[01/28/11 - 11:11 PM] Development Update: Friday, January 28 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AWAKENING (The CW, New!) - Bill Laurin and Glenn Davis ("The Listener") have sold a script for a potential drama at the netlet about "two combative sisters who come of age amid the beginning of a zombie uprising." Reveille's Howard T. Owens, Carolyn Bernstein and Todd Cohen are also on board to executive produce alongside the duo for Warner Bros. Television.
BAD MOM (ABC, New!) - British actress/writer Sharon Horgan ("Pulling") has scored a pilot commitment from the Alphabet for a new comedy about Julia, a single mother of two, who's forced to actually raise her kids once her mother, Marian - who had been filling said void, decides she wants her life back. Horgan penned the single-camera project and is also expected to co-star as Linda, a fellow mom who frequently comes to Julia's aid. ABC Studios is producing while Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan will executive produce alongside Horgan.
BIG MIKE (A&E) - Greg Grunberg ("Heroes") has been tapped for the title role on the drama pilot, about Sergeant Mike O'Bannon, "a force of nature in the San Diego PD" who is also "plus-sized in a world where being plus-sized is a minus." His casting, technically in second position to his duties on NBC's yet-to-launch "Love Bites," lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. Ed Decter and John Strauss co-wrote the Sony Pictures Television-based hour. Doug Robinson of Happy Madison Productions also serves as an executive producer.
BONES (FOX) - Geoff Stults ("Happy Town") has been tapped to play Walter Sherman in the show's proposed spin-off, about a former military policeman (Stults) who can find anything. "The Finder," the show's 17th installment this season, will serve as the backdoor pilot for the project, which also features Sherman's partners Leo Martinez (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Ike Latulippe (yet to be cast). Hart Hanson penned the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour based on Richard Greener's "The Locator" novels.
THE DOCTOR (CBS) - Pilot wunderkind David Nutter is set to helm the drama pilot, about a mother who reconnects with her adult children when she joins the family medical practice. Rina Mimoun penned the hour, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television. Nutter has directed 16 pilots in the past 16 years - beginning in 1995 with FOX's "Space: Above and Beyond" and most recently with NBC's "Chase" - all of which have gone to series.
DON'T TRUST THE BITCH IN APT. 23 (ABC) - Dreama Walker ("The Good Wife") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about June, "an earnest, honest, optimistic girl from the heartland who, due to circumstances beyond her control, is forced to move in with Chloe (yet to be cast), a sexy, unstable New York City party girl who has the morals of a pirate." Nahnatchka Khan penned the half-hour, which Jason Winer is directing. 20th Century Fox Television is producing.
EDEN (USA) - Camille Guaty ("Cupid") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about John Sparks (Nick D'Agosto), "a young hotel worker who, with the help of his escaped con artist cousin Eddie (Enver Gjokaj), gets a job as the concierge at an elite NYC hotel." She'll play Kelly Dimeo, "a strong-willed, hard-working single mother who's carved out a career in real estate support her five-year-old son." Both John and Eddie share a romantic history with Kelly, a point of friction between the two. Jace Alexander is directing the Universal Cable Productions-based project from a script by co-creators Ken and Mary Hanes.
FAMILY ALBUM (FOX) - Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum") has signed on to direct the comedy pilot, about "a headstrong patriarch who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family." He'll also executive produce the half-hour, which comes from co-creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, via his 20th Century Fox Television-based 21 Laps-Adelstein Productions.
GRIMM (NBC, New!) - "Angel" alums David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf have booked a fantasy cop drama at the Peacock revolving around characters from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Said hour, which has a pilot commitment, is set up at Universal Media Studios with Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills also executive producing.
HAPPILY DIVORCED (TV Land) - Rita Moreno, Robert Walden and Tichina Arnold are the newest additions to the comedy pilot, which stars Fran Drescher as "a woman who re-enters the dating scene after finding out her husband is gay." Arnold will play her best friend Judi with Moreno and Walden as Fran's parents, Dori and Glen. Drescher co-wrote the half-hour alongside Peter Marc Jacobsen.
