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[08/20/12 - 11:21 PM]
Development Update: Monday, August 20
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!


THE FRANCHISE (Showtime) - The pay channel is trimming the show's second season by one week, with the finale now set for this Wednesday, August 22 at 10:00/9:00c. To date its sophomore run, featuring the Miami Marlins, has averaged a very modest 77,000 viewers and a 0.0 rating among adults 18-49. Last summer's inaugural season, showcasing the San Francisco Giants, averaged 106,000 viewers and a 0.0 adults 18-49 rating. (Sun-Sentinel.com)


PAGING DR. FREED (USA) - Kyle Howard and Joel David Moore have booked the lead roles on the long-in-the-works single-camera comedy pilot, about David (Howard) and Jonathan (Moore) Freed, two gynecologist brothers who inherit their father's thriving medical practice after he suffers a heart attack during an attempt at "playing" doctor with his young secretary. Their casting lifts said contingency on the half-hour, which comes from Fox 21, Universal Cable Productions and Watson Pond Productions. Marc Buckland is attached to direct from a script by Michael Feldman with Katy McCaffrey and Brad Johnson also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


RED WIDOW (ABC) - Goran Visnjic ("ER") has joined the cast of the midseason drama, about a woman, Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), who must take over her late husband's illegal drug business to protect her three young children. He'll take over for Thomas Kretschmann as mob boss Christian Schiller in the project, from writer Melissa Rosenberg. Clifton Collins Jr., Erin Moriarty, Jaime Ray Newman, Jakob Salvati, Lee Tergesen, Luke Goss, Rade Serbedzija, Sterling Beaumon, Suleka Mathew and Wil Traval also star in the ABC Studios-based project. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED DIGGY SIMMONS PROJECT (BET, New!) - 17-year-old rapper/blogger Daniel "Diggy" Simmons III, son of Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons, is set to star in a new original movie at the cable channel about Blake, a blogger with a "close group of loyal friends who hold him down on his rise to the top." Also cast in the project, a backdoor pilot for a potential series, are Allen Maldonado as Blake's best friend Manny; Teyana Taylor as Manny's twin sister/Blake's ex-girlfriend Tae; Chris Brew as tech geek/fellow pal Dot; Bria Murphy as Manny's girlfriend Nia; and Stephanie Charles as Dot's ex-girlfriend Sheri. Salim Akil ("Sparkle") will direct from a script by Kenya Baris with Mara Brock Akil, Chris Lighty, Laurie Dobbins and James Dubose also among the executive producers. Simmons and Kevin Liles will also serve as co-executive producers. Production is set to begin later this year. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (FX, New!) - Jonathan Shapiro ("The Firm") has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about a former police detective who now works as a fixer. Ryan Seacrest Productions and The Weinstein Co. are behind the hour, which Shapiro will executive produce presumably alongside Seacrest, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Nina Wass and Adam Sher. No other details were given. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - "Saturday Night Live" will kick off its 38th season on Saturday, September 15 (NBC.com); Sundance Channel has commissioned a second season of its summer series "Push Girls" (Deadline.com); Bryan Cranston is set to direct an episode of "The Office" this season (@RainnWilson); Nicki Minaj is the latest name being tossed around as a judge for "American Idol" (THR.com); Rob Corddry will guest on FOX's freshman entry "Ben & Kate" (EW.com); Ed Skrein and Jacob Anderson have been cast as Daario Naharis and Grey Worm, respectively, on "Game of Thrones" (WinterIsComing.net); Marco Pennette has been tapped as the new showrunner of "Animal Practice," succeeding Gail Lerner beginning with the show's fourth episode (Deadline.com); Jayson Blair has been upped to series regular on "The New Normal" as Goldie's (Georgia King) cheating husband Clay (Deadline.com); Chuck Lorre is finalizing a new four-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television, which includes a feature component (Deadline.com); Rob Huebel will drop by "Up All Night" as "Chris's (Will Arnett) annoying roommate from college that he can't seem to get rid of" (TVGuide.com); and Super Bowl XVII winner Joe Theismann will make a cameo on "Necessary Roughness" as himself (THR.com).






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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· ANIMAL PRACTICE (NBC)
· BEN & KATE (FOX)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· ER (NBC)
· FIRM, THE (NBC)
· FRANCHISE, THE (SHOWTIME)
· GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
· NECESSARY ROUGHNESS (USA)
· NEW NORMAL, THE (NBC)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· PAGING DR. FREED (USA)
· PUSH GIRLS (SUNDANCE)
· RED WIDOW (ABC)
· SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC)
· START UP, THE (BET)
· UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (FX)
· UP ALL NIGHT (NBC)











[08/22/14 - 02:58 PM]
"The Simpsons" Soars on FXX - Day 1 of 12-Day Marathon Delivers Record-Breaking Numbers for Nascent Channel
FXX spins the numbers for Thursday, August 21.

[08/22/14 - 01:53 PM]
2015 NASCAR Schedule to Be Announced Tuesday at 5 P.M. ET on Special Edition of "NASCAR America" on NBCSN
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[08/22/14 - 12:38 PM]
Oscar-Winner Stephen Gaghan to Direct "White City" Pilot for AMC
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[08/22/14 - 11:43 AM]
"Red Band Society" Fans Banded Together to Help FOX Raise $100,000 for Charity Partners and Unlock the Debut Episode
The "Pilot" episode is available now until Tuesday, August 26 at 5:00 PM ET on multiple platforms.

[08/22/14 - 11:30 AM]
A Special "Lost"-Themed Episode of "Phineas and Ferb" to Premiere Monday, September 29 on Disney XD
The episode, titled "Lost in Danville," also guest stars Jane Kaczmarek and Rob Morrow.

[08/22/14 - 11:26 AM]
"Iyanla: Fix My Life Special Report: Healing in Ferguson" to Air Tuesday, August 26 at 9 PM ET/PT on OWN
The special episode of the award-winning series follows ordained minister and spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant on an emotional trip to Ferguson, Missouri.

[08/22/14 - 08:59 AM]
Talent Announced for 2014 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews September 6 - 15 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills
The annual celebration features multiple screenings at the Center's L.A. and N.Y. locations, with L.A. hosting interactive panel conversations at each event.

[08/22/14 - 08:45 AM]
"Welcome to Sweden" Equals Its Top 18-49 Rating Since July 24
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, August 21.

[08/22/14 - 08:39 AM]
Discovery Channel Explores the World of Automotive Auctions in All New Series "Highway to Sell"
Across America, neglected classic cars are waiting to be restored and make their way back onto the street.

[08/22/14 - 08:36 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Rides "Big Brother" to Top Spots
The Eye is the night's most-watched network among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[08/22/14 - 08:19 AM]
ABC's "Rookie Blue" Season Closer Is Up 22% to Tie a Season High and Tops Its Year-Ago Finale
ABC spins the numbers for Thursday, August 21.

[08/22/14 - 07:32 AM]
BBC America and BBC One Announce New Drama Series "The Living and the Dead"
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[08/22/14 - 07:15 AM]
Teams Compete to Drive Away with the Grand Prize on New Food Network Series "Food Truck Face Off"
Jesse Palmer hosts the 13-episode series, premiering Thursday, October 2 at 8:00/7:00c.

[08/21/14 - 06:00 PM]
GSN's Third Episode of Body-Painting Competition Show, "Skin Wars," Delivers Series-High Ratings
GSN spins the numbers for Wednesday, August 20.

[08/21/14 - 04:28 PM]
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The latter returns on Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00/7:00c on the cable channel.