[02/04/11 - 11:07 PM] Development Update: Friday, February 4 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BOSS (Starz) - Richard Levine and Lyn Greene ("Scoundrels") have been tapped as co-showrunners of the upcoming series, "a political drama starring Kelsey Grammer as the Mayor of Chicago who is diagnosed with a degenerative mental condition that only he and his doctor know about." Farhad Safinia ("Apocalypto") penned the pilot to the Lionsgate Television-based project, which was ordered directly to series back in November. Gus Van Sant is directing the pilot and executive producing alongside Levine, Green, Safinia, Grammer, Grammnet Productions' Brian Sher and Stella Stolper.
THE CROSSING (A.K.A. RECONSTRUCTION) (NBC) - Josh Brand's period drama, about "a Civil War soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior - whether he likes it or not," has found new life at the Peacock where it has landed a pilot order. Said hour, now based at Universal Media Studios, was originally set up at FX in November of 2009 but ultimately didn't move forward. Peter Horton will direct and executive produce alongside Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan.
DON'T TRUST THE BITCH IN APT. 23 (ABC) - Krysten Ritter ("Gravity") has been cast in the title role of the comedy pilot, about June (Dreama Walker), "an earnest, honest, optimistic girl from the heartland who, due to circumstances beyond her control, is forced to move in with Chloe (Ritter), a sexy, unstable New York City party girl who has the morals of a pirate." Nahnatchka Khan penned the single-camera project, to be directed by Jason Winer. 20th Century Fox Television is producing.
GRACE (ABC) - Lesli Linka Glatter ("Pretty Little Liars") has been tapped to direct the pilot, "a dysfunctional family drama set in the world of professional dance." She'll work from a script by Krista Vernoff for ABC Studios. Carrie Ann Inaba also serves as an executive producer.
GRIMM (NBC) - Emmy-winner Marc Buckland ("My Name Is Earl") has been tapped to direct the pilot, "a dark but fantastical cop drama about a world in which characters inspired by Grimm's Fairy Tales exist." He'll work from a script by David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf for Universal Media Studios.
HOME GROWN (CBS, New!)/LOST & FOUND (ABC) - Jeff and Jackie Filgo ("That '70s Show") have booked a new comedy at the Eye about "a blue collar man who wrestles with how to parent his unmarried grown daughter and her 12-year-old son while sharing a house with them, his wife and his recently widowed mother." Warner Bros. Television is behind the multi-camera project, which has a pilot commitment from the network. Beth Lacke also serves as a consultant. In addition, the duo have been tapped as showrunners on ABC's comedy pilot "Lost & Found," which likewise comes from the studio. They'll supervise the Marisa Coughlan-penned project, about a party girl who has her life upended when the 18-year-old son she gave up for adoption finds his way into her life.
I HATE THAT I LOVE YOU (NBC) - Nicole Holofcener ("Sex and the City") has signed on to direct the pilot, "a twisty romantic comedy in which a straight couple introduces two of its lesbian friends to one another and what results is both instant attraction and a pregnancy." Nicole Holofcener is behind the single-camera project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
LITTLE IN COMMON (FOX) - Adam Bernstein ("30 Rock") is set to direct the comedy pilot, about "three families united through their kids' little league sports." Rob Thomas is behind the single-camera project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television.
PLAYBOY (NBC) - Naturi Naughton ("Fame") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. She'll play Brenda, "a stunning African-American Bunny determined to become the first black Playboy centerfold who is Maureen's (Amber Heard) confidante and roommate in the Bunny Dormitory." Coincidentally, Naughton guest starred on "Mad Men" earlier this season as a Playboy Bunny who catches the eye of Jared Harris's character. Alan Taylor is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour from a script by Chad Hodge.
PRIME SUSPECT (NBC) - The Peacock's long-in-the-works domestic take on the U.K. series has once again been ordered to pilot. Alexandra Cunningham penned the project, from ITV Studios and Universal Media Studios. Film 44's Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey will executive produce alongside Cunningham with Berg also on board to direct. Writer Hank Steinberg and director Mick Jackson were behind a previous effort to adapt the series before ultimately being replaced by Cunningham and Berg. The latter duo received a pilot order last season which was pushed after difficulties casting the lead.
RINGER (CBS) - Richard Shepard ("Criminal Minds") has signed on to direct the Sarah Michelle Gellar-led drama pilot, about "a troubled young woman (Gellar) who, while on the run from the mob, hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy twin sister." Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder are behind the hour, which is set at ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios. Shepard, who's based at the latter studio, also helmed "Danni Lowinksi" over at The CW as part of the current development cycle.
ROOKIES (CBS) - James Mangold ("Men in Trees") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about "about six NYPD rookies who balance their personal lives with learning the beat on the streets of Manhattan." Richard Price is behind the hour, which comes from CBS Television Studios and Robert De Niro's Tribeca Films. De Niro and Mangold previously teamed on the 1997 feature "Cop Land."
UNTITLED CONNIE BRITTON PROJECT (FX, New!) - Oscar-nominee David O. Russell ("The Fighter") and Emmy-nominee Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights") are set to team for a potential drama at the cable channel. No other details were given about the project, which will likely rule Britton out for this pilot season.
UNTITLED KARI LIZER PROJECT (NBC) - The multi-camera comedy, about "a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings," has been given a cast-contingent pilot order from the network. Kari Lizer penned the half-hour and is executive producing for Warner Bros. Television, where her overall deal is based.
UNTITLED ROB SCHNEIDER PROJECT (CBS) - The Rob Schneider-led comedy, about "a solitary guy who marries into a huge Mexican-American family," has been ordered to pilot by the Eye. Schneider also co-wrote the half-hour alongside Lew Morton. CBS Television Studios and the studio-based The Tannenbaum Co. are behind the multi-camera project with Morton, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum serving as executive producers. Schneider and his brother John Schneider will also receive producing credits via their From Out of Nowhere Productions banner.
THE WALKING DEAD (AMC) - Glen Mazzara ("Hawthorne") has joined the series as an executive producer. There he'll serve alongside showrunner Frank Darabont for the show's second season. Mazzara, who freelanced one of last year's six installments, fills the void left by departing executive producer Charles Eglee.