[10/26/11 - 10:59 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, October 26 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!
THE AVALON (ABC, New!) - Marta Kauffman ("Friends") and Jessica Queller ("Gossip Girl") have booked a new drama at the Alphabet "that takes place onstage and in the kitchen of LA's hottest cabaret restaurant." Said effort is based Small World IFT's Pan Asian format "The Kitchen Musical." The Group Entertainment's Tim Crescenti, Nelia Molato-Sustrino and Chris James is also on board to executive produce alongside Kauffman, Queller and Electus' Ben Silverman for ABC Studios. (Deadline.com)BLACKOUT (Showtime, New!) - John Gordillo and Reginald Hunter has scored a script commitment from the pay channel for a new comedy which "explores race relations through the eyes of a repressed middle-class white woman and her alter ego, a black man." Marta Kauffman and Michael Rizzo are also on board to executive produce the half-hour alongside the duo. (THR.com)CHESS (Showtime, New!) - James Manos Jr. ("Dexter") is back in business with the pay channel for a new drama about "a mafia wife who helps the FBI get rid of her husband so she can take over his business." Bad Hat Harry Productions' Bryan Singer and Matthew Williams are also on board to executive produce the hour alongside Manos. (THR.com)CREW SIX (ABC, New!) - Terrence Howard is on track to star in the Hallmark Hall of Fame original, about a team of female inmates that have been highly trained in firefighting and search and rescue. Darnell Martin is helming the project, which begins production next month in Atlanta. The news marks the second of three planned Hallmark Hall of Fame efforts for the Alphabet, the first of which, "Have a Little Faith," premieres Sunday, November 27. (Variety.com)THE EXECUTIONER (Showtime, New!) - Timothy J. Sexton ("Children of Men") is developing a drama at the pay channel based on the true story of Anatole Deibler, "the official Executioner of Paris in the late 1800s and a celebrity in his own right." Grady Twins' Marti Noxon and Dawn Parouse are also on board to executive produce the Warner Horizon Television-based hour alongside Sexton, who will pen the script. (THR.com)INTERCEPT (ABC Family) - Austin Butler ("Switched at Birth") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a group of college students who get roped into solving crimes when one of them creates a high-tech communication device that intercepts conversations throughout the West Coast. He'll play one of the group, which also includes Danielle Panabaker and Chloe Wang. Ray Wright created the hour and is executive producing. (Deadline.com)THE POWER BROKER (HBO, New!) - Filmmaker Oliver Stone is developing a small screen take on Robert Caro's 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the life of "master builder" Robert Moses, one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban planning in the United States. Moses is credited with various New York City innovations, including creating the modern suburb of Long Island and the United Nations' decision to headquarter in Manhattan as opposed to Philadelphia, while conversely demonized for establishing numerous public authorities outside the purview of elected officials. Nicholas Meyer is on board to pen the docudrama with Peter Guber and James Gandolfini executive producing alongside Stone. Gandolfini's managers Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong are also attached as co-executive producers. (THR.com)RED BAND SOCIETY (ABC, New!) - Marta Kauffman ("Friends") is likewise developing another potential drama at the Alphabet about "the day-to-day lives of a group of six teens in the children's wing." Said hour is based on the Spanish format "Polseres Vermelles" from Albert Espinosa and is set up at ABC Studios and DreamWorks Television. The latter's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank then will executive produce alongside Kauffman and Sergio Aguero with Filmax International's Carlos and Julio Fernandez also serving as co-executive producers. (Deadline.com)SULLIVAN & SON (TBS) - Dan Lauria has booked the title role on the comedy pilot, about a popular and legendary neighborhood bar in a working-class neighborhood in Pittsburgh. He'll play the Irish-American owner of said locale, with Steve Byrne as the son in question. Valerie Azlynn, Jodi Long, Vivian Bang and Owen Benjamin also star in the half-hour, from Warner Horizon Television and Wild West Picture Show Productions. Peter Billingsley, Rob Long and Vince Vaughn are executive producing alongside Byrne. