[07/22/10 - 06:07 PM] Development Update: Thursday, July 22 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALPHAS (Syfy) - Warren Christie ("October Road") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. He'll play Christian Hicks, "a new recruit on the team with a history of psychological problems, drug abuse and an anti-authoritarian streak whose Alpha skill is hyperkinesis - near-perfect dexterity and hand/eye coordination." David Strathairn and Ryan Cartwright also star in the 90-minute project, which Jack Bender is directing from a script by Michael Karnow and Zak Penn.
BLUE BLOODS (CBS) - Andrea Roth ("Rescue Me") is set to recur on the freshman drama, about a family of cops in New York City. She'll play co-star Selleck's reporter love interest in the project, a role originated by Wendy Moniz in the pilot. No reason was given for the change.
BURN NOTICE (USA) - Jeff Wachtel, the network's programming chief, announced at the show's panel at the San Diego Comic-Con, a two-hour prequel film has been ordered for the franchise. Said effort will track Bruce Campbell's character, Sam Axe, on his final mission in South America before retiring from the military. Executive producer Matt Nix hopes to film the project in South America however no other production details have been confirmed.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) - Emily Bergl ("Men in Trees") is reportedly close to booking a recurring role on the veteran soap. She'd play Beth, "the fragile soul who married Paul (Mark Moses) while he was behind bars." No other specifics were given.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (NBC) - Zach Cregger ("The Whitest Kids U'Know") has been added 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 Aaron, "a nerdy but cute hopeless romantic who is worth $12 million after selling an algorithm to Google." Fran Kranz originated the role in the pilot. The news completes the recasting on the series: Andre Holland was likewise brought on to replace Ian Reed Kesler as Hoon.
HISTORY OF MUSIC (HBO, New!) - "Boardwalk Empire" collaborators Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter are developing a new drama at the pay channel which follows two friends through 40 years in the music business, from the early days of R&B to contemporary hip-hop. Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger originated the concept, which was eyed as a feature film at Paramount with Scorsese directing from a script by William Monahan ("The Departed"). HBO subsequently approached the studio about bringing it to the small screen. Winter then will pen the pilot script with Scorsese directing. Jagger and his Jagged Films partner Victoria Pearman will executive produce alongside the duo.
LIE TO ME (FOX) - Monique Curnen ("The Unusuals") is set to recur on the show's third season. She'll play Detective Wallowski, "a great cop with a street edge and a fast subversive mind who becomes a sexual interest for Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth), and drives a wedge between him and Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams)."
MAD MEN (AMC) - The cable channel and producer Lionsgate Television are reportedly close to a long-term renewal of their Emmy-winning drama. Currently under contract through its fifth season, said pickup would take the series through at least season six - due in 2012. It's understood Lionsgate wants to lock up the series as soon as possible in order to begin negotiations with creator Matthew Weiner, whose deal with the studio is up after the upcoming season.
OFF THE MAP (ABC) - Rachelle Lefevre has joined the cast of the midseason drama, about doctors in a tiny town in the South American jungle which has one understaffed, under-stocked medical clinic. She'll play a new staff member however no details were given about her character.
TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - Joe Manganiello has been upped to series regular for the show's fourth season, due next year. The actor recurs as werewolf Alcide Herveaux in its current season, which wraps on September 12.