[10/11/10 - 06:41 PM]
Development Update: Monday, October 11
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

AFTER LATELY (E!, New!) - "Chelsea Lately" host Chelsea Handler is set to topline a new "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-esque series for the network about the backstage goings-on at her talk show. Eight episodes have been ordered for the project, which will feature Guy Branum, Sarah Colonna, Heather McDonald, Chris Franjola and Brad Wollack. Handler will also executive produce via her Borderline Amazing Productions alongside Tom Brunelle. Wollack, who co-created the show with Handler and Brunelle, will serve as a co-executive producer. Production is scheduled to begin later this month for an unspecified premiere date next year.

ALLEN GREGORY (A.K.A. UNTITLED JONAH HILL PROJECT) (FOX) - Jonah Hill's animated comedy, about "a famous seven-year-old who faces the greatest challenge of his life when he has to attend elementary school with regular kids," has received a series order of seven episodes. FOX commissioned a pilot presentation from Hill and co-writers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul ("Yes Man") a year ago. Said half-hour, how dubbed "Allen Gregory," comes from 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment. Katherine Pope and Peter Chernin are executive producing alongside the creators.

BREAKOUT KINGS (A&E) - Robert Knepper is reportedly set to reprise his "Prison Break" character, Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell, in a four-episode arc on the new drama, about ex-cons who are recruited by the government to hunt down fugitives. "Break" alums Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora are behind the series, which also comes from 20th Century Fox Television. No details were given about "T-Bag's" return to the small screen following his re-incarceration in "Break's" final episode.

BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC) - Ryan Devlin ("Cougar Town") has landed an arc on the veteran soap. He'll play "a fun, smart, and precocious grad student in Kitty's (Calista Flockhart) law class," who's billed as a potential love interest. Said run is for at least four episodes.

COURTROOM 302 (ABC, New!) - Steve Bogira's book, subtitled "A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse," is in the works as a potential drama at the Alphabet. No auspices however were indicated. Random House details said book as follows: "Courtroom 302 is the fascinating story of one year in Chicago's Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the busiest felony courthouse in the country. Here we see the system through the eyes of the men and women who experience it, not only in the courtroom but in the lockup, the jury room, the judge's chambers, the spectators' gallery. From the daily grind of the court to the highest-profile case of the year, Steve Bogira's masterful investigation raises fundamental issues of race, civil rights, and justice in America."

THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB (NBC, New!) - Alisa Valdés-Rodríguez's novel is being developed as a potential drama at the Peacock. No details about the auspices involved were released. Here's how publisher St. Martin's Press details the book: "Meet the six unforgettable women who make up The Dirty Girls Social Club: Lauren, the "caliente" columnist for the local Boston paper whose love life is making headlines... Sara, the perfect wife and mother who's got it all but pays a high price... Elizabeth, the stunning black Latina whose TV anchor job conflicts with her intensely private personal life... Amber, the Valley girl who doesn't speak Spanish but is fast becoming a huge rock star en Espanol... Rebecca, hyper-in-command in her glossy magazine world but clueless when it comes to men...and Usnavys, fabulous, larger than life, and at risk of falling head over five-inch Manolos in love.... No matter what happens to each of them, the Girls dish, dine, whine, and compare notes as they try to sort out the bumpy course of life and love. And what a wild ride it is!"

HOLLYWOOD & VINE (A.K.A. UNTITLED DANIEL PYNE NOIR DRAMA) (TNT) - Daniel Pyne's drama for the cable channel has received a cast-contingent pilot order. Newly monikered "Hollywood & Vine," said hour - set in 1954 Los Angeles - revolves around a private eye described as "possessing stoic charm and an uncompromising set of personal values that will let nothing deter him in his search for the truth - even if it means taking on the upper echelons of power in a city balanced precariously between the glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills and the dual threat of organized crime and a corrupt police department." Pyne penned the script and is executive producing for Warner Horizon Television.

MARS DIRECT (NBC, New!) - The Peacock is reportedly developing a new drama about "a mission to the red planet." No specifics beyond that however were given, including any talent involved.

MODERN FAMILY (ABC) - Co-executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh have inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, financial details of which weren't released, keeps the duo on the series for the foreseeable future where they'll also develop new series projects for the studio.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (FOX) - The network's animated take on the 2004 film, about "the misadventures of an awkward high school teenager and his quirky friends as they struggle to navigate life in rural Idaho," has snagged a series order of six episodes. Jon Heder will reprise his role of the title character as are the rest of the original supporting cast. Mike Scully ("The Simpsons") penned the pilot alongside "Dynamite" screenwriters Jared and Jerusha Hess with the trio also executive producing for 20th Century Fox Television.

PATIENT ZERO (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet is looking to bring Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series to the small screen. It's understood a drama is being developed by the network, however no specifics about those involved were given. Here's how St. Martin's Press details the Ledger offering: "When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance...."

TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO) - Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Ed Asner, Tony Shalhoub, James Woods, Dan Hedaya, Cynthia Nixon, Michael O'Keefe, Ayad Akhtar, Kathy Baker, Billy Crudup and Joey Slotnick have all joined the ensemble cast of the telefilm, a docudrama about the 2008 financial crisis. They'll play such real-life fixtures as Ben Bernanke (Giamatti), Warren Buffett (Asner), Barney Frank (Hedaya) and Timothy Geithner (Crudup) alongside the previously cast William Hurt as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Rounding out the group then are Woods as former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld; Baker as Paulson's wife Wendy; Nixon as Paulson's assistant secretary for public affairs Michele Davis; Akhtar as Neel Kashkari, the former head of the Office of Financial Stability; Grace as Jim Wilkinson, a former member of the Bush administration's PR team; O'Keefe as J. Christopher Flowers, a billionaire investor who weathered the economic storm; Shalhoub as former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack; and Slotnick as Geithner's chief of staff Dan Jester. Curtis Hanson is helming the project, production of which begins later this month. Peter Gould wrote the script, using Andrew Ross Sorkin's tome of the same name as basis. Hanson, Paula Weinstein and Jeffrey Levine are the executive producers for Spring Creek Productions.

UNTITLED JOE PORT/JOE WISEMAN PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Joe Port and Joe Wiseman have book a new comedy about the network about "a headstrong patriarch who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family," with each season taking place during one summer vacation. The pair, who were behind the ABC comedy pilot "Who Gets the Parents" this past development cycle, are writing and executive producing for 20th Century Fox Television.

WEEKENDS AT BELLEVUE (NBC, New!) - Julie Holland's memoir is reportedly being eyed as a drama series by the network. Random House, the book's publisher, details it as follows: "Julie Holland thought she knew what crazy was. Then she came to Bellevue. New York City's Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States, has a tradition of "serving the underserved" that dates back to 1736. For nine eventful years, Dr. Holland was the weekend physician in charge of Bellevue's psychiatric emergency room, a one-woman front line charged with assessing and treating some of the city's most vulnerable and troubled citizens, its forgotten and forsaken - and its criminally insane. Deciding who gets locked up and who gets talked down would be an awesome responsibility for most people. For Julie Holland, it was just another day at the office." No writer, producer or studio was indicated.

WHALES (Showtime, New!) - Jenji Kohan and Matthew Salsberg ("Weeds") have set up a new single-camera comedy at the pay channel about "a group of brilliant and quirky young people, some of them Harvard and MIT graduates, who move to Las Vegas to live in a lavish apartment while pursuing the $10 million prize at the World Series of Poker." Lionsgate Television is behind the half-hour, which Kohan and Salsberg will co-write and executive produce via their overall deals.

  [october 2010]  


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