[06/14/10 - 09:08 PM] Development Update: Monday, June 14 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ARMY WIVES (Lifetime) - Gabrielle Union ("FlashForward") has joined the cast of the show's proposed spin-off, in which Pamela (Brigid Brannagh) returns to her old job as an Atlanta cop. She'll play Gina Holt, her new partner in the project, which will be set up via a backdoor pilot episode later this season. Bruce Zimmerman and T.D. Mitchell are penning said installment and will executive produce alongside Mark Gordon, Deborah Spera, Jeff Melvoin, Marshall Persinger and Harry Bring should it move forward to series.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - Producers have reportedly passed on co-star A.J. Cook's option for a sixth season while Paget Brewster is being demoted from full-time status. Details on Cook's departure weren't specified other than talks are underway for her to return for several episodes to give her character a swan song. As for Brewster, should a deal be worked out, the actress will formally continue as a regular but not appear in every episode.
EDGAR FLOATS (ABC) - Co-stars Tom Cavanagh, Alicia Witt, Derek Webster, Alex Solowitz and Raoul Trujillo have all been cut from the drama pilot, which is being overhauled as part of a six-script order by the network. Said changes leave Robert Patrick as the sole remaining regular from its original incarnation. A new pilot will then be shot should it land a series commitment for midseason. No details on how the series is being reconceived were given. Rand Ravich is behind the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which was helmed by Jace Alexander.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (DirecTV) - Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch and Zach Gilford have all signed on to guest star on the show's upcoming fifth season. Palicki is expected to appear in the last two episodes, while Kitsch on board for the final four. Zach Gilford is likewise set for four installments, including the potential series finale. The trio join Scott Porter, who was previously on board for one episode, while talks are underway with Jesse Plemons to reprise his role.
THE LINE (CBS) - Writer/director Michael Dinner has inked a two-year overall deal with producer Sony Pictures Television. The pact calls for Dinner, who's been based at the studio for the past five years, to continue developing new series projects as well as direct any resulting efforts. Said deal is exclusive only to Dinner's development, leaving him free to direct outside properties.
LOVE BITES (NBC) - Marc Buckland, who directed the show's pilot, has sealed a one-year overall deal with producer Universal Media Studios. The pact covers his services as executive producer on the freshman series as well as calls for him to pen a pilot script for the studio. He also could potentially helm one of Universal's other projects in development.
THE MIRACULOUS YEAR (HBO) - Eddie Redmayne, Norbert Leo Butz, Hope Davis, Frank Langella and Patti LuPone are all in talks to star in the drama pilot, which comes from Tony-winning playwright/Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan. Said hour revolves around a family of New York artists as seen through the eyes of one of them, Terry Segal (Butz), "a charismatic, self-destructive Broadway composer and lyricist." Langella then would play his father Alex, "a famous painter and imposing figure who is beginning to feel the effects of aging," with Davis as Terry's sister Mandy Vance, "a corporate lawyer who has never quite made it to the top tier and has always lived in the shadows of her famous father." Meanwhile, Redmayne is being eyed for "a captivating and sexy singer/dancer in Terry's new show who will come to play a major part in Terry's life" with LuPone in a recurring role as "a Broadway diva." Kathryn Bigelow is helming the hour and executive producing alongside Logan and Lydia Pilcher.
NCIS (CBS) - Michael Weatherly has closed his deal to return for the show's eighth season. Said development leaves Sean Murray as the sole principal cast member without a deal for the new season. Co-stars Pauley Perrette and David McCallum likewise are on board for season eight following protracted negotiations with producer CBS Television Studios. As for Murray, it's understood both parties are optimistic he'll also eventually be re-signed.
UNDERCOVERS (NBC) - Mekia Cox ("90210") has joined the cast of the upcoming J.J. Abrams-produced series. She'll take over as Lizzy, the sister of Gugu Mbatha-Raw's character with whom she works at a catering company. Cox takes over for Jessica Parker Kennedy who played the role in the original pilot. No reason was given for the recasting.