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[10/20/10 - 07:19 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, October 20
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!


ALABAMA (FX) - Mindy Sterling, Natasha Leggero and Brandon Johnson have all joined the cast of the pilot, "a comedy set a thousand years in the future, aboard the United Nations peacekeeping spaceship: The U.S.S. Alabama." The former will play Doc, the ship's medical officer, with Leggero guesting as Roxy Sexbot and Johnson as an unspecified character. They join co-creators Thomas Lennon as Glen Frenchman, the ship's acting captain, and Robert Ben Garant as #2, a robot who is second in command. FX Productions and Principato-Young Entertainment are co-producing the half-hour, which begins production next month in Los Angeles.


CHLOE (The CW, New!) - Marti Noxon ("Mad Men") has snagged a script order from the network for a new drama about "a young female con artist who dies and returns to earth as a Divine Covert Operator." She'll supervise Jason Fuchs ("Holy Rollers"), who's penning the pilot, and executive produce alongside her production partner Dawn Parouse. No other specifics, including the studio attached, were given.


DEATH VALLEY (MTV) - Bryan Callen ("How I Met Your Mother") has been tapped for the lead role on the upcoming series, "a scripted horror-comedy that captures the exploits of the men and women of the Undead Task Force (UTF) - an elite branch of the LAPD that was formed in 2009 when the San Fernando Valley became overrun by zombies, vampires and werewolves." He'll play Captain Jim Dashell in the half-hour, which also stars Caity Lotz, Charlie Sanders and Tania Raymonde. Austin Reading, Julie Kellman Reading, Eric Weinberg and Tim Healy are the executive producers.


HOUND DOGS (TBS, New!) - Ron Shelton ("Bull Durham") has booked a pilot order from the cable channel for a new baseball drama about "a minor league team and its general manager as they try to handle life's ups and downs, both in and out of the locker room." Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour, which Shelton is writing and executive producing alongside Michele Weisler, Andrea Buchanan and Todd DeLorenzo.


NIKITA (The CW) - Noah Bean ("Damages") has scored a recurring role on the freshman drama. He'll play Ryan Fletcher, a CIA case officer & analyst, on the series, which airs Thursdays at 9:00/8:00c on the netlet. It's not clear when his first episode will air.


PORT LOVE (ABC, New!) - Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa are developing a new comedy at the Alphabet "set at a formerly popular network series and revolves around the cast and crew who have more backstage drama in their lives than in the actual show they're working on." Jeffrey Hodes and Nastaran Dibai ("Rita Rocks") are penning the half-hour, which would star Consuelos and feature Ripa in a recurring role. Consuelos and Ripa, who originated the concept, would then executive produce via their Milojo Productions banner alongside Hodes, Dibai, Albert Bianchini and Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan for ABC Studios.


SECRET CIRCLE (The CW, New!) - Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain ("Lie to Me") are developing a new drama about "a California teen who moves to her mom's hometown of New Salem and discovers that she is a witch." Said hour is based on L.J. Smith's ("The Vampire Diaries") young adult series of the same name with Andrew Miller ("Imaginary Bitches") on board to pen the adaptation. Craft and Fain then will executive produce alongside Alloy Entertainment's Gina Girolamo and Leslie Morgenstein, presumably for Warner Bros. Television.


UNTITLED WHITNEY CUMMINGS PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Comedian/celebrity roaster Whitney Cummings is set to topline a potential new comedy for the network. Said half-hour, from Universal Media Studios, is billed as "a romantic comedy told through the point of view of a decidedly unromantic person" with Cummings writing and executive producing. Scott Stuber of Stuber Productions is also attached as an executive producer.


VANISHING ACT (CBS, New!) - The Eye is looking to bring Thomas Perry's suspense novels, about Jane Whitefield - a "half-white, half-Indian young woman who works as a one-person witness protection program, helping hide people who are in danger," to the small screen. Craig Sweeny ("Medium") is spearheading the hour, which is set up at Carol Mendelsohn Productions and CBS Television Studios. Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz then will executive produce alongside Sweeny.

Here's how publisher Random House details, "Vanishing Act," the first novel in the series: "Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads people out of the wilderness--not the tree-filled variety but the kind created by enemies who want you dead. She is in the one-woman business of helping the desperate disappear. Thanks to her membership in the Wolf Clan of the Seneca tribe, she can fool any pursuer, cover any trail, and then provide her clients with new identities, complete with authentic paperwork. Jane knows all the tricks, ancient and modern; in fact, she has invented several of them herself. So she is only mildly surprised to find an intruder waiting for her when she returns home one day. An ex-cop suspected of embezzling, John Felker wants Jane to do for him what she did for his buddy Harry Kemple: make him vanish. But as Jane opens a door out of the world for Felker, she walks into a trap that will take all her heritage and cunning to escape...."


THE WEDDING BAND (TBS) - Josh Lobis and Darin Moiselle's drama, about "four friends - some are married and some are single, all with day jobs and responsibilities, but they share one thing in common: they are in a wedding band," has been ordered to pilot. The pair penned the hour and are executive producing alongside Tollin Productions's Mike Tollin for FremantleMedia North America.





  [october 2010]  
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· ALABAMA (FX)
· CHLOE (CW)
· DAMAGES (AUDIENCE)
· DEATH VALLEY (MTV)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· HOUND DOGS (TBS)
· HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
· LIE TO ME (FOX)
· MAD MEN (AMC)
· MEDIUM (CBS)
· NIKITA (CW)
· PORT LOVE (ABC)
· RITA ROCKS (LIFETIME)
· SECRET CIRCLE, THE (CW)
· VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE (CW)
· VANISHING ACT (CW)
· WEDDING BAND, THE (TBS)
· WHITNEY (NBC)





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