[04/13/11 - 10:40 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, April 13 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX) - Two-time Oscar-winner Jessica Lange has joined the cast of the much-ballyhooed drama pilot, from co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Said hour revolves around Ben (yet to be cast) and Vivien Harmon (Britton), a couple that moves into "a creepy San Francisco home next door to Constance (Lange) and her daughter with Down Syndrome who knows more about the house than everyone realizes." It's understood Murphy and Falchuk are rewriting Lange's character to further expand her role. Denis O'Hare also stars in the project, from 20th Century Fox Television, production of which begins later this month.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - Longtime showrunner Ed Bernero is departing the series while former co-star A.J. Cook is in talks to return. The former will be succeeded by executive producer Erica Messer while Bernero, who also helped launch spin-off "Suspect Behavior," transitions to development, including his pilot "Partners" for ABC. As for Cook, the actress's option expired back in June however she's subsequently appeared in three installments this season. Her proposed return then comes as the series faces a multitude of casting decisions: co-stars Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore's contracts are up while Paget Brewster joined the cast of the NBC comedy pilot "My Life as an Experiment" last month.
PROJECT FIVE (Lifetime) - Jeanne Tripplehorn and Patricia Clarkson are the first to be cast in the project, an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people's lives. Tripplehorn will play Pearl, an oncologist, the only character who appears in all five segments. Clarkson's character wasn't specified. Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore and Patty Jenkins are directing four of the installments with a fifth yet to be named. Aniston, Marta Kauffman, Paula Wagner, Kristin Hahn, Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri are the executive producers for Sony Pictures Television. "Five" premieres in October, timed with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
TOUCH (FOX) - Carol Barbee has joined the Kiefer Sutherland-led drama pilot as an executive producer. Her involvement is the result of a two-year, seven-figure overall deal the prolific writer/producer recently inked with 20th Century Fox Television following a six-year run at CBS Television Studios, most recently as a consulting producer on CBS's "Hawaii Five-0." Tim Kring is behind the project, about an unassuming baggage handler at JFK (Sutherland) who discovers that his autistic, mute son can predict events before they happen.
WILLIAM & KATE: A ROYAL LOVE STORY (Hallmark) - Newcomer Alice St. Clair has been tapped to play Kate Middleton in the docudrama while Jane Alexander has been cast as Queen Elizabeth. Linda Yellen ("The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana") is spearheading the production, which begins next month in Bucharest for an August 13 premiere on the cable channel.