[02/24/11 - 10:39 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, February 24
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

17TH PRECINCT (NBC) - Eamonn Walker ("The Whole Truth") has joined the cast of the pilot, a police drama set in an alternate version of San Francisco where magic rules instead of science. He's set as Wilder Blanks, the precinct's Detective Chief Inspector, who has the "deep-set eyes of a man who's seen more than his share of terrible things in his half-century of life." Stockard Channing and Jamie Bamber also star in the project, from Sony Pictures Television. Michael Rymer is directing from a script by Ronald D. Moore.

BRAVE NEW WORLD (NBC) - Jazz Raycole, Robbie Benson and Anna Popplewell have all scored roles on the pilot, a workplace comedy set at Pilgrim Village, a theme park that specializes in recreations of New England in 1637. Raycole will play Hillary King ("pretty in a borderline plain, wholesome way and the 'actress' of the bunch") with Anna Popplewell as Maura Taft ("a smoking hot dark-haired beauty, even swaddled in her bulky Pilgrim clothing") and Benson as, presumably based on his age, Damon Heller ("very much marches to the beat of his own drummer - who might be missing an arm"). Ed Begley Jr., Nicholas Braun and Will Greenberg also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based effort, penned by Peter Tolan.

COMBAT HOSPITAL (ABC) - Michelle Borth ("The Forgotten") has booked the lead role on the upcoming drama, an international co-production set in a military-medical hospital in Afghanistan. The actress, who had a holding deal with the network, will play Major Rebecca Kincaid, a trauma surgeon at the aforementioned hospital who was "dumped by her fiance just before she left for Afghanistan." Daniel Petrie Jr. penned the pilot, from Sienna Films, Artists Studios and Look Out Point.

EXIT STRATEGY (FOX) - Elyes Gabel (U.K.'s "Identity") and Lina Esco ("Cane") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a team of CIA agents who are sent in to fix operations gone bad. They'll play Tarik Fayad ("handles transport, flash-dresser, blue eyes - rare for someone born in Tehran ") and Mia Hendricks ("the team's youngest, CIA by way of MIT and a hard South Boston childhood"), respectively. Megan Dodds and Ethan Hawke co-star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, from director Antoine Fuqua and writer David Guggenheim.

GLORY DAZE (TBS) - The cable channel has reportedly pulled the plug on the series, about a group of friends who are trying to navigate college life in 1980s Wisconsin. The show averaged a modest 1.236 million viewers during its 10-episode run, including a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49. Said numbers fell short of fellow freshman entries "Are We There Yet?" (2.6 million, 1.1 rating in adults 18-49) and "Neighbors from Hell" (1.4 million viewers, 0.6 rating in adults 18-49).

HELL'S KITCHEN (FOX) - The network is reportedly on track to order two more cycles of the Gordon Ramsay-hosted competition. Production on both seasons will begin in April with season nine due in the late summer and season 10 at a later unspecified date. Seasons seven and eight ran nearly back-to-back this past year - just six weeks apart. FOX previously commissioned a second season of fellow Ramsay entry "Masterchef," which likewise is expected to roll out sometime this summer.

I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (FOX) - Katie Finneran ("Wonderfalls") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about two women who now have daughters just like the girls who picked on them in high school. She'll play Nikki Miller ("very pretty, but is the kind of woman who puts a lot of effort into it"), one of said moms in the half-hour, which comes from co-creators Ellen Kreamer and Sherry Bilsing-Graham. Andy Ackerman is directing for Warner Bros. Television.

MAN UP! (ABC) - Dan Fogler ("Balls of Fury") has booked the final principal role on the comedy pilot, about a group of guys all at a different stages in their romantic relationships - Will (Mather Zickel), the leader; Kenny, the joker; and Craig (Christopher Moynihan), the poet. He'll play the aforementioned Kenny ("sarcastic, immature, slight geek who doesn't know it"), whose sister Theresa (Teri Polo) is married to Will. Amanda Detmer also stars as Kenny's ex-wife with Henry Simmons as her new boyfriend. Beth McCathy-Miller is directing the ABC Studios-based project from a script by Moynihan.

OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS (ABC) - Bonnie Somerville ("Cashmere Mafia") and Johnny Sneed ("Unhitched") have both landed roles on the comedy pilot, about Adam, a 32-year-old guy with no responsibilities who suddenly finds himself with an insta-family when he falls in love with an older woman who has two kids, an ex-husband, an ex-mother-in-law and her new lover. Bonnie will play said older woman, Michelle ("awesome but overwhelmed by responsibilities"), with Sneed as Dave ("more Jay Harrington than Jay Harrington"), her ex-husband. Malcolm Barrett also stars in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, from creator Hunter Covington.

SMASH (NBC) - Tony-nominee Christian Borle ("Legally Blonde: The Musical") has booked the male lead on the drama pilot, a show-within-a-show vehicle about a group of people who come together to put on a Broadway musical. He'll play Tom ("lovely, brilliant, volatile"), a composer who spearheads the effort - a Marilyn Monroe musical - alongside lyricist Julia (Debra Messing). Michael Mayer is directing the Universal Media Studios-based hour from a script by Theresa Rebeck. Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty also star.

SMOTHERED (ABC) - Julie White ("Transformers") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a young couple - Zach (Kyle Howard) and Gillian with a one-year-old daughter who find themselves smothered by their two very different sets of parents - his are pretentious and disengaged while hers are scrappy and exuberant. She'll play Patty, Gillian's "scrappy" mom in the half-hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television. Andy Ackerman is directing from a script by Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen.

UNTITLED WHITNEY CUMMINGS PROJECT (NBC) - Chris D'Elia ("Glory Daze") and Beverly D'Angelo ("Entourage") have both boarded the comedy pilot, about Whitney and Alex, a young couple navigating the ups and downs of a committed relationship in today's complicated world. He'll play the aforementioned Alex Green ("easygoing, smart, handsome without trying") with D'Angelo as Patti Morris ("self-absorbed, defensive, three time divorcee"), Whitney's mother. Universal Media Studios is behind the half-hour, which was written by Cummings.

WORK IT (ABC) - Amaury Nolasco ("Chase") and John Carapulo ("Wild West Comedy Show") have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about two out-of-work car salesmen, Lee and Angel - both husbands and fathers - who dress as women by day to get jobs working as pharmaceutical reps. Nolasco - whose casting is second position to the hiatused "Chase" - will play the latter, the more macho of the two, with Carapulo as Brian, Angel's drinking buddy and Lee's unsocialized brother-in-law. Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen co-wrote the half-hour for Warner Bros. Television, to be directed by Beth McCathy-Miller.

  [february 2011]  


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