[09/28/10 - 06:56 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, September 28 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DEADLIEST CATCH (Discovery) - Co-stars Johnathan Hillstrand and Andy Hillstrand have departed the Discovery staple over their current legal issues with the network. Discovery is suing the Hillstrand brothers for $3 million in damages after the pair "allegedly failed to live up to an agreement to complete a spin-off project," "Hillstranded." In response, the Hillstrands - and, in a solidarity effort, fellow captain Sig Hansen - won't participate in the upcoming seventh season of "Catch." "We have been through a lot over the past year and unfortunately given the current situation with Discovery we are unable to continue participating in 'Deadliest Catch,'" the trio said in a joint written statement. "It has been a fantastic ride, and we wish the best to all of the amazing and supportive 'Catch' fans we have met over the years."
GHOST ANGELES (NBC, New!) - Rachel Bilson ("The O.C.") is set to topline a potential new dramedy at the Peacock about "a young woman in Los Angeles who can talk to the dead, helping the spirits as much as they are helping her." Josh Schwartz and Henry Alonso Myers are behind the hour, which comes from the former's Warner Bros. Television-based Fake Empire banner. Said effort reportedly has a pilot production commitment despite only being in the pitch phase. The company's Stephanie Savage and Leonard Goldstein will then executive produce alongside Schwartz and Myers, who are set to write the script.
NCIS (CBS) - Catherine Dent ("The Shield") has landed a role on the veteran procedural. She'll play Whitney Sharp, "a former NCIS agent - an educated, bright, and extremely capable [one] who had an eye for talent and a tongue for persuasion back in the day - who shares a past with Ducky [David McCallum]." Her arc, set to run at least two episodes, begins in November.
SMOKERS (FOX, New!)/UNTITLED DEE JOHNSON PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen's Stars Road Entertainment has booked two more drama projects. They'll join the previously announced "Lancaster," about a Scotland yard detective who joins the LAPD, from Andrew Lipsitz at CBS. Newly revealed are "Smokers," about "a documentary crew following working class heroes who exterminate alien threats in deep space," at FOX; and an untitled hour about a top female prosecutor in Los Angeles who's billed as a "female vigilante with a law license." Brian K. Vaughan ("Lost") is behind the former, which is set up at FOX; and Dee Johnson ("The Good Wife") is penning the latter, set up at ABC. Raimi and Donen will then executive produce alongside the aforementioned creators for Sony Pictures Television, where they have a first-look deal.