[11/30/10 - 06:13 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, November 30 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALCATRAZ (FOX) - Sarah Jones ("Sons of Anarchy") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about "a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day [and] the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance 30 years prior." She'll play Rebecca Madsen, "a smart, thoughtful and a little obsessive police officer," in the hour, which also stars Jorge Garcia. Danny Cannon is helming the Bad Robot Productions/Warner Bros. Television-based hour from a script by Bryan Wynbrandt, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Steven Lilien.
LAST COMIC STANDING (NBC) - Natasha Leggero, who served as a judge on the veteran competition series this past season, has inked a talent holding deal with the network. Said pact calls for NBC to develop a series project around the actress or cast her in one of its existing efforts.
TORCHWOOD (Starz) - Kelly A. Manners ("Dollhouse") has joined the show's fourth season as a producer. Julie Gardner and Russell T. Davies are behind the project, production of which begins next month for a summer premiere.
UNTITLED HILARY SWANK PROJECT (The CW, New!) - Oscar-winner Hilary Swank is developing a new unscripted series at the netlet, "a studio-based game show in which self-described fashion diehards will be tested on their knowledge of style and fashion, with one winning fashionista earning big prizes." Swank's 2S Films is behind the project, which would be co-produced by Reveille. Swank and Molly Smith are the executive producers.
UNTITLED IDINA MENZEL PROJECT (ABC, Ne!) - Idina Menzel ("Glee") is set to topline a potential drama at the Alphabet about "a single mother of a teenager who, to make ends meet, waits tables and performs at weddings and bar mitzvahs." Bob Kushell ("Samantha Who?") is behind the hour, which has been set up at ABC Studios. David Knoller ("Big Love") is also on board to executive produce the hour while Menzel and her manager Heather Reynolds will reach receive producing credits.
UNTITLED JUDY SMITH PROJECT (ABC, New!) - The career of legendary public-relations consultant Judy Smith is set to be the focus of a potential new drama at the network from Shonda Rhimes. Smith is widely credited as the woman "who's helped guide Bill Clinton, Michael Vick, and New York Governor David Paterson through various scandals and snafus." As for the series, the untitled project would follow the life and work of a professional fixer and her dysfunctional staff. Rhimes is writing the script and will executive produce via her ABC Studios-based Shondaland banner. Separately, Rhimes is also developing "Life After Marriage," "a comedic drama that uses a divorce as the starting point for a show about new lives." Danny Brocklehurst (U.K.'s "Shameless") is penning the hour which Rhimes will likewise executive produce.
UNTITLED PETER MURRIETA PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Peter Murrieta ("Wizards of Waverly Place") is developing a new multi-camera comedy at the Peacock about "a hipster, who is a first-generation Mexican American, being pulled into his family's business and will focus on the dichotomy of his traditional past and his 'hip and cool' new life." Said half-hour was conceived alongside Eddie Gorodetsky ("The Big Bang Theory") for Universal Media Studios and 3 Arts Entertainment. Jamie Widdoes ("Two and a Half Men") is attached to direct.
UNTITLED ROBERT HORN PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Robert Horn (Disney's "Sharpay Fabulous") has snagged a script commitment from the Alphabet for a potential new half-hour billed as a "female-driven musical comedy." Lindy Ascher and Susan Cartsonis ("Beastly") originated the show's concept and will executive produce alongside Horn for Sony Pictures Television.