co-star to land a pilot, in this case a multi-camera comedy about Jeff Spitz (Rob Riggle), a bombastic high school football coach. He'll play Ken Oberdorffer ("mid-thirties, slight, outwardly bookish but fiercely passionate"), the head of the school's arts education who's always losing funding to Spitz and the athletic department. Slavin's casting is in second position to "Ted," which is considered a longshot at best to return. Bob Odenkirk also stars in the project, which Ted Wass is directing from a script by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff. CBS Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television are co-producing.
WRIGHT VS. WRONG (ABC) - Tisha Campbell-Martin ("Rita Rocks") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about Evelyn Wright (Debra Messing), "a conservative pundit who happens to be one of the most polarizing figures in America." She'll play Gail Donart, Evelyn's clothes, hair and makeup stylist - "Gail is Tara Reid twenty years from now. Loves Vegas. Can't name the vice president but knows all Brangelina's kids." Carrie Fisher, Cheryl Hines, Melissa Rauch and Patrick Fugit also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which Andy Fickman is directing from a script by Stephanie Weir.