[01/26/12 - 10:55 PM] Development Update: Thursday, January 26 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALMOST VACANT (Comedy Central, New!) - Canadian actors Nicolas Wright and James A. Woods (IFC's "The Business") have booked a pilot order at the cable channel for a comedy about "the misadventures of two inept friends, Jim (Woods) and Nic (Wright), as they work at a low-end budget hotel in upper New York." The duo also co-wrote the script and will executive produce with Matthew Shewchuk producing. (Deadline.com)ANGER MANAGEMENT (FX) - Shawnee Smith ("Becker") has landed a role on the upcoming Charlie Sheen-led comedy, about a former baseball player with anger issues who winds up as an unconventional anger management therapist. She'll play his ex-wife, "who is searching for a life path after living in Charlie's shadow for a long time." Sheen, Bruce Helford, Joe Roth, Kevin Beggs, Mark Burg, Ramon Estevez, Sandra Stern and Vince Totino are among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)APPLEBAUM (A.K.A. MOMMY-TRACK MYSTERIES) (CBS) - Ayelet Waldman's small screen take on her literary heroine, "a former public defender who becomes a private investigator to keep from being bored to death as a stay-at-home mom," has been ordered to pilot. Chris Columbus is set to direct the CBS Television Studios-based project as well as executive produce alongside Waldman, Michael Barnathan, Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper. (Deadline.com)ELEMENTARY (CBS) - Michael Cuesta ("Homeland") is set to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, a contemporary, New York City-based take on Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. Said development is part of an 18-month, seven-figure overall deal with producer CBS Television Studios. Cuesta will also shepherd is own series projects for the studio. Robert Doherty is behind "Elementary," which comes from the studio-based Timberman-Beverly Productions. (Deadline.com)PRODIGY/BULLY (FOX) - Mike O'Malley's comedy, based on Hank Perlman's series of shorts about "a young boy genius who uses his brains and brawn to get whatever he wants," is moving forward to pilot at the network. The actor penned the teleplay from a story he conceived with John Wells, whose Warner Bros. Television-based John Wells Productions is behind the half-hour. Wells, Andrew Stearn and Paris Barclay then will executive produce with O'Malley serving as a co-executive producer. Wells previously took a stab at Perlman's shorts in 2006, penned by Perlman himself, for NBC. (Deadline.com)QUEAN (A.K.A. UNTITLED ILENE CHAIKEN PROJECT) (CBS) - Ilene Chaiken has snagged a pilot order for her drama, about "an edgy and independent Millennial hacker girl who teams up with an Oakland police detective to solve crimes." Warner Bros. Television-based Silver Pictures is behind the hour, which Chaiken will executive produce alongside Joel Silver. (Deadline.com)SUPER FUN NIGHT (CBS, New!) - Rebel Wilson ("Bridesmaids") is set to star in a new multi-camera comedy pilot at the Eye about "three nerdy female friends on their 'funcomfortable' quest to have super fun every Friday night." Wilson also penned the half-hour and will serve as a co-executive producer for Warner Bros. Television. Conaco's Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross and David Kissinger are the executive producers. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED RALPH LAMB PROJECT (CBS) - Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker's period drama, about the rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas in the 1960s, has been ordered to pilot by the network. James Mangold is on board to direct and executive produce alongside the duo, Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian. CBS Television Studios is producing. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Kevin Weisman will recur on NBC's upcoming "Awake" as a mysterious character who haunt's Jason Isaacs's character with revealing information about the car accident that changed his life (EW.com); Bebe Neuwirth is bound for "The Good Wife" as Judge Friend, "a sexy woman with a stern manner and little patience for joking around" (EW.com); and Frances Fisher will guest on "A Gifted Man" as the overbearing mother of a photographer pal of Patrick Wilson's Michael Holt in an early March episode (TVLine.com).