[11/17/11 - 10:59 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, November 17
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!

PENOZA (ABC, New!) - "Twilight" screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is looking to import the Dutch drama format, about the "widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband's role in order to protect her family." Endemol Studios is behind the hour, which Rosenberg will write and executive produce via her Tall Girls Productions banner alongside Jeremy Gold, Alon Aranya and Howard Klein. Pieter Bart Korthuis is behind the original incarnation, which is currently filming its second season in the Netherlands. (Deadline.com)

THE RICKI LAKE SHOW (Syndication) - Twentieth Television has cleared the series on stations covering 50% of the country, assuring a fall 2012 launch. Tribune (New York), Fox TV Stations (Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston), Sinclair, Local TV, Post Newsweek, Fisher, Granite, New Vision, Journal, Citadel, Quincy and Gray are among the participating stations groups. "The Ricki Lake Show," not to be confused with her previous effort "Ricki Lake" (1993-2004), is billed as "fresh, fun, interesting talk that will cover subjects that range from parenting, weight loss, losing love and finding it again." (Deadline.com)

SPIRITED (ABC, New!) - Chris Black ("Desperate Housewives") and Henry Alonso Myers ("Chuck") are set to team for a potential domestic take on the Australian format about Suzy Darling, "a recently divorced mother of two whose life is forever changed through her unexpected relationship with Henry Mallet, the ghost of an '80s English punk rock star." Endemol Studios and ABC Studios are behind the hour, which was originated by Claudia Karvan and Jacquelin Perske and ran for two seasons in Australia. Black and Myers then will write and executive produce alongside Jeremy Gold. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED JOE WEISBERG PROJECT (FOX) - Paul Greengrass ("The Bourne Ultimatum") has signed onto the potential drama, about the young assistants of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Intelligence community. Joe Weisberg is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which was given a script commitment last month. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo of Imagine Television also serve as executive producers alongside Weisberg and Greengrass, who likewise may direct. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED KEN KWAPIS PROJECTS (Showtime, New!) - Ken Kwapis ("Outsourced") has booked a pair of comedies at the pay channel. Author Shalom Auslander and Sara Goodman ("Gossip Girl") are penning the half-hours, a "dark comedy set in the world of modern advertising" and "a provocative look at the relationship of young married couple who decide to explore an open marriage," respectively. Kwapis then will executive produce each alongside said creators and his In Cahoots partner/co-executive producer Alexandra Beattie. (Deadline.com)

WOLF HALL (HBO, New!) - Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning novel is being developed as a four-hour mini-series by the pay channel alongside the BBC. Peter Straughan ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy") is spearheading the adaptation, "a fictionalized biography chronicling the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII." Most recently, James Frain played the historical figure in Showtime's "The Tudors." Company Pictures and Playground Entertainment are co-producing the project with the latter's Colin Callender among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - FX has passed on its Nashville-set drama pilot "Outlaw Country," while superhero effort "Powers" is being retooled (Deadline.com); Marcia Gay Harden will play a Nancy Grace-esque journalist on the January 3 episode of "Body of Proof" (EW.com); Greg Kinnear will guest on "Modern Family" as "a successful and athletic real estate broker" who goes into business with Ty Burrell's Phil (EW.com); Nia Vardalos and Peri Gilpin will play bickering sisters on a "Grey's Anatomy" episode set for January (THR.com); Sarah Jane Morris will return to "NCIS" as the MIA E.J. Barrett (TVLine.com); Amy Acker has been tapped as the fearsome Black Widow on "Grimm" (TVLine.com); Jason Dohring is set as the Greek god Chronos on "Supernatural" (TVLine.com); NBC plans to honor Betty White's 90th birthday with a new special timed with her January 17 milestone (TVGuide.com); "Bones" co-stars Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor and John Francis Daley have reportedly closed new deals valued in the mid-five figures to continue with the series through next season (THR.com); Disney Channel is moving forward with a second season of serial "My Babysitter's a Vampire" (Variety.com); plus Canadian drama "ReGenesis" will turn up on Science beginning Saturday, November 26 at 8:00/7:00c (Variety.com).

  [november 2011]  


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