[04/06/11 - 11:12 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, April 6 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BLACK DYNAMITE (Adult Swim) - The cable channel is moving forward with its animated take on the 2009 Michael Jai White feature of the same name. Carl Jones ("The Boondocks") is behind the project, about "ex-CIA agent and full-time ladies man Black Dynamite, and his crew as they avenge the death of Black Dynamite's brother against kung-fu masters, drug-dealing pimps and The Man and his crew." The pilot - animated by Titmouse and produced by Ars Nova Entertainment - was completed last year with the series set to follow in spring 2012. White, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley and Byron Minns will lend their voices to the small screen version with Jones, Jon Steingart and Jillian Apfelbaum executive producing; Brian Ash as a co-executive producer; and Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns as producers.
THE CLOSER (TNT) - Mary McDonnell has been upped to series regular for the show's upcoming swan song. She'll continue on as Captain Sharon Raydor, a role which could potentially carry over to the proposed spin-off, "Major Crimes." The upcoming seventh season will air as three separate pods: 10 this summer, five in the winter, and the final six next summer.
HELP WANTED (NBC) - Jennifer Coolidge has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Mary Leahy (Sarah Paulson), a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. She'll presumably guest star as her client Leanne, an inappropriately dressed woman who likes animals dressed in people clothing. Adrian Pasdar, James Adomian and Tim Meadows co-star in the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which Craig Zisk is helming off a script by Kari Lizer.
HOMEGROWN (CBS) - Mimi Kennedy ("Dharma & Greg") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about Joe Reilly (Gerald McRaney), a blue collar man who wrestles with how to parent his unmarried grown daughter and her 12-year-old son while sharing a house with them, his wife and his recently widowed mother. She'll play Barb, Joe's "warm, nurturing" wife, in the half-hour, which also stars Becki Newton, Shane McRae and Tricia O'Kelley. Andy Ackerman is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour from a script by Jackie and Jeff Filgo.
THE RIVER (ABC) - Jeff Galfer ("All My Children") has booked the final principal role on the drama pilot, about a state-of-the-art research vessel on a quest to find a missing TV explorer (Bruce Greenwood) in the Amazon and the crew documenting said endeavor. He'll play Sammy Kirsch ("cool side of gearhead, MythBusters chic, game for anything"), the documentary crew's second cameraman. Daniel Zacapa, Eloise Mumford, Joe Anderson, Leslie Hope, Paul Blackthorne, Paulina Gaitan, Shaun Parkes and Thomas Kretschmann also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, from director Jaume Collet-Serra and writer Michael Green. Production is underway in Puerto Rico.
REVENGE (ABC) - Amber Valletta has landed a role on 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. She's believed to be playing either Lydia Stockwell or Karrie Thurgood, Victoria's (Madeleine Stowe) cutthroat high society friends. The ensemble cast also features Ashley Madekwe, Christa B. Allen, Connor Paolo, Gabriel Mann, Henry Czerny, Joshua Bowman and Nick Wechsler. Filming is underway in Wilmington, North Carolina on the ABC Studios-based hour, which Phillip Noyce is directing from a script by Mike Kelley.
SPRING/FALL (HBO) - Hope Davis ("In Treatment") is set to star opposite Tea Leoni in the comedy pilot, about the dysfunctional partnership between Margo (Leoni) and Eden (Davis), two women with different approaches to career, family and friendship - all set against the backdrop of the New York City fashion world. She'll play the aforementioned Eden, "the estranged and former best friend to Leoni's Margo, a happily married mother of twins who finds herself overwhelmed after her husband, a well-known fashion designer, commits suicide." Jake Kasdan ("Bad Teacher") is on board to direct the half-hour, which was written by Kate Robin. Robin, Leoni and R.J. Cutler are the executive producers.
VINCE UNCENSORED (CBS) - Maz Jobrani and Georgia Engel have both landed roles on the comedy pilot, about Vince Donohue (Michael Chiklis), "a family man who experiences a medical problem and starts to speak the truth and live in the moment much to the chagrin of his family." He'll play Shishir, Vince's contracting partner, who is unnerved by his new verbosity; with Engel as Georgia, Vince's mother, who moves in with him after separating from her husband, Alan (yet to be cast). Elizabeth Perkins also stars in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, from writer Phoef Sutton and director Kelsey Grammer.