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED ANDREA SAVAGE PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Andrea Savage ("Dinner for Schmucks") is set to write and star in a semi-autobiographical comedy at the Peacock about "a woman who prides herself on her humor and edge and refuses to become typical after becoming a parent for the first time." The multi-camera project is set up at Universal Television with Jay Roach and Jennifer Perini also on board to executive produce via their Everyman Pictures banner. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JIMMY JELLINEK PROJECT (Showtime, New!) - Playboy editor Jimmy Jellinek is developing a potential comedy at the pay channel about "a family man who happens to be the editor of a racy men's magazine." Ben Silverman's Electus is behind the half-hour, which he'll executive produce alongside Jellinek. (THR.com)UNTITLED NICK CASSAVETES PROJECT (Showtime, New!) - Nick Cassavetes has landed a potential drama at the pay channel "based on the life of Benny Binion, a well-known casino owner, mobster, poker player and convicted felon." No other details were given about the hour, which Cassavetes is attached to write, direct and executive produce. (THR.com)UNTITLED CHRIS O'DOWD PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Chris O'Dowd ("Bridesmaids") has booked a potential single-camera comedy at the Peacock about "a group of men who meet at a weight loss clinic." He'll write and executive produce the half-hour, which has a penalty attached, alongside Joe Port and Joe Wiseman ("New Girl") for 20th Century Fox Television. 3 Arts Entertainment's Dave Becky and Nick Frenkel will also receive executive producing credits. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JIM GAFFIGAN PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Jim Gaffigan ("My Boys") is set to topline a single-camera comedy at the Peacock about "a lazy man, married to a strong woman, raising four children in a two bedroom apartment in New York City." He'll also write the half-hour, which is set up at the Universal Television-based American Work. The company's Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan then will executive produce alongside Gaffigan and his manager Alex Murray of Brillstein Entertainment Partners. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JERRY O'CONNELL PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Jerry O'Connell ("Carpoolers") has been tapped to star in a potential multi-camera comedy at the Eye, "an adult family sitcom about a struggling writer catapulted into the spotlight as a parenting expert after his tongue-in-cheek children's book becomes an unexpected hit." Jeff Astrof ("How to Be a Gentleman") and Adam Mansbach ("Go the F**k to Sleep") are co-writing the CBS Television Studios-based half-hour, which was conceived alongside O'Connell. Astrof then will executive produce alongside 3 Arts Entertainment's Michael Rotenberg and Richard Abate with O'Connell and Mansbach serving as co-executive producers. (Deadline.com)WALKING THROUGH WALLS (Showtime, New!) - Nicholas Wootton ("Chuck") has booked a new project at the pay channel based on Philip Smith's memoir about his relationship with his father, a psychic healer. The single-camera comedy comes from Groundswell Productions with Michael London executive producing alongside Wootton. Smith himself is also attached as a co-executive producer. (THR.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - NBC's midseason drama "Awake" will take a month-long production hiatus to give producers additional time to whip future scripts, beginning with episode seven, into shape (NYMag.com); Emmy-winner Richard Schiff will guest on "Once Upon a Time" as Snow White's (Ginnifer Goodwin) father (TVLine.com); Melanie Lynskey will visit "House" in an upcoming episode told from the perspective of the wife of the patient of the week (TVLine.com); Gilbert Gottfried is set to recur as "a new under-appreciated technical IT character in the precinct" on "Law & Order: SVU"(TVGuide.com); "The Suite Life on Deck's" Debby Ryan is bound for "Private Practice" as "an 18-year-old girl whom Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) meets while in rehab" (EOnline.com); "Scrubs" alums Zach Braff and Robert Maschio will both visit "Cougar Town" later this season (TVLine.com); "Dexter's" Jennifer Carpenter will guest on "The Good Wife" as "a soft-spoken professor who is fired due to her conservative religious and political beliefs" (EOnline.com); Andrea Roth has been cast as the ex-wife of Siobhan's husband/mother of Juliet on "Ringer"(EW.com); Jonathan Groff will once again reprise his role as Jesse St. James on "Glee"(EW.com); Jennifer Coolidge is set to recur on "2 Broke Girls" as a hardworking woman who moves into the girls' apartment building (Deadline.com); plus Christina Milian will replace Alison Haislip as social media correspondent on season two of "The Voice"(Deadline.com).