[10/12/12 - 11:14 PM] Development Update: Friday, October 12 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE CHURCH (NBC, New!) - Feature writer Howard Franklin ("The Big Year") has sold a potential drama to the Peacock which "chronicles the struggles of a family who is part of a seemingly innocuous and upstanding organization that they come to realize is a controlling cult." The Universal Television-based Wolf Films is behind the hour with the company's Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski and Danielle Gelber executive producing alongside Franklin. (Variety.com)THE CISKO KID (CBS, New!) - Diego Gutierrez ("Without a Trace") is spearheading a new small screen take on O. Henry's iconic Mexican caballero, which has been adapted into numerous film and TV incarnations - most recently in 1994 as a TV movie with Jimmy Smits in the title role and Cheech Marin as his sidekick Pancho. Gutierrez's take will focus Cisco, an Afghanistan veteran who teams with his best friend/fellow Marine, Sam, to defend the city's disenfranchised after his father is murdered. CBS Television Studios is behind the hour with Ventanarosa's Salma Hayek and Jose Tamez as well as Donners' Company's Lauren Shuler Donner and Jack Leslie executive producing alongside Gutierrez. Separately, Gutierrez is also developing "Flesh and Bones" at FX with producers Eli Roth and Eric Newman. (Deadline.com)CONTINUING FRED (ABC Family) - Mimi Gianopulos ("What to Expect When You're Expecting") has booked the lead role on the comedy pilot, about 20-something Winifred "Fred" Harris, a newly-graduated slacker with an overbearing family who surprisingly finds purpose when she begins to teach at a local elementary school. Bill Daly is behind the multi-camera project, which was picked up last month. (Deadline.com)FIVEHEAD (ABC, New!) - "America's Next Top Model's" Tyra Banks and Kenya Barris are set to re-team for a new single-camera comedy at the Alphabet which "chronicles the impressionable teenage years of Banks in the halls of her high school and at home, focusing on her family and the long journey that took Banks from awkward teen to one of the world's most recognizable supermodels." ABC Studios is behind the half-hour which Barris will pen off a story conceived alongside Banks with the duo executive producing for Bankable Productions. (Deadline.com)GRANNY IS MY WINGMAN (CBS, New!) - Kayli Stollak's blog - which documents the 25-year-old New Yorker's experiences with online dating alongside her 76-year-old grandmother - is being eyed as a potential multi-camera comedy at the Eye. Donald Todd ("Hart of Dixie") is on board to co-write the half-hour, which is set up at the Warner Bros. Television-based Jerry Bruckheimer Television, alongside Stollak. Todd, Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman will executive produce with KristieAnne Reed and Stollak serving as co-executive producer and supervising producer, respectively. (Deadline.com)LE GRAND (ION) - A deal to import the Jean Reno-led, eight-episode drama, about a tough elite cop who stops at nothing to solve mysterious murder cases in Paris, has become the focus of a $4 million transatlantic breach-of-contract lawsuit. Producer Atlantique Productions has alleged ION Media Networks backed away from a license deal for the series over "creative concerns, such as the 'intelligibility' of Reno's accent." ION has yet to comment on the lawsuit. René Balcer is behind "Le Grand," which was shot in English entirely on location in Paris. (THR.com)LIFESTYLE LEMONAID (FOX) - Erin Richards ("Breaking In") has been tapped for the lead role on the comedy pilot presentation, based on Nikki Joel's tell-all blog about her marriage to top WME talent agent Brandt Joel. She'll play Nikki in the HBO-turned-FOX project, described as "a life force with a sense of mischief who's sexy, defensive and sometimes argumentative but always protective of her fashionista son." Jordon Nardino penned the half-hour, which is also executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson as well as the Joels. (Deadline.com)THE SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES (NBC) - Laura Allen ("Awake") has booked the final principal role on the drama pilot, based on Josie Brown's book about the secrets and lies of three suburban couples exposed in the aftermath of a murder. She'll play Alison Dunn, "a grounded and levelheaded mother and wife who happens to be hiding the darkest secret of all." Martin Henderson co-stars as her husband with Nicole Ari Parker, Jesse L. Martin, Perrey Reeves and James Tupper playing the other couples, the Cookes and the Deavers. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Mark Pellington and writer Sascha Penn are all behind the hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television. (Deadline.com)UNDATEABLE (NBC, New!) - Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle's book, subtitled "311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won't Be Dating Or Having Sex," is being developed as a multi-camera comedy at the Peacock. Adam Sztykiel ("Due Date") is penning the project, which has a penalty attached and is "described as a bromantic comedy about two very different guys who are bonded by their common inability to attract women." Doozer's Bill Lawrence and Jeff Inglod are also on board to executive produce for Warner Bros. Television. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED STEVE CONRAD PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Steve Conrad has booked a potential comedy at the pay channel from Mike White's RipCord Productions ("Enlightened"). No details were given about the project, which will be developed under White's recently signed overall deal with HBO. White and David Bernad then will presumably executive produce the untitled half-hour alongside Conrad. (Deadline.com)WONDERLAND (NBC, New!) - Screenwriter Whit Anderson is developing a new drama at the Peacock billed as a sequel to Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" centering on a new character, Clara, "who must wage war against Wonderland's reigning Queen, the woman we once knew as Alice." ABC Studios is behind the hour, with Dare to Pass' Anthony E. Zuiker and Matt Weinberg as well as Brillstein Entertainment Partners' JoAnn Alfano and Margaret Riley also among the executive producers. Anderson previously penned the much-ballyhooed feature reboot of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in 2010 which didn't move forward. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Adult Swim has commissioned a seventh season of its veteran stop motion series "Robot Chicken"(@AdultSwim); Katie Cassidy's Juliet Sharp will return for the series finale of "Gossip Girl"(EW.com); Keith David will guest on "Touch" as "a grizzled ex-Navy Seal who's also an old friend of Kiefer Sutherland's character" (TVLine.com); Hal Holbrook is bound for TNT's "Monday Mornings" as "a prestigious neurosurgeon who is a mentor to Alfred Molina's Dr. Hooten" (TVLine.com); Ben Schwartz will drop by Netflix's upcoming "Arrested Development" revival (TVLine.com); Emily Evan Rae has booked an arc on "Parenthood" as a member of the student council who interacts with Max Burkholder's Max (TVLine.com); and Richard Harmon has checked into A&E's "Bates Motel" as Richard Slymore, "the cool, intelligent and artsy BMOC at the high school Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) enrolls at after he and his mother move to town" (TVLine.com).