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[03/04/11 - 10:31 PM]
Development Update: Friday, March 4
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) - Tricia Helfer will join fellow "Battlestar Galactica" alums James Callis and Jamie Bamber on the pilot, a police drama set in an alternate version of San Francisco where magic rules instead of science. She'll play Morgana Kurlansky ("striking, with long jetblack hair shot with wild streaks of silver; blue, piercing eyes never seem to rest on any one object"), a necromancer who serves as the magical equivalent of a coroner. Eamonn Walker, Matt Long and Stockard Channing also star in the project, from Sony Pictures Television. Michael Rymer is directing from a script by Ronald D. Moore.


BENT (NBC) - David Walton ("Perfect Couples") has landed the male lead on the comedy pilot, about Alex Meyers (Amanda Peet), a recently divorced "type A" single mother who tries hard not to fall for Pete Riggins, the sexy "surfer-dude" contractor she hires to re-do her kitchen. Walton, whose casting is in second position to Thursday comedy, will play the aforementioned Pete in the Universal Media Studios-based project, which Craig Zisk is directing from a script by Tad Quill. Joey King also stars.


DAMAGE CONTROL (ABC) - Jeff Perry, Darby Stanchfield and Liza Weil have all boarded the Shonda Rhimes-penned drama pilot, about Olivia Price (Kerry Washington), a professional fixer with a dysfunctional staff. The former will play Cyrus, a trusted aide to President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn); while Stanchfield is set as Abby ("round and warm and bubbly"), the tireless investigator for Olivia's firm. And finally, Weil will play Julia Tannen, the woman at the center of the pilot's crisis - an aide that's going around saying she's sleeping with the President. Columbus Short, Guillermo Diaz, Henry Ian Cusick and Katie Lowes also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, to be directed by Paul McGuigan.


GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES (ABC) - Miriam Shor ("Swingtown") has boarded the drama pilot, about Amanda Vaughn, a widowed mother of two who - to get a fresh start - moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew up. She'll play Cricket Caruth, a former Plain Jane who was tormented by Amanda as a teen. Alan Poul is directing the ABC Studios-based hour, which was penned by Robert Harling. Annie Potts and Jennifer Aspen also star.


HOME GAME (CBS) - Ken Marino ("Party Down") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about Mark (Rob Riggle) a retired NFL player who returns home to his wife (Constance Zimmer) and three teenage daughters. He's set as Scott, Mark's bartender brother in the project, which is set up at CBS Television Studios. Also cast in the half-hour is Elizabeth McLaughlin as Julia ("a dancer, tightly wound, gorgeous"), one of the aforementioned daughters. Jenn Proske also stars while Ken Whittingham is directing from a script by Christopher J. Nowak and Warren Bell.


HOMEGROWN (CBS) - Becki Newton ("Love Bites") is the first to board the comedy pilot, about Joe Reilly, "a blue-collar guy who wrestles with how to parent his unmarried grown daughter and her 12-year-old son while sharing a house with them as well as his wife and his recently widowed mother." She'll play Eileen ("pretty and spunky"), said daughter who now lives in her father's basement alongside her son Jimmy. Her casting is in second position to the yet-to-launch NBC series. Andy Ackerman is directing from a script by Jackie and Jeff Filgo for Warner Bros. Television.


HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS) - The Eye reportedly has renewed the series for two additional seasons, taking it through May of 2013. It's understood the network will shell out $3.3 million per episode to 20th Century Fox Television. Co-stars Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobbie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan are believed to be locked in for the length of said pact.


ICELAND (FOX) - Krysta Rodriguez has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about Mackenzie (Kerry Bishe), a woman whose life is shaken after her fiance passes away. She'll presumably play Rose ("Latino, free-spirit, empathetic towards everyone and everything"), Mackenzie's oldest friend and roommate. Will Gluck is helming the Sony Pictures Television-based effort from a script by Andy Bobrow. John Boyd also stars.


LITTLE IN COMMON (FOX) - Gabrielle Union ("FlashForward") is the latest to join the cast of the Rob Thomas-penned comedy pilot, about three families united through their kids' little league sports. She'll play Brooke Burleson ("quintessential helicopter parent; an epic achiever; believes appearances count"), a lobbyist on the fast track to success who is just as competitive as her husband, Ty (Kevin Hart). Paula Marshall and Rob Corddry co-star in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, to be directed by Adam Bernstein.


A MANN'S WORLD (NBC) - Caitlin Crosby, Kelly Hu, Sandra Vergara, J.R. Bourne and Amanda Warren have all landed roles on the drama pilot, about Allan Mann (Don Johnson), an aging Beverly Hills hairdresser and salon owner struggling to remain relevant in a superficial world. Hu will play Lei, Allan's stunning second wife, a brilliant architect and the mother of his three-year-old daughter, Anderson. Vergara then is set as Tia, a gorgeous junior stylist; with Bourne as David ("shaggy handsome, relaxed"), Allan's loyal friend and confidant; Crosby as Kelly, the genius hair colorist at the salon; and Warren as Michelle, a fellow stylist and a struggling single mother. Michael Patrick King wrote and will direct the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which has also added John Melfi as an executive producer.


OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS (ABC) - Jesse Bradford ("Outlaw") has scored the lead role 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 (Bonnie Somerville) who has two kids, an ex-husband (Johnny Sneed), an ex-mother-in-law and her new lover. Claire Engler and Malcolm Barrett also star in the project, from ABC Studios and creator Hunter Covington. Michael Fresco is also attached to direct.


PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS) - Jim Caviezel and Taraji P. Henson have both landed roles on the drama pilot, about "an ex-CIA agent, presumed dead, who is recruited by a crazy billionaire to help fight crime in New York City." The former will play said agent, Reese, with the previously cast Michael Emerson as Finch, the aforementioned reclusive billionaire. Henson then is on board as Carter, a detective who presumably works with the duo. David Semel is directing the Jonah Nolan-penned hour for the Warner Bros. Television-based Bad Robot Productions.


POE (ABC) - Chris Egan ("Kings") and Tabrett Bethell ("Legend of the Seeker") have booked the lead roles on the pilot, a period drama which envisions famed author Edgar Allan Poe as the world's very first detective in 1840s Boston. Egan, who has a talent holding deal with the network, will play the title role ("handsome, unorthodox, sarcastic"); while Bethell is set as Sarah Elmira Royster, Poe's sweetheart in adolescent and muse in adulthood. Kevin McNally and Leslie Odom Jr. also star in the project, from writer Chris Hollier and director Alex Graves. Warner Bros. Television is producing.


THE RIVER (ABC) - Bruce Greenwood has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a family who travels to the deep Amazon to locate and rescue their missing father, a famous TV explorer. He'll play the missing man, Emmet Cole ("dreamer, adventurer, showman") who's billed as part Don Herbert, part Carl Sagan, part Doctor Henry Walton Jones. Eloise Mumford and Joe Anderson also star in the project, from ABC Studios, writer Michael Green and director Jaume Collet-Serra.


SMASH (NBC) - Anjelica Huston ("Medium") is the newest addition to the drama pilot, a show-within-a-show vehicle about a group of people who come together to put on a Marilyn Monroe-themed Broadway musical. She'll play Eileen ("gorgeous, impeccably dressed"), a shrewd Tony-winning producer. Christian Borle, Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and Raza Jaffrey are also among the ensemble cast. Universal Media Studios is producing while Michael Mayer is directing from a script by Theresa Rebeck.


UNTITLED DAN GOOR PROJECT (NBC) - Jean Smart ("Bleep My Dad Says") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about Adam Foote, "a young doctor who joins his parents' medical practice and spends as much time tending to his family as to his patients." She'll play Barbara, his hippyish mother, in the project, from writer Dan Goor. Universal Media Studios is producing.


UNTITLED JOE PORT/JOE WISEMAN PROJECT (FOX) - Newcomer Damaris Diaz has landed a role on the comedy pilot, about Dave Bronsky (Mike O'Malley), a headstrong patriarch who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family. She's believed to be playing Carly, their adopted 15-year-old daughter, an honors student in the body of a bikini model. Also cast in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour are Isabella Cramp as Ruby ("always dressed as a princess") and Ted Sutherland as Max ("mildly OCD, not gifted but a hard-tryer"), her younger siblings. Shawn Levy is directing while Joy Osmanski, Rachael Harris and Rob Huebel also star.


UNTITLED LIZ MERIWETHER PROJECT (FOX) - Hannah Simone ("WCG Ultimate Gamer") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about Jessica (Zooey Deschanel), an optimistic but unlucky in love elementary school teacher who, after her most recent break-up, moves out of her apartment with her ex and moves in with three juvenile guys. She's presumably on board as Cece Meyers, her model-beautiful best friend. Jake M. Johnson and Max Greenfield co-star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, to be directed by Jake Kasdan.


WHAT THE SELL?! (TLC) - The cable channel has ordered 14 additional episodes of the reality series, about a family of master appraisers - Kate, the daughter, Judy, her mother, and Gloria, her grandmother - as they manage their extremely large antique store just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Two backdoor pilot specials aired on the network back in November while the series itself will roll out Tuesday, March 29. Brent Montgomery and Colby Gaines are the executive producers for Leftfield Pictures.


WONDER WOMAN (NBC) - Cary Elwes is the latest addition to the Adrienne Palicki-led drama pilot, about the DC Comics heroine of the same name. He'll play Henry Demeter, the devoted CEO of Themyscira Industries - Diana Themyscira's (Palicki) philanthropic corporation - who harbors a crush on her. Elizabeth Hurley, Pedro Pascal and Tracie Thoms also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, from director Jeffrey Reiner and writer David E. Kelley.






  [march 2011]  
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· 17TH PRECINCT (NBC)
· BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SCI FI)
· BENT (NBC)
· BLEEP MY DAD SAYS (CBS)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· FAMILY ALBUM (FOX)
· FAMILY PRACTICE (NBC)
· FLASH FORWARD (ABC)
· GCB (ABC)
· HOME GAME (CBS)
· HOMEGROWN (CBS)
· HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
· ICELAND (FOX)
· KINGS (NBC)
· LEGEND OF THE SEEKER (SYNDICATION)
· LITTLE IN COMMON (FOX)
· LOVE BITES (NBC)
· MANN'S WORLD (NBC)
· MEDIUM (CBS)
· NEW GIRL (FOX)
· OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS (ABC)
· OUTLAW (NBC)
· PARTY DOWN (STARZ)
· PERFECT COUPLES (NBC)
· PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)
· POE (ABC)
· RIVER, THE (ABC)
· SCANDAL (ABC)
· SMASH (NBC)
· SWINGTOWN (CBS)
· WCG ULTIMATE GAMER (SYFY)
· WHAT THE SELL?! (TLC)
· WONDER WOMAN (NBC)





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