[06/07/13 - 11:43 PM] Development Update: Friday, June 7 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE BLACK BOX (ABC, New!) - Screenwriter Amy Holden Jones (Mystic Pizza) is on track for a 13-episode order from the Alphabet for a new drama about Elizabeth Black, a "world renowned neuroscientist who appears to have it all but is constantly haunted by her own struggle with mental illness. And that is not the only secret she's kept locked away from her family and her new fiancé." Ilene Chaiken ("The L Word"), Bryan Singer ("House"), Oly Obst (The Invention of Lying) and Anne Thomopoulos ("Camelot") are also on board to executive produce the project, which is being financed by Bold Films (Drive) with Sierra-Engine Television ("Crossbones") handling international distribution. (Deadline.com)HEARTLAND TRUCKING (Showtime, New!) - Tony Tost ("Longmire") has booked a new drama at the network described as "a scripted examination of the world of truckers in middle America and a family run business that serves those truckers as well as its own criminal agenda." Guymon Casady and Meghan Lyvers of Television 360 are also on board to executive produce for Fox 21. (Deadline.com)LIZZIE BORDEN (Lifetime, New!) - Christina Ricci ("Pan Am") has been tapped to star in a new original movie about the infamous woman who was acquitted of the 1892 ax murders of her father Andrew and stepmother Abby at their family home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Sony Pictures Television is behind the project, with Nick Gomez directing and Judith Verno ("Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret") executive producing. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman had previously been developing a mini-series take at HBO on said subject with Chloe Sevigny attached to star. No other auspices were given. (Deadline.com)THE SPARK (HBO, New!) - "Last Resort" co-creator Karl Gajdusek has sold a potential drama to the pay channel "set in a world undergoing a technological/industrial revolution in the near future when contacted by a signal from beyond the solar system. It centers on the human reaction to a mystery still spiritually and technologically out of reach and follows a female protagonist as she works on the cusp of the Earth's effort to discover the origin of the signal." It's understood Gajdusek, who is writing and executive producing, promises to explore what he calls the five pillars of science fiction: "Alien Contact, Artificial Intelligence, Technological breakthroughs, Space Exploration/Adventure, and Origin Stories." (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Patrick Heusinger's Dash Gardiner has exited Lifetime's upcoming drama "Witches of East End," a role which will be recast (TVLine.com); John Eisendrath has inked a new two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television where he'll continue as showrunner of NBC's "The Blacklist"(Deadline.com); and "Silicon Valley" co-creators John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky have bowed out of the day-to-day operations of said HBO comedy leaving their Ternion Productions partner Mike Judge as the remaining showrunner (Deadline.com).