[08/11/11 - 10:55 PM] Development Update: Thursday, August 11 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE ART OF FIELDING (HBO, New!) - Chad Harbach's novel, "a tale of bucolic Americana set against the backdrop of a fictional Midwestern university that follows the fate of five people upended by an errant baseball throw," is being developed as a drama by the pay channel. Scott Rudin is spearheading the adaptation with Harbach himself serving as a consulting producer. No writing auspices were given.
BANSHEE (Cinemax, New!) - The pay channel is developing a new Pennsylvania Amish Country-set drama from executive producer Alan Ball ("True Blood") about "an enigmatic ex-con who's also an expert in martial arts [who poses] as a murdered sheriff, imposing his own brand of justice while also cooking up plans that serve his own interests." Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler co-created the hour and will executive produce alongside Ball and Peter Macdissi.
CHARLIE'S ANGLES (ABC) - Erica Durance is set to reteam with "Smallville" co-creators Miles Millar and Al Gough on the upcoming drama. She's set to guest star in an upcoming episode as Samantha Masters, "a tough-as-nails, Glock-toting CIA operative who has a bit of a romantic history with Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez)." Millar and Gough are behind the series.
FAMILY ALBUM (FOX) - The network has formally passed on Joe Port and Joe Wiseman's comedy pilot, which "takes a snapshot of the Bronsky clan as they reveal the hilarious stories behind the photo-worthy moments of life." Mike O'Malley and Rachael Harris toplined the original Shawn Levy-directed pilot, which was being retooled for a potential midseason order. It's understood the network and the producers couldn't come to terms on a revised concept for the show and the respective parties opted to walk away.
THE MUNSTERS (NBC) - Bryan Fuller is set to take another stab at reviving the 1960s sitcom, about the home life of a family of monsters. The Peacock commissioned a script for Fuller's take, "an edgier, slightly darker hour-long show," back in September however it didn't it to pilot. Universal Media Studios will once again produce.
PLAYING WITH GUNS (Comedy Central) - The cable channel has passed on the comedy pilot, about childhood friends who have grown up to become small town cops, trying to get the most out of their badges while doing the least amount of police work possible. Said effort was originally set up at Spike TV with Danny Masterson and Joey Kern in the lead roles. When Spike ultimately passed, Comedy Central took another stab at the show, filming a second pilot with Ethan Suplee taking over for Kern. Brian Robbins directed both incarnations from a script by co-creators Bob Castrone, Brian Levin and Jason Zumwalt.
PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC) - A.J. Langer has landed a recurring role on the Shonda Rhimes-produced series. She'll play Erica, "someone from one of the Oceanside doctor's pasts." No other specifics were given.
UNTITLED DEMETRI MARTIN PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Demetri Martin is spearheading a new animated project at the network, "a family workplace comedy set in the California Redwoods." Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television are behind the potential half-hour, which is close to a pilot presentation order. Martin then will write, executive produce - alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope - and voice the lead character.
UNTITLED JEFF GARLIN PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Jeff Garlin ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") is set to star and executive produce a potential comedy at the Alphabet. Bruce McCulloch ("Carpoolers") will co-write and executive produce the half-hour alongside Garlin however no specifics were given. ABC Studios is producing.
UNTITLED RALPH LAMB PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Feature writer Nicholas Pileggi ("Goodfellas") and director James Mangold ("Walk the Line") are set to team for a potential period drama at the Eye based on the true story of Ralph Lamb, "a cowboy-turned-Las Vegas sheriff in the '60s and '70s." CBS Television Studios is behind the hour, which Pileggi will co-write with Greg Walker ("The Defenders"). They'll also executive produce alongside Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian. As for specifics, Lamb "modernized the department, brought in a modern crime lab, assembled the city's first SWAT team and oversaw the merger of the Las Vegas and the county law enforcement agencies into the Metropolitan Police Department."
WHITNEY (NBC) - Seven-time Emmy-nominee Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm In the Middle") has joined the cast of the freshman comedy, about Whitney (Whitney Cummings) and Alex (Chris D'Elia), a happily unmarried couple. She'll take over for Beverly D'Angelo as Patti, Whitney's outspoken mother in the half-hour, which airs on Thursday nights this fall.