[08/23/12 - 11:08 PM] Development Update: Thursday, August 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!
20S VS 30S (ABC, New!) - Cassie Pappas ("Awkward") has snagged a script order from the Alphabet for a single-camera comedy about two sisters, their group of friends and the decade between them. ABC Studios is behind the half-hour, where Pappas had a blind script deal. 3 Arts Entertainment's Tom Lassally and Jonathan Berr also serve as executive producers. (Deadline.com)BETTY & CORETTA (A.K.A. PARALLEL LIVES) (Lifetime) - Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige and Ruby Dee are set to star in the telefilm, which "tells the dual stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige) as they carry on as single mothers following the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X." Dee then "will appear onscreen as a historical witness to narrate the duo's story as someone familiar with the events of both their lives." Yves Simoneau is directing the project from a script by Shem Bitterman and Ron Hutchinson. Larry Sanitsky, Blige, Jaja Johnson and Polly Anthony are the executive producers. Production begins next month. (THR.com)CRAZY GENE (ABC, New!) - Andrea Abbate ("Accidentally on Purpose") has snagged a put pilot commitment from the Alphabet for an autobiographical comedy about "a woman who, with her brother behind bars, tries to raise his kids as well as her adopted African American teenage son." The single-camera project is set up at the 20th Century Fox Television-based 21 Laps/Adelstein Productions with Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy and Becky Clements also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)CYRANO (NBC, New!) - Michael Oates Palmer ("Rubicon") has landed a script commitment - with a penalty attached - from the Peacock for a modern take on Edmond Rostand's classic tale about "a less-than-attractive but genius campaign strategist who returns to save the floundering gubernatorial campaign of the handsome but inarticulate Mayor whose career he helped launch. With the candidate being the photogenic, charismatic mouthpiece for the strategist's ideas and rhetoric, the sky's the limit - until both men fall for the same woman, a journalist covering the campaign." Universal Television-based Prospect Park is behind the hour with Palmer (who is also slated to serve as a co-executive producer on NBC's "Crossbones"), Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry executive producing. (Deadline.com)THE FARM (NBC) - Thomas Middleditch ("The Campaign") is the latest to board the Peacock's "The Office" spin-off, which follows Dwight (Rainn Wilson) living at the Schrute family beet farm/bed and breakfast. He'll play Jeb Schrute, his easygoing brother, "who hasn't done well in any previous career paths he's taken - worm breeder and Bigfoot hunter among them - but has found some success with a pot farm and has made an exercise video about things you can do with a knife and a canoe." Majandra Delfino also stars in the Universal Television-based project, from co-creators Wilson and Paul Lieberstein. (Deadline.com)HANNIBAL (NBC) - Hettienne Park has scored a role on the upcoming drama, a contemporary take on the Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) characters from Thomas Harris's novels. She'll play Beverly Katz, "a bright-eyed yet weary crime scene investigator who specializes in working with fibers." Caroline Dhavernas, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Aaron Abrams and Laurence Fishburne also star in the Gaumont International Television-based hour, from writer Bryan Fuller and director David Slade. (THR.com)LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN (BET, New!) - Actress Regina King is set to direct and produce a new telefilm at the cable channel about "the wayward daughter of a charismatic Houston pastor whose family falls apart over the years while he's busy building up his church." She'll work from a script by Crystal Garrett, who adapted ReShonda Tate Billingsley's book of the same name. Production is set to begin next month in Atlanta with Flavor Unit's Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Roger Bobb executive producing alongside King and her sister, Reina King, via their Royal Ties banner. (Variety.com)MAKE IT WORK (FOX, New!) - Adam Stein ("I Just Want My Pants Back") has booked a single-camera comedy at the network about "a man who, after proposing to his girlfriend, finds out he has a 7-year-old daughter with his previous girlfriend." Universal Cable Productions-based Hypnotic is behind the half-hour, with Doug Liman and David Bartis also among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)PATIENTS REQUIRED (FOX, New!) - Chris Cox has sold a new single-camera comedy to the network about "an irreverent young pediatrician who joins the practice run by his mother, with whom he has a strained relationship." Sony Pictures Television-based Original Film is behind the half-hour, with the company's Neal Moritz presumably among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)SQUARE ROOTS (ABC, New!) - Vijal Patel ("The Middle") has scored a script commitment from the network for a new comedy about "a young married couple perpetually tormented by the husband's opinionated family of engineers who think they have a solution for every problem in life." The single-camera project is set up at ABC Studios, where he recently signed an overall deal. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JUSTIN SPITZER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Justin Spitzer ("The Office") has sold a new comedy to the Peacock about "a group of friends whose lives change on the way to a destination wedding." The presumably single-camera project is set up at the Universal Television-based TBD Productions with the company's Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan also among the executive producers. No other details were given. (THR.com)UNTITLED LAGRAVENESE & GOLDWYN PROJECT (AMC) - Paul Schneider ("The Newsroom") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Adam Powell (yet to be cast), a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case. He's set as Clark Rylance, "a senior attorney at the Innocence Project with a secret crush on Christine (Malin Ireland), who's initially skeptical about taking on the controversial case." Tony Goldwyn is directing the hour from a script by Richard LaGravenese for AMC Studios. Joe Anderson also stars. (THR.com)UNTITLED MICHALKA SISTERS PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Aly and A.J. Michalka are set to star in a potential comedy at the network in which they play versions of themselves, "finally out of the house and into their first apartment, only to have their exciting new lives interrupted when their mother unexpectedly moves in with them." Matt Dearborn and Adam F. Goldberg ("Breaking In") are penning the single-camera project with the Michalkas receiving co-producer credits. Sony Pictures Television-based Happy Madison is producing with Dearborn, Goldberg and Doug Robinson serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - FOX has asked for six additional scripts of its animated comedy "Bob's Burgers"(Deadline.com); Robert Sean Leonard, Gloria Reuben and Doug Jones are all set to recur on the third season of TNT's "Falling Skies"(Deadline.com,EW.com); Malin Akerman has been cast as Tessa's (Jane Levy) free-spirited singer/songwriter mom, Alex, in the upcoming season of "Suburgatory"(EW.com); Mädchen Amick will guest on "Beauty and the Beast" as "a wealthy polo-club president named Lois who owns a therapeutic horse camp" (TVLine.com); Garcelle Beauvais is bound for "Psych" as "a confident radio station owner who aggressively flirts with Gus even though she knows he's spoken for" (TVLine.com); Tessa Ferrer has been cast as the latest newcomer to Seattle Grace on "Grey's Anatomy"(TVLine.com);
Arielle Kebbel and Robbie Amell will both guest on "Hawaii Five-0" as "a couple who enter a fortune-teller's lair and ultimately face devastating consequences" (TVLine.com); Michael Vartan is set to drop by "Go On" as a hockey player who hits the rink with Matthew Perry's Ryan King, with real-life NHL star Jeremy Roenick also slated to appear (TVLine.com); Lindsay Sloane will visit "Ben & Kate" as "an ex-girlfriend of Ben's (Nat Faxon) who unexpectedly tracks him down now that he's returned to town" (TVLine.com); Timothy Busfield and Jurnee Smollett will both drop by FOX's new drama "The Mob Doctor"(TVGuide.com); and Lori Petty will guest on "Shameless" as "a woman who will cross paths with Fiona (Emmy Rossum) and Steve/Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) when her daughter keeps constantly running away from home" (TVGuide.com).