[12/02/10 - 06:19 PM] Development Update: Thursday, December 2 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CLEAN HOUSE (Style) - Tempestt Bledsoe has been tapped as the new host of the veteran makeover series, in which cluttered households clean up their mess. She'll replace outgoing host Niecy Nash when new episodes resume on Wednesday, January 26 at 10:00/9:00c.
COUGAR TOWN (ABC) - Co-creator Bill Lawrence is reportedly in talks to ink an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. The new pact, which would see the prolific writer/producer develop new series projects for the studio, would spell the end of his decade-long residence at ABC Studios (also home to his long-running "Scrubs"). Lawrence however isn't expected to depart "Cougar Town" and will presumably continue as an executive producer.
DEAR ANNIE (FOX, New!) - Procter & Gamble and Walmart have booked their fourth "Family Movie Night" production, this time at FOX. Casting is underway on the project, about "a relationship counselor and an old friend of hers, a recent widower, who pretend to be married to curry favors from a media mogul." No auspices however were given. Production is slated to begin at the beginning of January in New Mexico. The companies' three previous efforts - "Secrets of the Mountain," "The Jensen Project" and "A Walk in My Shoes" - were all based at NBC, the latter of which airs this Friday.
MORTIFIED (ABC, New!) - David Nadelberg's quirky stage show, in which "performers - both professional and amateur - dig through their childhood diaries and journals to share the most embarrassing, cringe-inducing memories from their youth," is being developed as a comedy at the Alphabet. Mark Rizzo is penning the half-hour, which has been set up at Sony Pictures Television. Studio-based producers Jamie Tarses and Julia Franz then will executive produce alongside Rizzo. Nadelberg and "Mortified" co-producer Neil Katcher, who have subsequently spawned a web site and a series of books based on the concept, are also on board as consultants.
PARKS & RECREATION (NBC) - Co-creator Michael Schur has confirmed only 16 episodes of the series will be produced this season. The reduced number is tied to the show's late start this season - Thursday, January 20 at 9:30/8:30c, instead of the fall. It's understood lead-in "The Office" will have the same number of originals yet to air on said date.
PERCEPTION (TNT) - Kelly Rowan ("The O.C.") has snagged a role on the drama pilot, about Dr. Geoffrey Pierce (Eric McCormack), "an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex cases." She'll play Pierce's best friend and intellectual equal in the ABC Studios-based project, which also stars Arjay Smith and Rachael Leigh Cook. Alan Poul is directing the hour from a script by Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman.
UNTITLED CHRISTOPHER MOYNIHAN PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Actor/writer Christopher Moynihan ("100 Questions") has booked a potential comedy at the Alphabet about "a group of guys all at a different stages in their romantic relationships." Said half-hour comes from ABC Studios where Moynihan recently inked an overall deal. Tagline Television's Ron West and Kelly Kulchak will also serve as executive producers.
VEEP (HBO) - Anna Chlumsky ("In the Loop") has joined the cast of the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-led comedy pilot, about a former Senator (Louis-Dreyfus) who becomes Vice President. She'll play Amy, "her responsible and insecure chief of staff." Armando Iannucci is behind the project, which he's writing and directing.
WILFRED (FX) - Dorian Brown (ABC Family's "Roommates") has joined the cast of the upcoming comedy, about Ryan (Elijah Wood) "an introvert who struggles to find social and professional happiness," until he meets Wilfred, whom the world sees as a dog but he sees as a man dressed in a dog suit (Jason Gann). She'll play Ryan's "controlling and condescending older sister, an obstetrician," a role originated by Andrea Savage in the pilot. Fiona Gublemann also stars as Jenna, Ryan's attractive next door neighbor and owner of Wilfred. Randall Einhorn directed the pilot from a script by David Zuckerman.