[03/13/12 - 11:53 PM]
Development Update: Tuesday, March 13
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!

CULT (The CW) - Matt Davis ("The Vampire Diaries") has booked the male lead on the drama pilot, about Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a production assistant on a wildly popular television show named "Cult," who teams with Jeff Sefton (Davis), a journalist blogger, to investigate the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life. Writer Rockne S. O'Bannon and director Jason Ensler are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which also stars Alona Tal and Robert Knepper. (Deadline.com)

L.A. NOIR (TNT) - Alexa Davalos ("Clash of the Titans") has snagged a role on the drama pilot, about the epic battle between Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker (Neal McDonough) and mobster Mickey Cohen (yet to be cast) in the 1950s. She'll play Jasmine, "a beauty with a complicated past," in the project, from writer/director Frank Darabont. Jeremy Strong, Jon Bernthal and Milo Ventimiglia also star. (Deadline.com)

THE LIFE (ABC) - Suleka Mathew, Jaime Ray Newman, Sterling Beaumon and Jakob Salvati have all been cast in the drama pilot, about Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband's role in order to protect her family. Beaumon and Salvati will play her sons, Gabriel ("handsome in a techno-geek way") and Boris ("slight, sensitive, immediately lovable"); with Newman as her Marta's younger sister Katrina "Kat" Lazarev ("sweet, fun, loyal as hell") and Mathew as Marta's best friend Dina Tomlin ("perfectly manicured, dyed, preserved"). ABC Studios is behind the hour, which also stars Lee Tergesen, Luke Goss and Rade Serbedzija. Mark Pellington is directing from a script by Melissa Rosenberg. (Deadline.com)

MIDNIGHT SUN (NBC) - Alexia Fast ("The Secret Circle") is the latest addition to the pilot, a drama about the FBI's investigation into the disappearance of a remote cult in Dugan, Alaska - led by Bennett Maxwell (Titus Welliver) - which taps into a grander political conspiracy. She'll play Miranda Bailey, a rebellious teen whose boyfriend, Charlie Watson (yet to be cast), is among the missing. Connor O'Farrell, Daniella Pineda, David Harbour, Emma Bell, Julia Stiles and Michael Raymond-James also star. Brad Anderson is directing from a script by Lisa Zwerling for Universal Television. (Deadline.com)

NASHVILLE (ABC) - Charles Esten ("Enlightened") has scored a role on the drama pilot, which centers around the Nashville music scene and its stars, both rising and fading. He's on board as Deacon Claybourne, the strikingly handsome lead guitar player for Rayna James (Connie Britton) with whom she shares a flirty rapport. Clare Bowen, Eric Close, Hayden Panettiere, Jonathan Jackson, Powers Boothe, Robert Wisdom and Sam Palladio also star in the project, from writer Callie Khouri and director R.J. Cutler. ABC Studios ad Lionsgate Television are producing. (Deadline.com)

NOTORIOUS (NBC) - Katherine LaNasa and Neil Jackson are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about Joanna Locasto (yet to be cast), a police detective who returns undercover to the wealthy family she grew up in - as the maid's daughter - to solve the murder of Vivian Lawson, the notorious heiress who was once her closest friend. LaNasa will play Sofia Lawson ("40s, beautiful: don't f--- with her"), second wife of the Vivian's father Robert Lawson (Victor Garber); while Jackson is on board as Julian Lawson ("sweet, sexy, bad boy, sex-addicted"), the youngest son. Liz Heldens is behind the hour, which comes from the Universal Television-based BermanBraun. (Deadline.com)

PARTNERS (CBS) - Molly Shannon and Tracy Vilar have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about two male architects - one straight, Charlie (David Krumholtz); one gay, Louis (Michael Urie) - whose relationship itself resembles a marriage. Vilar will take over for Elizabeth Regen as Ro-Ro, the guys' colorful assistant; while Shannon will guest as Cassandra, a newly created role. In addition, Lucy Davis's character - Renata, the bookkeeper for Charlie's finace Ali (Sophia Bush) - is being written out. Said changes are part of a slight casting overhaul following its audience run through on Friday. Warner Bros. Television is behind the project, from co-creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick and director James Burrows. Brandon Routh also stars. (Deadline.com)

