LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALPHAS (Syfy) - David Strathairn is in talks to topline the drama pilot, about "a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills." He'll play "the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the team: an eccentric, absent-minded professor at times, who is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives." Additionally, Ryan Cartwright has signed onto the project as "a member of the team who has Asperger's syndrome [who] can 'read' wireless transmissions passing through the ether." Jack Bender is helming the 90-minute pilot from a script by Zak Penn and Michael Karnow.
BEING HUMAN (Syfy) - Sam Witwer ("Smallville"), Meaghan Rath ("The Assistants") and Sam Huntington ("Cavemen") have reportedly been cast in the principal roles of the upcoming drama, a domestic take on the popular U.K. soap about supernatural roommates. Witwer will play vampire Aidan with Rath as ghost Molly and Huntington as werewolf Josh. Anna Fricke, Chris Coelen and Jeremy Carver are the executive producers.
BREAKING IN (FOX) - The network has asked for two additional scripts for the Christian Slater/Bret Harrison-led comedy pilot, about a group of twentysomething geniuses who are tasked with cracking security systems. Said order will give FOX extra time to mull a potential midseason order for the project, which comes from creator Adam F. Goldberg and director Seth Gordon. Producer Sony Pictures Television is expected to extend the options on Slater and Harrison while FOX makes a decision.
CINEMA VERITE (HBO) - Lolita Davidovich and Kathleen Quinlan are the latest additions to the pay channel's behind-the-scenes look at the making of the groundbreaking 1973 PBS documentary series "An American Family." Quinlan will play Mary, "one of Patty Loud's (Diane Lane) best friends who introduces Patty to producer Gilbert Craig (James Gandolfini) and talks her into letting her family be the subject of his documentary." Davidovich then is set as "Patty Loud's sexy and fashionable best friend, whom Patty accuses of having an affair with her husband Bill (Tim Robbins)." Also signing on are Willam Belli and Nick Eversman in unspecified roles. Caitlin Custer, Patrick Fugit, Shanna Collins and Thomas Dekker also star.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - Janeane Garofalo is in negotiations to join the franchise's planned spin-off, about an elite team of agents within the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit who use unconventional methods of investigation and aggressive tactics to capture the nation's most nefarious criminals. No details were given about her character, a new addition to the team.
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS) - Franchise shepherds Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue have inked massive four-year overall deals with CBS Television Studios. Said pacts, financial details of which weren't specified, will keep them at the helms of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "CSI: Miami," respectively, for the foreseeable future. Mendelsohn will likewise do the same for the upcoming drama "The Defenders."
DEXTER (Showtime) - Departing showrunner Clyde Phillips has inked a two-year overall deal with Lionsgate Television. There he'll develop new series projects for the studio, both comedies and dramas. Specifics about the financials however weren't released.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (NBC) - Andre Holland has joined the cast of the midseason comedy, about a group of twenty-something singles as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating. He'll play Hoon, an oversexed personal trainer. Ian Reed Kesler originated the role in the pilot and was subsequently recast.
THE HARD LIFE (CMT) - Steve Hytner ("Seinfeld") has landed a role on the comedy pilot, about parents Bobby (Matthew Lillard) and Gina (Gillian Vigman) as they struggle with modern vs. old school parenting. He'll play Bobby's father as seen in 1974 flashbacks: "your typically strict 60's/70's dad - unwavering, no-nonsense and blunt, with a kids-should-be-seen-and-not-heard perspective on parenting." Bill Diamond is behind the single-camera half-hour.
LONESTAR (FOX) - Peter Horton has joined the freshman drama as an executive producer. There he'll serve as in-house director on the series, including helming the show's second and 13th episodes. Kyle Killen is behind the hour, which is also executive produced by Kerry Kohansky, Paul Weitz, Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman. In addition, Horton has inked a premium script commitment with FOX and producer 20th Century Fox Television and will also direct a pilot for the pair next season.
THE OFFICE (NBC) - Co-star Steve Carell has reaffirmed his decision to depart the series after the upcoming seventh season. "I think [season] 7 will be my last year," he told EW.com during the premiere of his new animated film, "Despicable Me." "I want to fulfill my contract. I think it's a good time to move on." Earlier this year the actor indicated during a BBC radio interview that next season "would probably" be his last.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters