[02/15/12 - 11:15 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, February 15 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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44TH STREET (HBO, New!) - "NewsRadio" creator Paul Simms has booked a potential Broadway-themed single-camera comedy at the pay channel about "two veteran theatre actors struggle to find success amidst a world of upstarts and critics." Simms penned the half-hour on spec specifically for the network. No other details were given. (Deadline.com)666 PARK AVENUE (ABC) - Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") is the first to land a role on the drama pilot, about "a young couple who accept an offer to manage one of the most historic apartment buildings in New York City where they begin to experience supernatural occurrences, which complicate and endanger the lives of everyone in the building." He's been cast as Gavin Doran, the building's elegantly dressed owner. David Wilcox is behind the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, to be helmed by Alex Graves. (Deadline.com)AMERICAN JUDY (ABC) - Mimi Kennedy ("Dharma & Greg") has been cast in the Judy Greer-led comedy pilot, about "a cosmopolitan woman who gets married and becomes a fish out of water in the suburbs having to juggle stepkids, her mother-in-law and the ex-wife of her husband, who also happens to be the town sheriff." She'll play said mother-in-law, who also happens to be named Judy. Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont and Greer herself co-created the half-hour, which is set up at ABC Studios. (Deadline.com)ARROW (The CW) - "Gossip Girl" alums Katie Cassidy and Willa Holland have both been cast in the drama pilot, a modern retelling of the story of DC Comics character Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), better known as Green Arrow. Holland will play Thea Queen, "Oliver's celebutante younger sister who's testing the boundaries of acceptable behavior," whom he nicknamed "Speedy" as a child. Cassidy then is set as Dinah "Laurel" Lance, "a young legal clinic attorney who shares a romantic past with Oliver." David Ramsey and Susanna Thompson also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based project, from co-creators Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. David Nutter is directing. (Deadline.com)THE ASSET (FOX) - Ali Larter ("Heroes") has booked the title role on the drama pilot, about Anna King, a globe-trotting CIA agent whose cover is that of a renowned photojournalist. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the hour, which Neil Burger is directing from a script by Josh Friedman. (EW.com)BABY BIG SHOT (CBS) - Toni Trucks ("The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Martina Garretti, "a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm." She's set as Cyndi Leary ("if Cyndi weren't Martina's secretary, the two women could be besties") in the hour, which comes from Sony Pictures Television and creator Dana Calvo. (Variety.com)THE CARRIE DIARIES (The CW) - Stefania Owen ("Running Wilde") is the first to be cast in the "Sex and the City" prequel, which follows Bradshaw in high school during the 1980s. She'll play Dorrit, Carrie's gawky 14-year-old sister who's "rebelling in the most obvious of ways: dying her hair, getting arrested, acting out." Miguel Arteta is directing the project from a script by Amy B. Harris for the Warner Bros. Television-based Fake Empire. (EW.com)DADDY'S GIRLS (NBC) - Nicky Whelan and Cedric Yarbrough have both scored roles on the comedy pilot, about Penelope "Pen" Morton (Christine Woods), a young doctor who returns home from Doctors Without Borders to find her father is seriously dating the "mean girl" from her high school. She'll play said girl, Holly Timmons ("29, the blond bombshell of every guy's dreams; fun, demonstrative, at ease"), with Yarbrough as Gabe ("30's, wry, over it"), Pen's friend who works as a male nurse at her clinic. Brenda Song also stars in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which Pamela Fryman is directing from a script by creator Dana Klein. (Deadline.com)DEVIOUS MAIDS (ABC) - Dania Ramirez ("Heroes") is likewise the first to board the drama pilot, about four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. She's set as one of the quartet, Rosie Falta ("35, sweet and vulnerable"), "a single mother who left her son back in Mexico when her husband died, slipped into El Norte and now works as the housemaid/nanny for a pair of self-absorbed and successful actors." Marc Cherry is behind the ABC Studios-based hour, to be directed by Paul McGuigan. (Deadline.com)DO NO HARM (NBC) - Steven Pasquale ("Rescue Me") has booked the lead role in the drama pilot, about Jeffrey Kohn, "a brilliant neurosurgeon who wrestles with his dangerous alter-ego Ian Price that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional life." Alana De La Garza and Ruta Gedmintas co-star in the Universal Television-based hour, from director Michael Mayer and writer David Schulner. Pasquale had been