[02/14/13 - 11:39 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, February 14
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!

ABOUT A BOY (NBC) - Minnie Driver ("The Riches") has scored the female lead on the comedy pilot, about the relationship between Will (David Walton), a bachelor man-child, and Marcus, the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother. She's set as said mom, Fiona, who "exudes vegan throwback hippie-ness." Writer Jason Katims and director Jon Favreau are behind the Universal Television-based half-hour, which is based on Nick Hornby's book-turned-film of the same name. (Deadline.com)

ADVOCATES, THE (CBS) - CCH Pounder ("Warehouse 13") is the first to board the drama pilot, about a lawyer and an ex-con who team up as victim advocates, going to the edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. She'll play Marjorie Kaplan, the prim but perceptive and tough as nails head of the show's Victim Advocate Office. Warner Bros. Television is behind the hour, to be directed by David Nutter from a script by Bruno Heller. (Deadline.com)

BELIEVE (NBC) - Jake McLaughlin ("Crash") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about "the unlikely relationship between Bo (yet to be cast), a girl in possession of a great gift/powers and Tate, the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down." He'll play the latter role in the project, which comes from the Warner Bros. Television-based Bad Robot, writer Mark Friedman and director Alfonso Cuarón. (Deadline.com)

BLINK (The CW) - Madeline Carroll ("Flipped") has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about Ari Trask, a 16-year-old girl reeling from a car accident that put her father in a coma and his attempts to communicate from the great beyond. She'll play said teen - an old soul brimming with teenage angst - who spends most of her time at the hospital with him. Vera Herbert penned the hour, which is set up at CBS Television Studios. (Deadline.com)

FRIENDS & FAMILY (FOX) - Jason Ritter ("Parenthood") has snagged the male lead in the network's import of the U.K. series "Gavin & Stacey," about new lovers who try to maintain their relationship while combining their polarizing families' lives. He'll play Gavin, "an adorably neurotic, a good guy who's excited about his first real date with Stacey, a co-worker from rural Pennsylvania he's become friends with through Skype and Facebook." David J. Rosen penned the single-camera project, which is set up at Sony Pictures Television. (Deadline.com)

GATES (NBC) - Stephen Guarino ("Happy Endings") has been tapped as a series regular on the comedy pilot, about the hijinks that ensue when parents drop off and pick up their kids at school each day. He'll play Brett, a gay dad and sidekick to Lindsay (Diana Maria Riva), President of the PTA. The show's ensemble also includes Christina Kirk, Echo Kellum, Greg Germann, John Grisetti, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Ken Marino. Marc Buckland is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, from writers Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith. (Deadline.com)

MCCARTHYS, THE (CBS) - Jake Lacy ("The Office") has booked a principal role on the comedy pilot, about an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the neurotic, gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. He'll play said role - Ronny, a tenth grade English teacher - in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, from director Fred Savage and writer Brian Gallivan. Jack McGee and Jacki Weaver also star as his parents, Arthur and Marjorie. (Deadline.com)

SURGEON GENERAL, THE (CBS) - Jason Isaacs ("Awake") has booked the title role on the drama pilot, about a fictional Surgeon General of the United States and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He'll play said fellow, Dr. John Sherman, "a man of solid build and solid character - that rare mix of resolve, humanity, and dry wit." The actor will also receive a producing credit. In addition, Rod Lurie ("Straw Dogs") is set to helm the CBS Television Studios-based hour from a script by creator Samuel Baum. (Deadline.com)

THUNDERMANS, THE (Nickelodeon) - Jed Spingarn's comedy pilot - about 14-year-old twin siblings (Kira Kosarin and Jack Griffo) who come from a family of superheroes - has been given a 13-episode order by the cable channel. Rosa Blasi and Chris Tallman also star as their parents with Diego Velazquez and Addison Riecke in unspecified roles. Griffo replaces Tyler Peterson from the original pilot. (Deadline.com)

TURN (AMC) - Australian actors Meegan Warner and Daniel Henshall are both set to board the drama pilot, which tells the story of New York farmer, Abe Woodhull, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America's fight for independence. Warner will play Abe's wife Mary, "who does not want to see their young son grow up to become a soldier anytime soon"; while Henshall is set as Caleb Brewster, "a former whaler, now Lieutenant in the Second Continental Artillery who is eager to fight back against the oppressive British." Rupert Wyatt is directing the AMC Studios-based hour from a script by Craig Silverstein. (Deadline.com)

UNDER THE DOME (CBS) - Dean Norris ("Breaking Bad") is the latest to land a role on the ensemble drama, about a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. He'll play Big Jim, "the successful owner of Chester's Mill's used car dealership who also is town councilman, an office he takes seriously." The 13-episode drama is based on Stephen King's best-selling novel of the same name. Aisha Hinds, Alex Koch, Britt Robertson, Colin Ford, Jolene Purdy, Mike Vogel, Natalie Martinez and Nicholas Strong also star. (Deadline.com)

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY (NBC) - Mike O'Malley ("Glee") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about two teens - nervous over-talker Junior Hernandez and prickly feminist Molly Yoder (both yet to be cast) - whose disparate families are bonded together after they fall in love and get pregnant. He'll play Dan, Molly's usually affable and fun father, in the Sony Pictures Television-based project, from writer Mike Sikowitz. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Zooey Deschanel and Sophia Rossi's Hello Giggles banner has inked a two-year first-look deal with 20th Century Fox Television (Deadline.com); Richard Branson's Virgin Produced is developing "The Whisky A Go Go," a drama series project about the famous Sunset Strip nightclub targeted for premium cable (Deadline.com); Stacy Traub has inked an overall deal with ABC Studios where she'll join its comedy pilot "Middle Age Rage" as an executive producer (Deadline.com); and Ben Shenkman's Dr. Jeremiah Sacani has been upped to series regular on "Royal Pains" (TVLine.com).

  [february 2013]  


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