[03/23/12 - 11:17 PM]
Development Update: Friday, March 23
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!

BAD GIRLS (NBC) - Jaime Pressly ("I Hate My Teenage Daughter") has booked a role on the pilot, a drama which follows the ins and outs of a group of unlikely women at a federal correctional institute. She'll play Melinda ("ominous; sexy"), the warden of Santa Del Mar Women's Federal Correctional Institute. Said role is in second position to her recently yanked FOX comedy. Amy Smart, Jurnee Smollett, Karolina Wydra, Kym Whitley, Rick Gonzalez, Tracee Ellis Ross and Zoe Boyle also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, from director John Dahl and writer Nancy Marie Pimental. (Deadline.com)

COUNTER CULTURE (ABC) - Emmy-nominee Delta Burke ("Designing Women") has booked the remaining principal role on the comedy pilot, about three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas. She'll play the put-upon middle sister, Nonie Hayes, with the previously cast Margo Martindale as her bossy elder sister Joyce Cox and Kerri Kenney as the youngest, aging party girl Billie Haynes. Stephnie Weir is behind the ABC Studios/Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, from director Ted Wass. Doris Roberts and Luis Guzman also star. (Deadline.com)

THE FAMILY TRAP (ABC) - Eva LaRue ("CSI: Miami") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about newlyweds - Annie (Mandy Moore) and Ben (Nelson Franklin) - who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in her hometown but at the cost of bringing her closer to her needy and high maintenance parents (Stockard Channing, Kurt Fuller). She'll guest as Veronica, the lesbian partner of Annie's sister Kate (Erinn Hayes), a role which has the option to become a series regular. Majandra Delfino, Mike Castle and Ravi Patel also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, from director Shawn Levy and co-creators Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub. (THR.com)

THE FRONTIER (NBC) - Nathan Gamble ("Hank") has been cast in the pilot, a period drama about a diverse group of people who set out from Missouri on an incredible adventure across the western landscape to Oregon in the 1840. He'll play Samuel - the son of Cooper Hale (Jake McLaughlin), a farmer looking to start a new life - who is beset by visions of a white coated man that kidnapped his mother. Writer Shaun Cassidy and director Thomas Schlamme are behind the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which also stars Al Weaver, Bridget Regan, Chaske Spencer, Clancy Brown, Erik Jensen, Ethan Embry, Gina Bramhill, Megan Ferguson and Mustafa Shakir. (THR.com)

HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (ABC) - Orlando Jones ("Rules of Engagement") is the latest to score a role on the comedy pilot, about Polly (Sarah Chalke), a recently divorced, single mom, who moves in with her eccentric parents (Elizabeth Perkins, Brad Garrett), a couple who's full of life but knows no boundaries. He'll play Gregg ("the kinda guy Polly's been looking for all her life but was too f--ed up to attract"), her married best friend and co-worker at Pantry Pete's, the Midwest's third most popular organic grocery store. Jon Dore, Rachel Eggleston and Rebecca Delgado Smith also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, from director Julie Anne Robinson and writer Claudia Lonow. (Deadline.com)

MISTRESSES (ABC) - Jason George ("Grey's Anatomy") and Brett Tucker ("Spartacus: Vengeance") have both landed roles on the upcoming drama, about the lives of four female friends and their involvement in an array of illicit and complex relationships. Tucker will play Harry Dillon, the loving husband of one of them (Alyssa Milano) and a successful restaurant owner; with George as Dominic Montgomery ("handsome and driven"), a co-worker at her law office with whom she has an undeniable chemistry. Cameron Bender, Erik Stocklin, Jes Macallan, Rochelle Aytes and Yunjin Kim also star in the project, from ABC Studios and writer K.J. Steinberg. (Deadline.com)

NED FOX IS MY MANNY (FOX) - Dakota Johnson ("21 Jump Street") has been tapped as the female lead in the comedy pilot, about Kate, an uptight single mom whose aimless brother Ned (Nat Faxon) moves in to help her raise her five-year-old daughter, Maddie (Maggie Jones). She'll play said woman, taking over for the previously cast Abby Elliott. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the half-hour, from director Jake Kasdan and writer Dana Fox. Austin Stowell, Echo Kellum and Lucy Punch also star. (Deadline.com)

NOTORIOUS (NBC) - Ella Rae Peck ("Gossip Girl") and newcomer Makenzie Leigh have joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good), 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. Peck will play Vivian's half-sister Mia, whose lifestyle mirrors Vivian's wild teen years; with Leigh as Vivian herself in flashbacks to her own teen years with Joanna. Katherine LaNasa, Neil Jackson, Tate Donovan and Victor Garber co-star in the Universal Television-based hour, from writer Liz Heldens. (Deadline.com)

SHELTER (The CW) - Australian actor Eka Darville and newcomer Hannah New are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about the staff and guests at Shelter Bay, a historic New England summer resort. New has been tapped for the lead role of Kathryn Gilchrist, who is at Shelter Bay for her wedding; with Darville as Bobby Repeta, a local who lives at Shelter Bay year-round and works at the bay as a fisherman. They'll join the previously cast Elizabeth Henstridge in the project, which comes from the Warner Bros. Television-Bad Robot Productions. Liz Friedlander is directing from a script by Mark Schwahn. (Deadline.com)

SUPER FUN NIGHT (CBS) - Jenny Slate ("Bored to Death") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about three nerdy female friends - Kimmie, Helen-Alice and Marika - on their "funcomfortable" quest to have "super fun" every Friday night. She'll play the super smart but socially challenged Helen-Alice, who's roommates with Kimmie (creator Rebel Wilson). Warner Bros. Television-based Conaco Productions is behind the half-hour, which also stars Alan Ritchson and Kevin Bishop. (Deadline.com)

SURPRISE, SURPRISE (NBC, New!) - The Peacock has acquired the domestic rights to a revival of the 1984-97 U.K. series which "surprised members of the public with long-held wishes, setting up tricks to fool members of the public, prank phone calls to people and reuniting guests with long-lost loved ones." Cilla Black hosted the original incarnation, which also aired annual specials in the four years following the close of its run. No details were given about the new take. Holly Willoughby is hosting ITV's own revival, due this fall. (Variety.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Ben Shenkman has landed a four-episode arc on "Royal Pains" as HankMed's new employee, who has "a top-notch resume and a brilliant mind for science, [but] a serious lack of the social skills required for concierge medicine" (TVGuide.com); Paula Marshall will guest on "CSI" as "a sexy, cold-hearted, tough and no-nonsense CEO of an oil company who also happens to be a premiere race truck driver" (TVLine.com); Jon Bernthal is on track to stop by "Harry's Law" as "a man who holds the courtroom hostage when the person accused of raping and murdering his sister is found not guilty" (TVLine.com); Maria Bello is set to recur on "Touch" as "an earth-mother" type whose daughter shares a gift similar to David Mazouz's Jake (Deadline.com); Robin McLeavy, who plays tattooed call girl Eva, has been upped to series regular on "Hell on Wheels" (THR.com); and FX is eyeing a small screen take on the Coen brothers' 1996 film "Fargo" from MGM Television (Variety.com).

  [march 2012]  


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