[04/20/10 - 12:08 AM] Development Update: Tuesday, April 20 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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COPS (FOX) - The network has ordered a 23rd season of its Saturday mainstay. The series - which is approaching its 800th episode - currently averages 5.0 million viewers each week, including a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. To date the John Langley-produced franchise has shown 2,044 arrests across 140 U.S. cities.
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS) - Co-star Laurence Fishburne has reupped his deal with the series to return for the 2010-11 season. The actor joined the series two seasons ago as the replacement for William Petersen's character. Said pact, at the time, was valued as "one of the richer casting deals on TV." No financial specifics however were given.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (DirecTV) - Gil McKinney ("ER") has landed a six-episode arc on the show's upcoming fifth season. He'll play "a smart and attractive graduate teaching assistant in a college history department who is married, but, with his wife away on sabbatical, he strikes up a relationship with Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) that will become more than professional."
FRINGE (FOX) - Executive producer Jeff Pinkner has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. The pact covers his duties as day-to-day showrunner on the series, which was recently renewed for a third season, as well as develop new series projects for the studio. J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and J.H. Wyman also serve as executive producers on the series.
THE GREAT ESCAPE (TNT, New!) - Imagine Television and Fox Television Studios are set to team for a potential reality series that "challenges contestants to escape from big-screen-inspired situations." A pilot has already been shot for the project, in which "teams are dropped off blindfolded in a different extreme environment - lost in the desert, trapped in the mountains, locked in a prison, marooned on an island - and must figure their way out through multiple stages and escape to win a cash prize." Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Justin Hochberg are executive producing.
LIVIN' ON A PRAYER (CBS) - Brandon Hardesty ("American Pie Presents: The Book of Love") has booked the final principal role on the comedy pilot, about a Pittsburgh couple (Kyle Bornheimer, Lindsay Sloane) who are dating - and mulling the next stage of their relationship. He'll play PK, the brother/co-worker of Sloane's character who's "super enthusiastic about life because the world has yet to kick him on the teeth." Jaime Pressly and Joe Manganiello also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which comes from co-creators Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Joe Kelly and Kourtney Kang. Pamela Fryman directs.
OPEN BOOKS (CBS) - Aisha Tyler and Scott Foley have each landed roles on the comedy pilot, about June Gage (Laura Benanti), a book editor at a boutique New York publishing house. She'll play Lydia, June's "best friend, libidinous, glamorous, waitress-actress." Foley, who's attached as a regular on the ABC drama pilot "True Blue," then will guest star as Dylan Fargo ("scruffy-hot, eternally bemused"), a writer who once had a fling with June. Kevin Rahm and Patti LuPone also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based comedy, which James Burrows is directing from a script by Gail Lerner.
TERRA NOVA (FOX) - Brannon Braga has reportedly been tapped as the showrunner of Steven Spielberg's much-ballyhooed sci-fi drama, about "a family from 100 years in the future who travel back in time 150 million years to prehistoric Earth ruled by dinosaurs." The project, which is being eyed for a direct-to-series commitment, was penned by Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel with Spielberg attached to executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan, Peter Chernin, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Katherine Pope. Last month, Braga inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with "Nova" producer 20th Century Fox Television.
UNTITLED JAMIE FOXX PROJECT (FOX) - Erica Ash, Eric Andre, Kyle Dunnigan and Dana DeLorenzo have all been cast in the Jamie Foxx-produced sketch comedy pilot. They'll join the previously cast Affion Crockett. Tantamount, Foxx King Entertainment and Fox Television Studios are all behind the project, which is executive produced by Foxx, Adam Small, Fax Bahr, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Marcus King and Jaime Rucker King. Small, Bahr, Crockett and Carl Jones are the writers.