[02/23/11 - 10:57 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, February 23 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BAD MOM (ABC) - Jenna Elfman ("Accidentally on Purpose") is in talks to topline the single-camera comedy pilot, 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. Sharon Horgan penned the half-hour for ABC Studios and co-stars, while Chris Koch is attached to direct.
MAN UP! (ABC) - Henry Simmons ("N.Y.P.D. Blue") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about a group of guys - married Will, divorced Kenny and single Craig - all at a different stages in their romantic relationships. He'll play Grant ("tall, fit and very attractive"), the new boyfriend of Kenny's ex-wife, Bridgette (Amanda Detmer).
Mather Zickel, Teri Polo and Christopher Moynihan also star in the half-hour, which the latter penned for ABC Studios. Beth McCathy-Miller is directing.
MY FRICKIN' FAMILY (ABC) - Harish Patel ("The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency") is the first to board the comedy pilot, about Anna and Raj, a couple with a new baby and the culture clashes between its four very different grandparents. He'll play Pradip, Raj's father, who was born in India but now lives in Brentwood where he's immersed himself in American white-trash culture. ABC Studios is behind the project, from writer Erica Rivinoja.
POE (ABC) - Leslie Odom Jr. ("Big Day") has landed a role on the drama pilot, about the 19th century adventures of Edgar Allan Poe, the world's very first detective. He's on board as Julian "Jupiter" Noble, "a doctor at a free clinic who helps Poe." The Jupiter character was originally featured in Poe's short story "The Gold-Bug." Kevin McNally co-stars in the project, from Warner Bros. Television. Alex Graves is directing from a script by Chris Hollier.
ROOKIES (CBS) - Adam Goldberg ("The Unusuals") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about six NYPD rookies who balance their personal lives with learning the beat on the streets of Manhattan. He'll presumably play Ray "Lazarus" Brightman ("some hard miles on his face but athletic"), one of the sextet. Leelee Sobieski, Judy Marte, Tom Reed and Stark Sands also star in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from writer Richard Price, director James Mangold and executive producer Robert De Niro.
UNDEREMPLOYED (MTV, New!) - Craig Wright ("Dirty Sexy Money") has reportedly booked a single-camera comedy pilot at the cable channel about five twentysomethings in Chicago "who were confident that they were about to dazzle the universe with their brilliance on the eve of their college graduation but a year later find themselves going through a series of odd jobs, low-paying gigs, and comical situations - all in an effort to make ends meet." Jared Kusnitz (as Lou), Sarah Habel (Daphne), Inbar Lavi (Raviva), Diego Boneta (Miles) and Michelle Ang (Sofia, an aspiring novelist and the show's narrator) have already been cast in the half-hour, the former of which is based on Wright's son of the same name. No other auspices were given.
UNTITLED JOE PORT/JOE WISEMAN PROJECT (FOX) - Joy Osmanski ("The Loop") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about a headstrong patriarch (Mike O'Malley) who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family. She's set as Holly Martinez, a "Type A, workaholic" whom they befriend while on said vacation. Rachael Harris and Rob Huebel also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, to be helmed by Shawn Levy.
VANISHED WITH NATALEE HOLLOWAY (Lifetime, New!) - Beth Holloway, mother of the late Natalee Holloway, is set to host a new reality series at the cable channel which examines some of America's most disturbing unsolved cases. The 10-episode series, from Stephen Land's Jupiter Entertainment, will "profile real-life mysteries, giving detailed accounts of the events as described by those closest to the victims interviewed by Beth who will offer her insight into each case." Also on tap: "Justice for Natalee Holloway," a sequel to the highly-rated original "Natalee Holloway." 3.2 million viewers tuned into the film's premiere, at the time the largest audience in LMN's 11-year history. Tracy Pollan, Stephen Amell, Scott Cohen and Grant Show will co-star in the project, which picks up several years after the events in the original movie and continues the ongoing mystery of the 2005 disappearance of the Alabama teenager. Sony Pictures Television and executive producers Frank von Zerneck and Judith Verno are once again behind the project, which Stephen T. Kay is directing from a script by Teena Booth.