PURE EVIL (Showtime, New!) - Trey Callaway ("CSI: NY") has booked a potential drama at the pay channel about "a brilliant and sinister CEO of the world's largest tech and media conglomerate." Arnold and Anne Kopelson are also on board to executive produce the hour via their Kopelson Entertainment banner alongside Steve Barnett and creator Callaway. (Deadline.com)

REBOUNDING (FOX) - Andrea Savage ("Dog Bites Man") has boarded the comedy pilot, about Danny Markle (Will Forte), a man recovering from the death of his fiance with help from friends on his pick-up basketball team. She'll play his sister Amanda ("33, harried, angry") in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which also stars Aly Michalka, Hayes MacArthur, Malcolm Barrett and Matt L. Jones. Jason Winer is directing from a script by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. (Deadline.com)

THE SELECTION (The CW) - William Moseley ("The Chronicles of Narnia") and Andrew Elvis Miller are both set to board the pilot, a drama set 300 years in the future about America Singer (Aimee Teegarden), a poor woman who is chosen by lottery to compete to become the next queen of a war-torn nation. The former will play America's boyfriend, Aspen Leger ("strong, smart, and bears the burden of supporting his entire family"), whom she must keep a secret due to her being one caste above him. Miller then will guest as Gavril Fedaye ("trim, bright-eyed, smooth-voiced"), the Ryan Seacrest-esque host of "The Capitol Report," a TV series devoted to The Selection. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED HILARY WINSTON PROJECT (NBC) - Freddie Prinze Jr. and Joanna Kerns are the latest to be cast in the comedy pilot, about Agnes Little (Sarah Wright), 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. He'll play said ex, Noah Jaworski ("nerdy handsome"), with Kerns as her mom, Connie. Aubrey Dollar, Kyle Howard and Mena Suvari co-star in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which Adam Shankman is attached to direct. (Deadline.com, TVLine.com)

UNTITLED KARYN USHER PROJET (FOX) - Louise Lombard ("CSI") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about Jane Forsythe (Saxon Sharbino), the orphaned 14-year-old daughter of a CIA agent who is recruited to become an operative herself. She's set as Wendy Hollingsworth ("a beautiful, cosmopolitan woman in a slightly geeky shell"), the ex-girlfriend of Kevin Lear (Julian McMahon), the best friend of Jane's late father. The Brett Ratner-helmed hour also stars Angela Bassett. 20th Century Fox Television is producing. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED MINDY KALING PROJECT (FOX) - Anna Camp ("The Good wife") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Mira Kaviraya (Mindy Kaling), a young doctor trying to navigate both her personal and professional lives. She'll play her best friend Gwen, an attorney-turned-stay-at-home-mom who's always taking care of her. Chris Messina, Dana DeLorenzo, Ed Weeks and Zoe Jarman co-star in the Universal Television-based half-hour, to be directed by Charles McDougall. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED LOUIS CK/SPIKE FERESTEN PROJECT (CBS) - Stage actress Patti Murin has booked the female lead on the pilot, a multi-camera comedy that revolves around a group of young people working to achieve their creative dreams amid tough financial times. She's set as Anna, an intelligent assertive vintage clothing seller in her twenties. Ashley Tisdale and Dan Byrd co-star in the project, to be directed by Andy Ackerman. CBS Television Studios and Universal Television are producing. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Discovery has terminated its relationship with Bear Grylls as the network has allegedly been unable to get Grylls to participate in two unannounced projects he was contracted for (THR.com); William Petersen is eyeing a small screen return with "Hurt People," a cable-targeted drama from writer Peter Macmanus and producers Graham King and Tim Headington of GK-tv (Deadline.com); HBO has passed on its drama pilot "Da Brick," from executive producers Spike Lee, John Ridley, Doug Ellin and Mike Tyson (Deadline.com); Michael Kelly has booked a role on the Netflix original "House of Cards," which begins production next month in Baltimore (Variety.com); Katlin Mastandrea will recur on "Anger Management" as a close friend of Daniela Bobadilla's Emma, the 13-year-old daughter of Charlie Sheen's character (THR.com); and Danish actor Carsten Norgaard will recur on season two of "Luck" as Oleg, a powerful Russian businessman (THR.com).

  [march 2012]  


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