[03/15/11 - 11:17 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, March 15 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) - Frances Conroy ("Happy Town") has booked a lead role on the comedy pilot, about Julia (Jenna Elfman), 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. She'll play the aforementioned Marian ("very sprightly, nice looking") in the half-hour, which comes from ABC Studios, director Chris Koch and creator/co-star Sharon Horgan.
THE BRINK (Starz, New!) - Stephen Susco ("The Grudge") and Gore Verbinski ("Pirates of the Caribbean") are developing a new drama at the pay channel about "art therapist Zach Taylor's investigation into the life and madness of Martin Grace, an accused serial killer who claims to have foreseen, but not caused, his victims' deaths." The project is based on J.C. Hutchins's book "Personal Effects: Dark Art," which is billed as an interactive supernatural thriller with various online extensions. Susco will pen the adaptation and executive produce alongside Verbinski and his Blind Wink Productions partner Jonathan Krauss.
GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES (ABC) - David James Elliott ("Scoundrels") is set to play husband to Kristin Chenoweth in the drama pilot, about Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb), a widowed mother of two who - to get a fresh start - moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew up. He'll play oilman Ripp Cockburn, who used to know Amanda's late husband. Annie Potts, Jennifer Aspen, Marisol Nichols and Miriam Shor also star in the hour, from ABC Studios, director Alan Poul and writer Robert Harling.
GRACE (ABC) - Will Kemp ("The Prisoner") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about Michael Grace (Eric Roberts), a famous choreographer whose womanizing ways have produced three daughters - Sarah (Abigail Spencer), a lawyer; Shay, a photographer; Eden, a teenager - all with different mothers. He'll play Nicky ("funny, smart, gay like he means it"), Michael's assistant choreographer. Chantz Simpson, Chris Carmack, Debbie Allen, Eion Bailey, Patricia De Leon and Robert Hoffman are also featured in the ensemble. Krista Vernoff penned the hour for ABC Studios, to be directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.
HALLELUJAH (ABC) - Brett Cullen and Jonathan Scarfe have each scored roles on the drama pilot, about a tiny town in Tennessee which finds itself being torn apart by the forces of good and evil with the moral diner owner Rye Turner (Donal Logue) and the corrupt millionaire Del Roman (Terry O'Quinn) on opposing sides. Scarfe will play Rye's brother, Caleb, who gets involved with Del's wife Veda (Arielle Kebbel) at his own peril; while Cullen is set as Bob Clement, the town's sheriff who's in Del's pocket. Marc Cherry is behind the ABC Studios-based hour, which also stars Della Reese, Frances O'Connor, Jesse L. Martin, Robbie Amell and Zoey Deutch. Michael Apted is directing.
LITTLE IN COMMON (FOX) - Lombardo Boyar has booked a lead role on the comedy pilot, about three families united through their kids' little league sports: the Wellers (Rob Corddry, Paula Marshall), the Burlesons (Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union) and the Pachecos. He'll play the patriarch of latter family, Benny, "the unpretentious gladhanding owner/face of Pacheco's Pizza." Also signing on are Curtis Harris as CJ Burleson ("a sixth grade himbo; affable and loyal; adored by all") and Izabela Vidovic as Minnie Weller ("family black sheep second grader; hyper competitive jock"). Adam Bernstein is helming the Rob Thomas-penned half-hour for Warner Bros. Television.
RECONSTRUCTION (NBC) - Robert Knepper ("Heroes") has boarded the period drama pilot, about Jason Edding (Martin Henderson), a Civil War veteran who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior - whether he likes it or not. He'll play Miller, the town sheriff, "an unhinged veteran Confederate whose bizarre behavior alternates between Southern courtliness and a hair-trigger temperament." Bill Sage, Claire Wellin, Emma Bell and Rachelle Lefevre co-star. Joshua Brand and Peter Horton are behind the hour, which is set up at Universal Media Studios.
REVENGE (ABC) - Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious young woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people who destroyed her family. They'll play Victoria ("a spectacular woman in her mid 40s") and Conrad ("a virile alpha fox in his prime") Grayson, the matriarch and patriarch of the family Emily blames for her father's death. Ashley Madekwe, Christa B. Allen, Connor Paolo, Gabriel Mann and Nick Wechsler also star. Phillip Noyce is directing the ABC Studios-based hour, which was penned by Mike Kelley.
SECRET CIRCLE (The CW) - Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin has been cast in the drama pilot, about Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson), a California teen who moves to her mom's hometown of New Salem, Maine and discovers that she comes from a family of witches. She'll play Faye Chamberlain ("sharp eyes; sees everything"), another member of the aforementioned "secret circle," a coven of young witches. Liz Friedlander is directing the Andrew Miller-penned hour, which also stars Thomas Dekker.
S.I.L.A. (NBC) - Luis Chavez ("Crash") is the newest addition to the pilot, a drama depicting a complex web of crime, policework and politics in Los Angeles. He's on board as Manuel "Manny" Flores, a sweet illegal immigrant who, with no other options, goes to work for drug kingpin Nacho Meza. Daniella Alonso, Danny Pino, Emma Dumont, Madchen Amick, Matthew Levy and Noah Emmerich also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, from creator Stephen Gaghan.
UNTITLED WHITNEY CUMMINGS PROJECT (NBC) - "30 Rock's" Maulik Pancholy has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about a couple - Whitney (Cummings) and Alex (Chris D'Elia) - and their relationship foibles. He'll play their friend Neal ("sensitive, cool, metrosexual") in the Universal Media Studios-based half-hour, which also stars Beverly D'Angelo and Zoe Lister. Andy Ackerman is also reportedly on board to direct from a script by Cummings.