[03/24/11 - 11:50 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, March 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!

BAD MOM (ABC) - Johnny Pemberton ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") has snagged a 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 (Frances Conroy) - who had been filling said void, decides she wants her life back. He's presumably playing Indiana ("short, wispy moustache"), the teenage drop out son of Julia's friend Linda (Sharon Horgan) who's either smoking pot or feebly trying to put the moves on Julia. Tom Everett Scott also stars in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which Chris Koch is directing from a script by Horgan.

BLACK JACK (Comedy Central, New!) - Producer/director David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") is reportedly close to a cast-contingent pilot commitment from the cable channel for a new single-camera comedy about the title character "who, after 20 years as the most kick-ass special ops agent the US government has had on its payroll, finally goes too far and is de-commissioned. He's sent home to begin the most treacherous mission he's ever faced -- normal life." Michael Starrbury penned the half-hour which Green will direct with his Rough House partners Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Matt Reilly also on board to executive produce.

CHEW (Showtime, New!) - John Layman and Rob Guillory's comic book - about federal agent Tony Chu, a "cibopath" able to get psychic impression from the things he eats who is assigned to the most usual and bizarre crimes - is being developed as a comedy at the pay channel. Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer ("Eureka") penned the adaptation, which is expected to be "tweaked under Showtime's guidance," with Stephen Hopkins attached to direct. Said trio will also executive produce alongside Circle of Confusion's David Engel with Hopkins's producing partner Kate Garwood producing.

COOPER & STONE (The CW) - David Ramsey ("Outlaw") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about two pop culture savvy detectives - Jenna Cooper (Alex Breckenridge) and Stone (Vanessa Ferlito) - working in Chicago's Northside precinct. He'll play Frank Mazzara, a "gruff, veteran uniform cop" who was once Stone's training officer. Riley Smith co-stars in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from director John Dahl and writer Laurie Arent.

GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES (ABC) - Mark Deklin ("Lone Star") is the latest addition to 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 Blake Caruth ("dashingly handsome"), Amanda's first crush who's now married to Cricket (Miriam Shor), a former Plain Jane who was tormented by Amanda as a teen. Alan Poul is directing the ABC Studios-based hour, from writer Robert Harling. Annie Potts, David James Elliott, Jennifer Aspen, Kristin Chenoweth and Marisol Nichols also star.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN EARS (AMC, New!) - Scott Rosenberg ("Happy Town") has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about "a record executive with kids who tries to balance work and family life." Said hour, which is based on the Danish series of the same name, is set up at Fox Television Studios.

PAN AM (ABC) - Jack Orman has signed a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal with producer Sony Pictures Television. The pact covers his duties on the pilot, a period drama about the pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airline in the 1960s, should it go to series as well as any future development.

VOYAGE (AMC, New!) - John Shiban ("Breaking Bad") is developing a new drama at the network described as "a grounded look at human beings' first contact with extraterrestrial life seen through the eyes of an ambitious female scientist and her team at Jet Propulsion Laboratories." Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour with Lynda Obst producing. "Voyage" is one of six projects being eyed by AMC for potential pilot orders, including the aforementioned "The Man With the Golden Ears" and the previously announced "The Fourth Estate," from creator Gideon Yago, Landscape Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America.

WONDER WOMAN (NBC) - Justin Bruening ("Knight Rider") has been tapped as Steve Trevor in the drama pilot, about the DC Comics heroine of the same name. Trevor is the government agent who crash landed on Themyscira, home of the mythical Amazons; fell in love with one of them, Diana (Adrianne Palicki); and brought her back with him to New York. They've since broken up as Diana now operates out of L.A. and Steve is a lawyer for the Justice Department. Cary Elwes, Elizabeth Hurley, Pedro Pascal and Tracie Thoms also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which Jeffrey Reiner is directing from a script by David E. Kelley.

  [march 2011]  


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