attached to the USA pilot "Over/Under," which presumably is not moving forward. (Deadline.com)FRIEND ME (CBS) - Parvesh Cheena ("Outsourced") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about best pals Rob and Evan (both yet to be cast) who have just moved to L.A. from Indiana to start new jobs at Groupon. He'll play Mike, an Indian-American grad student in mathematics who'll spend his entire life on university campuses, one of their friends from back home. Ajay Sahgal and Alan Kirschenbaum penned the half-hour, which comes from CBS Television Studios. (Twitter.com)MAJOR CRIMES (TNT) - Kearran Giovanni ("One Life to Live") has scored a role on the Mary McDonnell-led "The Closer" spin-off, due this summer on the cable channel. She'll play Detective Amy Skyes, "an ambitious undercover police detective and military veteran who served in Afghanistan." G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene also star in the project, with Robert Gossett, Jon Tenney and Jonathan Del Arco also set to recur. (Deadline.com)MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT (HBO) - Benjamin Walker ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") is in talks to star in the original movie, about the boxing legend's battle with the Supreme Court over his Muslim beliefs as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. He would play Kevin Kennedy, "a Supreme Court clerk who championed the issue and wrote the briefs that ultimately resulted in approving Ali's status as a conscientious objector." Ali - who will appear in the film via actual news footage - ultimately was "convicted by a Houston court in 1967 and spent three years exiled from the ring as his case journeyed to the Supreme Court." Stephen Frears is helming the project from a script by Shawn Slovo. Frank Doelger, Tracey Scoffield and Jonathan Cameron are the executive producers with Scott Ferguson producing. (Variety.com)MY IDIOTIC TWENTIES (CBS) - Adam Campbell and Amanda Lund have both scored roles on the comedy pilot, about Jake (Michael Angarano), a commitment phobic ad agency exec who, after breaking up with his girlfriend, realizes he has to continue working with her one cubicle away. They'll play his co-workers Will ("mid-30s, in denial of adulthood and so dresses and acts too young") and Hannah ("20s, beautiful perma-temp but with crazy eyes") in the project, which also stars Chris Smith and Randall Park. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the project, from writer/director Nicholas Stoller. (Deadline.com)PRAIRIE DOGS (ABC) - Kal Penn ("How I Met Your Mother") has snagged the lead role on the comedy pilot, about Neil, an uncool cubicle worker at one of the coolest companies in the world who becomes the victim of identity theft and ultimately engages the charismatic conman to help him change his life. Said role ("late twenties, just on the nerdy side of handsome") reportedly includes a development component should the project not make it to series. Michaela Watkins also stars in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, from co-creators Jackie and Jeff Filgo. (Deadline.com)REBOUNDING (FOX) - Hayes MacArthur ("Perfect Couples") and Malcolm Barrett ("Better Off Ted") are the first to board the comedy pilot, about Danny Markle, "a man recovering from the death of his fiance with the help of the idiots on his pickup basketball team." They'll play two of said fellows: Dave Teller ("tall, good-looking guy's guy; by far the best athlete in this crew") and presumably, the character formerly known as Ravi Shah ("29, Indian American, mannered, fastidious, a little uptight"). Jason Winer is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, from co-creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman as well as executive producer Steve Levitan. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED HILARY WINSTON PROJECT (NBC) - Aubrey Dollar ("Women's Murder Club") has boarded the comedy pilot, about Agnes Little, "a shy, focused woman who, after being dumped by her fiance, leans on her co-workers to help her come out of her shell and plot her revenge." She'll presumably play one of her chemist co-workers, either Hope ("27, an eager narcissist") or Lizzy ("sexy and seems out of place in a tight dress and high heels"). Adam Shankman is directing the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour from a script by Hilary Winston. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Zach McGowan will be upped to series regular for the third season of "Shameless"(Deadline.com); Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon, who are currently attached to NBC pilots, have both closed their deals to return to "Weeds" for its eighth season (Deadline.com); Paget Brewster will depart "Criminal Minds" at the end of the current season, her second exit from the veteran drama (Deadline.com); Discovery has renewed its Friday hit "Gold Rush" for a third season (THR.com); and "Gilmore Girls" alum Kelly Bishop will recur on Amy Sherman-Palladino's upcoming ABC Family drama "Bunheads"(EW.com).