[03/27/12 - 11:04 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, March 27 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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COUNTER CULTURE (ABC) - Ken Howard ("30 Rock") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about three aging sisters - Nonie (Delta Burke), Billie (Kerri Kenney) and Joyce (Margo Martindale) - running their family diner together in West Texas. He'll play Joyce's burly husband, Ken, in the Stephnie Weir-penned half-hour, which also stars Doris Roberts and Luis Guzman. Ted Wass is directing for ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television. (Deadline.com)DARK HEART (A&E, New!) - Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle ("The Pretender") have snagged a script order at the cable channel for a new drama about "a benevolent cop who, after having a massive heart attack, gets the heart of a psychopath." Lionsgate Television is behind the hour, which the duo will executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. (Deadline.com)DRINK (Lifetime, New!) - Newcomer Glenn Porter has sold a spec script to the cable channel for a new drama about "the life of the head of HR at a global alcohol and beverage company who, after suffering a head injury, loses her inhibitions and ability to control her impulse and ends up transforming her company into a hotbed of decadence, soaring profits and ambition." Said hour is being executive produced by Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. (Deadline.com)FINDERS KEEPERS (USA, New!) - Philip Levens ("Knight Rider") has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about "a former FBI agent and missing persons specialist who finds people by immersing himself in their lives." He'll write and executive produce alongside Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan. (Deadline.com)THE MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK (HBO, New!) - Brando Skyhorse's novel - which takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic identity in the pursuit of the American dream - is being developed as a drama series at the pay channel. Julia Cho ("Big Love") is on board to pen the adaptation where she'll serve as a co-executive producer. Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan and "Terra Nova" co-creator Kelly Marcel will also serve as executive producers. (Deadline.com)THE SMART ONE (ABC) - Nestor Carbonell ("Ringer") has been cast in the comedy pilot, about Jude (Portia de Rossi), a brilliant and successful woman who has to go to work for her less brainy but more popular sister, Candy (Malin Akerman) - a former beauty queen, weather girl and now big city mayor. He'll guest star as Nathan Charles, a good-looking, charming, single, successful real estate developer whom Jude once had a fling. David Arquette, Jean Smart, Matt Oberg and Stephanie Beatriz also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which Michael Fresco is directing from a script by Don Todd. (TVLine.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - "First Cut" creator Jennie Snyder Urman has inked a two-year overall deal with producer CBS Television Studios (Deadline.com); Michael Pennie, a co-executive producer on "Raising Hope," has likewise set up shop at Universal Television via a new two-year overall (Deadline.com); Roger Bart will guest on "Grimm" in an episode that tackles the legend of Bigfoot, played by the previously announced Kenneth Mitchell (EW.com); David Spade will stop by "Hot in Cleveland" as a rival hairstylist in the salon where fellow guest Regis Philbin's character works (EW.com); Lindsay Lohan is on track to appear as herself on "Glee" while Whoopi Goldberg is set for three episodes as "a professor at New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts who travels to Ohio to preside over Kurt and Rachel's auditions" (TVLine.com); Conor O'Farrell will return as the villainous Undersheriff Jeffrey McKeen in the season finale of "CSI"(THR.com); and the six adult cast members on "Modern Family" as set to renegotiate their contracts with producer 20th Century Fox Television, as is custom during this period of a show's run (THR.com).