[03/22/12 - 11:11 PM] Development Update: Thursday, March 22 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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HANNIBAL (NBC) - Hugh Dancy ("The Big C") has been tapped as Will Graham in the Peacock's contemporary take on Thomas Harris's novel "Red Dragon." Said hour, which has been ordered directly to series, will track the early relationship between FBI agent Graham ("a handsome, haunted man with a naive focus") and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. William Petersen and Brian Cox originated the roles in the 1986 feature (titled "Manhunter") with Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins taking over for the 2002 remake. Bryan Fuller is behind the project, which comes from The Gaumont Film Company. (Deadline.com)MISTRESSES (ABC) - Alyssa Milano ("Romantically Challenged") has been tapped as the remaining lead on the upcoming drama, about the lives of four female friends and their involvement in an array of illicit and complex relationships. She'll play Savi (short for Savannah), a married lawyer who struggles to stay connected to her husband. Jes Macallan also stars as her sister Josslyn with Rochelle Aytes and Yunjin Kim as pals April and Katie. Cherie Nowlan is directing the pilot to the ABC Studios-based hour, from writer K.J. Steinberg. (Deadline.com)REBOUNDING (FOX) - Amanda Walsh ("Sons & Daughters") has joined the cast of 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 (Hayes MacArthur, Malcolm Barrett and Matt L. Jones). She's take over for Aly Michalka as Taryn, the girlfriend of MacArthur's character. Andrea Savage also stars in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, from co-creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. Jason Winer is directing. (Deadline.com)THE WIDOW DETECTIVE (CBS) - Jennifer Beals ("The Chicago Code") and Paula Marshall ("Gary Unmarried") have booked the remaining principal roles on the drama pilot, about Denny Brennan (John Corbett), a decorated detective who has lost three partners in the line of duty and serves as the male figure in the lives of his fallen partners' families. They'll play two of said widows: Lainey Vargas Becker ("a strong blue-collar sexiness"), owner of a valley hair salon; and Jill Jaworski ("a beauty with fiery eyes"), a mother of three daughters; respectively. Elyes Gabel plays Lainey's son Troy, who partners with Denny on the job, while Conor Leslie is on board as Amanda, Jill's eldest, who's engaged to a detective. Davis Guggenheim is directing the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from writer David Hubbard. Eriq La Salle, Michael Irby and Natalie Martinez also star. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Kal Penn is in talks to return for the series finale of "House" alongside the previously announced Olivia Wilde (EW.com); Netflix is in "exploratory" discussions with ABC Studios to continue "The River" should ABC opt against a second season (Deadline.com); "Smash" creator Theresa Rebeck won't return as showrunner for its just-ordered sophomore run but will continue as an executive producer/writer (Deadline.com); Nick at Nite is on track to order 20 episodes of its Scott Baio-led comedy pilot "Daddy's Home"(Deadline.com); Wil Calhoun, currently a consulting producer on "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," has inked a two-year overall deal with Universal Television (Deadline.com); Lauren Stamile will return as Agent Pearce for at least four episodes on the upcoming sixth season of "Burn Notice"(TVLine.com); and Rebecca Mader will turn up on "Fringe" as "a strong, brave woman involved in a case linked to supervillain David Robert Jones" in the last two episodes of the season (TVGuide.com).