HOME GAME (CBS, New!) - The life of retired NFL star Mark Schlereth is set to be the focus of a potential comedy at the Eye. Warren Bell and Christopher J. Nowak ("According to Jim") penned the half-hour - about "a retired NFL player who returns home to his wife and daughters," which has a pilot order from the network. Closest to the Hole Productions' Mark Wahlberg and Leverage's Stephen Levinson ("Entourage") are also on board to executive produce the CBS Television Studios-based project with Schlereth, his wife Lisa and daughter Alexandria as well as Peter Sussman receiving producing credits. Bell, Wahlberg and Levinson then will executive produce with Nowak serving as a co-executive producer.
HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (CBS, New!) - David Hornsby ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") is set to star, write and executive produce a potential comedy for the Eye about "an uptight guy learning to live his life with the help of his old high school classmate." Said half-hour is loosely based on John Bridges's book of the same, subtitled "A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy." CBS Television Studios and Media Rights Capital are co-producing. The latter's Ted Schachter will also executive produce.
LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES (NBC) - Alana De La Garza is set to reprise her role of Connie Rubirosa on the spin-off, where she'll serve as the incoming A.D.A. alongside D.D.A. Jonah Dekker (Terrence Howard). Her casting completes the previously announced overhaul of the series, which will see Alfred Molina's Ricardo Morales transition from a prosecutor to a detective, filling the void of the departing Skeet Ulrich as TJ Jaruszalski's (Corey Stoll) partner. "I hope fans of the 'mothership' will be happy to see the return of Alana's character, Connie Rubirosa, one of the longest-running assistant prosecutors on Law & Order," executive producer Dick Wolf said in a statement. "Alana has a huge following and it will be interesting to follow her character as she comes to terms with Los Angeles justice."
LOCKE & KEY (FOX) - Skylar Gaertner and Harrison Thomas have both landed roles on the drama pilot, about a family's attempt to rebuild by moving in with their deceased father's brother at the family homestead in Maine, where they discover doorways with decidedly spectral qualities. The former will play Bode, the youngest of the Locke clan, with Thomas as Sam Lesser, a troubled teen possessed by an evil spirit. Miranda Otto, Nick Stahl and Sarah Bolger also star in the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television, DreamWorks Television and K.O. Paper Products. Mark Romanek is directing from a script by Josh Friedman.
MY FRICKIN' FAMILY (ABC, New!) - Erica Rivinoja ("South Park") has landed a pilot order from the network for a new comedy about "a couple with a new baby and the culture clashes between its four very different grandparents." The single-camera project is set up at ABC Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners with the latter's Peter Traugott also serving as an executive producer.
PARTNERS (ABC) - Yves Simoneau ("V") has been tapped to direct the pilot, "a police drama centered on two female police detectives who are fiercely loyal to one another since they're also secretly sisters." ABC Studios is producing the hour, which was penned by Edward Allen Bernero.
PLAYBOY (NBC) - Alan Taylor ("Mad Men") has signed on to direct the pilot, a period drama set at a Chicago Playboy club in the 1960s. He'll work from a script by Chad Hodge. Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo are also executive producing for 20th Century Fox Television.
SUBURGATORY (ABC) - Michael Fresco ("Better Off Ted") is set to direct the comedy pilot, about a teenage girl who is moved from the big city to her version of hell: the suburbs. Emily Kapnek penned the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour and is executive producing.
UNTITLED AARON SORKIN PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Aaron Sorkin's much ballyhooed drama spec has found a home at the pay channel, which has commissioned a pilot. Said hour, set behind the scenes of a nightly cable news show, is to be executive produce by Sorkin and Scott Rudin ("The Social Network"). No other specifics were given.
UNTITLED COLIN COWHERD PROJECT (CBS) - Bill Martin and Mike Schiff's comedy, inspired by the life of ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd, is moving forward to the pilot stage. CBS Television Studios is producing the half-hour, which also comes from the studio-based Tannenbaum Co. Martin and Schiff will executive produce alongside said company's Eric and Kim Tannenbaum with Cowherd himself receiving a producing credit.
UNTITLED JUDY SMITH PROJECT (ABC) - Paul McGuigan ("Lucky Number Slevin") is on board to helm the pilot, a drama set in the world of crisis management inspired by the career of legendary public-relations consultant Judy Smith. Shonda Rhimes is behind the hour, which is set up at ABC Studios and her Shondaland banner.
UNTITLED LIZ MERIWETHER PROJECT (FOX) - Feature helmer Jake Kasdan ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story") has signed on to direct the comedy pilot, about "a Bridget Jones-type girl who moves in with three guys and they all learn surprising secrets." He'll work from a script by Liz Meriwether. Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television are co-producing.