[02/22/12 - 11:36 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, February 22 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICANA (ABC) - Emilie de Ravin ("Lost") is the latest to board the drama pilot, about Robert Soulter (Anthony LaPaglia), creator of the most iconic fashion brand in the world - Americana - which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. She'll play his daughter Francesca ("dressed in perfect western chic"), who handles special events for the company. Ken Olin and Natalie Mendoza also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, from writer Michael Seitzman and director Phillip Noyce. (MovieHole.net)ANIMAL KINGDOM (NBC) - Tyler Labine and Bobby Lee are both on board the pilot, a single-camera comedy about George Coleman (Justin Kirk), a veterinarian who loves animals but usually hates their owners. They'll play fellow docs Doug ("a big, doughy, sweet natured Vet") and Kim ("a skittish vet") in the Universal Television-based half-hour, from co-writers Alessandro Tanaka and Brian Gatewood and co-directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. (Deadline.com)FIRST CUT (The CW) - Michael Rady and Kelly McCreary are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Emily Barnes, "a newly-minted doctor as she discovers that life at the hospital where she works is no different than high school." Rady will play her resident, Micah Ellis ("a little bit of a nerd; the guy you never notice until suddenly you grow up and realize that he's kind of cute"), with McCreary as fellow intern Tyra Granger ("a bit of an odd duck; a little Ally Sheady in Breakfast Club"). Jennie Snyder Urman is behind the hour, which is set up at CBS Television Studios. (TVLine.com)GOLDEN BOY (CBS) - Ryan Phillippe has exited the drama pilot, which tracks one man's (Phillippe) meteoric rise from uniform cop at age 26 to police commissioner at 34. Said departure is reported as "amicable and happened after doubts on Phillippe's part that he was ready to commit to the rigors of a network drama series." Chi McBride, Kevin Alejandro and Stella Maeve co-star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, from director Richard Shepard and writer Nick Wootton. (Deadline.com)THE LIFE (ABC) - Lee Tergesen is likewise the first to land a role on the drama pilot, about the widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband's role in order to protect her family. He's set as Steven Tomlin ("the foot-soldier, not the general, prefers it that way") in the ABC Studios-based hour, from writer Melissa Rosenberg and based on the Dutch serial "Penoza." (TVLine.com)MIDNIGHT SUN (NBC) - Michael Raymond-James ("Terriers") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the FBI's investigation into disappearance of a remote cult in Dugan, Alaska led by Bennett Maxwell (Titus Welliver) which taps into a grander political conspiracy. He'll play Lieutenant Sam Fuller ("has an easy, open, goofy attractiveness but don't let that fool you"), second-in-command of the Dugan Police Department. Brad Anderson is directing the Universal Television-based hour from a script by Lisa Zwerling. (Deadline.com)NASHVILLE (ABC) - Jonathan Jackson ("General Hospital") has booked a role on the pilot, a drama set against the backdrop of the country music world in Nashville. He's on board as Avery Davis ("a dead sexy East Nashville hipster who patterns himself after Kings of Leon"), an aspiring musician/songwriter. Writer Callie Khouri and director R.J. Cutler are behind the ABC Studios/Lionsgate Television-based hour, which also stars Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio. (Deadline.com)THE NEW NORMAL (NBC) - Justin Bartha and Georgia King have landed principal roles on the comedy pilot, about a gay couple - Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Bartha) - and Goldie (King), the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family. Bartha will play said fellow, David Murray ("30's, quietly sexy, grounded, patient"), with King as cash-strapped waitress and mother of one Goldie ("face of an angel, personality to match"). Ellen Barkin also stars as Goldie's wild grandmother. Ali Adler and Ryan Murphy are behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, the latter of which will direct. (Deadline.com)OH F---, IT'S YOU (CBS) - Greg Grunberg ("Love Bites") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Nick, a notorious womanizer who, after surviving a health scare, realizes that "the one" is his ex-turned-gal pal/business partner, Wendy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), who's already engaged to a nice guy. He's set as Charlie ("mid-30's, beatendown looking"), Wendy's brother and Nick's best guy friend, who's in the midst of a bitter divorce. Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, where Grunberg recently signed a talent holding deal. James Burrows is directing the project from a script by Greg Malins and Greg Berlanti. (Deadline.com)PARTNERS (CBS) - Brandon Routh, Elizabeth Regen and Lucy Davis have all been cast in the comedy pilot, about two male architects - one straight, Charlie; one gay, Louis (Michael Urie) - whose relationship itself resembles a marriage. Regen will play Rosanna "Ro-Ro" Di-Giandemenico, the guys' colorful assistant; with Routh as Louis's partner Wyatt ("30's, extremely handsome; is the emotional photo negative of his partner"), a hard partying model-turned-sober, vegan nurse; and Davis as Renata ("very East Village; very good body; glummer than Eeyore"), the droll bookkeeper for Charlie's fiancé Ali (Sophia Bush). Warner Bros. Television and co-creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are behind the hour, to be directed by James Burrows. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED BEN FALCONE/LARRY DORF PROJECT (CBS) - Rachael Harris has been cast in the pilot, a multi-comedy about a man (Ben Falcone) who learns that there's no place like home... unless home is your parents' house and you're 37 years old. She'll play his frazzled sister who has three kids. Falcone and Larry Dorf co-wrote the half-hour for Warner Bros. Television. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED HILARY WINSTON PROJECT (NBC) - Mena Suvari and Kyle Howard have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about a shy, focused woman who, after being dumped by her fiancé, leans on her co-workers to help her come out of her shell and plot her revenge. They'll play two of said group: Lizzy ("sexy and seems out of place in a tight dress and high heels") and Brandon ("cocky and athletic") alongside the previously cast Aubrey Dollar. Adam Shankman is helming the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour from a script by Hilary Winston. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JOSH BERMAN/ROB WRIGHT PROJECT (FOX) - James Carpinello and Jesse Lee Soffer are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Grace Devlin, a doctor who also works for the Chicago mob. Soffer will play Danny, Grace's likeable screw-up of a brother, with Carpinello as Franco, a sexy mobster who has a past with Grace and she's trying to move forward. Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour, which Michael Dinner is directing from a script by Josh Berman and Rob Wright. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Robert Lopez, co-creator of hit Tony-winning musicals "The Book of Mormon" and "Avenue Q," and his brother Billy Lopez have signed a blind script deal with ABC Studios for a comedy project (Deadline.com); and Meat Loaf will guest on "Fairly Legal" as "an old-school, blue-collar transportation union boss with a dirty mouth who wields an iron fist as he threatens to bring San Francisco to a halt in order to protect his workers" (TVLine.com).