[09/14/12 - 11:15 PM] Development Update: Friday, September 14 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ASSISTANCE (NBC, New!) - Leslye Headland ("Bachelorette") has booked a potential single-camera comedy at the Peacock about Nora, "an idealistic assistant, and her daily efforts to try to find balance in her life as she strives to please her larger than life boss." Universal Television-based Gary Sanchez Productions is behind the project with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Jessica Elbaum and Owen Burke also among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)BATES MOTEL (A&E) - Freddie Highmore ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") and Max Thieriot ("Kit Kittredge: An American Girl") have both been cast in the upcoming drama, a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates, his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), and the world they inhabit. Highmore will play the young Norman with Thieriot as his older brother Dylan, "a petulant and rebellious James Dean-type." Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin are behind the Universal Television-based hour, which was ordered directly to series in July. (THR.com,TVGuide.com)CINNAMON GIRL (Lifetime) - Allie MacDonald, Alexis Knapp, Brooke Anne Smith, Jade Barrett and Sebastian Piggott are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about four girls coming of age in the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960s/early 1970s. MacDonald plays Cassie, "a beautiful, coltish, wholesome, feisty and intelligent Indiana girl who, terrified of ending up like her mother, heads for California"; with Knapp as bartender Lola, "a force of nature, a wild child, a beautiful actress who hails from a line of Hollywood royalty"; Smith as June, "a perky and adorable high school girl living in Canoga Park, a die-hard Beatles' fan with a particular fondness for Paul McCartney"; Barrett as Lou, "the lead singer for a club band, something of a mother figure to the young hippies and rock 'n roll types crowding her Laurel Canyon home who takes newly arrived Cassie under her wing"; and Piggott as Billy, "a heartthrob and future superstar who has immediate chemistry with Cassie." Renée Zellweger and Anthony Tambakis are behind the hour, to be directed by Gavin O'Connor. (Deadline.com)FAT, FORTY AND FIRED (ABC, New!) - Jeff Astrof ("$#*! My Dad Says") has booked a put pilot order from the Alphabet for a multi-camera comedy about "a man and father who, upon losing his job, realizes that there is more to life than work." The Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour is based on the book of the same name by Nigel Marsh with Mike Karz and Josie Rosen executive producing alongside Astrof. Astrof also serves as a co-executive producer on the studio's "Partners," premiering this fall on CBS. (Deadline.com)THE PRODIGY (FOX, New!) - Rand Ravich ("Life") has landed a potential drama at the network about "a young CIA officer who has to infiltrate the New York City field office of the FBI on the hunt for agents who are working with enemies of the U.S." The project, which has a penalty attached, comes from 20th Century Fox Television with Ravich executive producing alongside Far Shariat. (Deadline.com)SOCIO (ABC Family) - Maddie Hasson ("The Finder") and Kylie Bunbury ("Prom") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Danny (yet to be cast), a charismatic 16-year-old alleged sociopath who recently reconnected with his two female best friends from childhood, and who becomes the prime suspect when a fellow student is murdered. Hasson will play Jo, "an offbeat and tough yet vulnerable girl who was Danny's childhood friend who, after discovering the body of his slain aunt shortly after she was murdered, became a social outcast"; while Bunbury is set as Lacey, "a former tomboy and once Jo and Danny's best friend, she has found the popularity that eluded Jo by putting the past behind her - including ditching her former friend." Adam Milch penned the script. (THR.com)UNTITLED JIM GAFFIGAN PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Jim Gaffigan ("My Boys") is set to topline a potential single-camera comedy at the Eye about "a guy who lives with his wife and five kids in a New York two-bedroom apartment." Peter Tolan is penning the teleplay to the Sony Pictures Television-based project, which has a put pilot commitment, off a story he conceived with Gaffigan, loosely based on the comedian's life. Fedora Entertainment's Michael Wimer and Brillstein Entertainment Partners' Alex Murray will executive produce alongside the duo. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED SHAUN CASSIDY PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Shaun Cassidy ("Invasion") has scored a put pilot commitment at the network for a new drama about "two former CIA operatives - now married with teenagers - who are forced to face their past when their identities are exposed and they're nearly killed." 20th Century Fox Television-based Teakwood Lane is behind the hour, with Cassidy writing and executive producing alongside Howard Gordon and Hugh Fitzpatrick. (Deadline.com)WHEN THE WOMEN COME OUT TO DANCE (USA) - Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton's NBC drama - about a Colombian mail-order bride who finds herself working as a fixer in South Miami as she struggles to escape her troubled past - has found a new home at the cable channel where it has received a cast-contingent pilot order. Universal Cable Productions-based Hypnotic is behind the hour, which is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. Dave Bartis and Doug Liman then are executive producing alongside Falacci and Heuton with Megan Freels and Melanie Donkers serving as consulting producers. (Deadline.com)WITCHES OF EAST END (Lifetime) - Jenna Dewan ("The Playboy Club") has boarded the drama pilot, about a mother (Julia Ormond) and her two adult daughters, both of whom unknowingly are their family's next generation of witches. She'll play one of said daughters, Freya Beauchamp, "a sexy and fearless former wild child who settles down after becoming engaged to fiancé Dash Gardiner, a rich philanthropist." Maggie Friedman is behind the Fox 21-based hour, which is based on Melissa de la Cruz's book of the same name. (TVLine.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner are set to appear in the Thanksgiving episode of "New Girl" as Jess's (Zooey Deschanel) divorced parents while Carla Gugino is set for a three-episode arc as Schmidt's (Max Greenfield) "sweet-seeming new superior who's actually a high-powered sex freak" (EW.com); Grace Gummer will recur on ABC's "Zero Hour" as FBI Agent Paige Willis (EW.com); E!'s "Kourtney and Kim" is set to begin production next week on a new Miami-set season, due to premiere in January (EW.com); Stacy Keach will guest as Lenny Venito's (Marty Weaver) dad on "The Neighbors"(EW.com); Jonathan Banks has landed an arc on "Vegas" as "a big-time Chicago gangster who travels to the gaming oasis to ensure his Nevada-based cash flow continues" (TVLine.com); Tara Summers will guest on "CSI: NY" as "a British psychiatrist whose patients mysteriously start turning up dead" (TVLine.com);
Isla Fisher and Terry Crews will both drop by Netflix's "Arrested Development" revival in yet-to-be-revealed roles (Zap2It.com); Jeffrey Nordling is bound for "Arrow" as crime boss Frank Bertinelli, the father of vigiliante The Huntress, played by Jessica De Gouw (Examiner.com); Benjamin McKenzie and Bethany Joy Lenz will both drop by "Men at Work" next season (TVGuide.com); Isaiah Mustafa is bound for "Nikita" as "a charming former Division agent with ambiguous loyalties" (TVGuide.com); Rachel Ticotin will guest on "NCIS: Los Angeles" as "a politician in a button-pushing election year-themed episode" (TVLine.com); Annie Potts has been cast as the mother of Justin Kirk's George on "Animal Practice"(TVLine.com); Tom Amandes will appear a governor who crosses paths with Olivia Pope on "Scandal"(THR.com); Carrie Preston's Elsbeth Tascioni is due back for multiple episodes on "The Good Wife"(TVGuide.com); and Dominic Hoffman will guest on "Grey's Anatomy" as a to-be-determined character (TVGuide.com).