[08/30/13 - 11:31 PM] Development Update: Friday, August 30 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DREAM DATE (FOX, New!) - Ryan Seacrest Productions has reportedly booked a series commitment from the network for a new dating competition. It's understood to involve "a group of women looking for love and features a celebrity element." No other auspices were given beyond Seacrest. (Deadline.com)SAGA (ABC) - The Alphabet is redeveloping the drama, about a family of fans of a J.K. Rowling-esque writer who discover she's been kidnapped into the very real world of her books and attempt to rescue her. Chris Black ("Red Widow") has been tapped to pen the new take, replacing Andrew Miller. Amblin Television's Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey as well as Full Fathom Five's James Frey and Todd Cohen remain on board as executive producers. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JEN BURTON PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Actress/writer Jen Burton has sold a multi-camera comedy to ABC about "a 30-year-old who moves back home." Said project was originally set at NBC last season, and has since added Betsy Thomas as an executive producer. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Universal Television-based Hazy Mills banner is producing. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JUSTIN SPITZER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - The Peacock has given a put pilot order to Justin Spitzer ("The Office") for a single-camera workplace comedy set at a Motor City auto company. Universal Television is behind the hour with Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan executive producing alongside Spitzer. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED NIKKI TOSCANO PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Nikki Toscano ("Revenge") has sold a new drama to the Eye about "a retired CIA operative who, when a terrorist event rocks Washington, D.C., is pulled back into action, forced to investigate closer to home where the next generation of terrorists are being bred." Said effort is set up at Universal Television with Kerry Ehrin also serving as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)WESTWORLD (HBO, New!) - Jonathan Nolan ("Person of Interest") and Lisa Joy ("Burn Notice") have snagged a pilot production commitment from the pay channel for a small screen take on Michael Crichton's 1973 movie of the same name, described as "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin." Said pair will co-write the script for the Warner Bros. Television-based Bad Robot Productions with Nolan likewise attached to direct. J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk then will executive produce alongside Joy and Kilter Films' Nolan with Kathy Lingg serving as a co-executive producer and Athena Wickam as a producer. "Westworld" was followed on the big screen by "Futureworld" as well as the short-lived 1980 TV series "Beyond Westworld." (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Harry Connick, Jr. has reportedly closed a deal to join Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez as a judge on the upcoming season of "American Idol"(THR.com); Ben Feldman has snagged an arc on "The Mindy Project" as "an arts and culture writer and a bit of a snob" who's billed as a love interest for Kaling's titular doc (TVLine.com); and Elias Koteas is the latest addition to NBC's "Chicago PD" as Alvin Olinsky, "a longtime undercover detective in the Intelligence Unit [who] was in uniform with Voight (Jason Beghe) and together they share a secret over a fellow cop's death" (THR.com).