[09/17/13 - 11:35 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, September 17 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE 40S (CBS, New!) - Jonathan Groff ("Happy Endings") has scored a put pilot order from the Eye for a single-camera comedy "which explores the trials and tribulations of that special time in life for a group of friends living on the same street." ABC Studios is behind the half-hour, home to his overall deal. (Deadline.com)DELIVERANCE CREEK (Lifetime/Warner Horizon; W: Melissa Carter; D: Jon Amiel) - Jon Amiel (ABC Family's "Twisted") has been tapped to helm and executive produce the two-hour backdoor pilot, "set at the end of the Civil War and follows Belle Barlowe as she faces uncertainty as she attempts to defend her family's land by any means necessary." Melissa Carter penned the hour and is also executive producing alongside Nicholas Sparks and Theresa Park of Nicholas Sparks Productions for Warner Horizon Television. Elise Henderson will also serve as a co-executive producer. (THR.com)THE FINAL GIRLS (ABC Family, New!) - Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, writer Jeff Dixon and director Steve Miner are set to team for a new drama about "a group of girls who have, in essence, survived their own personal horror stories and are brought together by a mysterious older woman (Curtis) to channel the stress and scars of their experience for some greater good." All three then would presumably serve as executive producers on the project should it move forward to pilot. (Deadline.com)HOUDINI (History/Lionsgate; W: Nicholas Meyer; D: Uli Edel) - Evan Jones ("October Road") has joined the cast of the mini-series, which will trace the arc of ace magician Houdini's (Adrien Brody) life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame. He'll play Jim, "a shy but passionate fan of Houdini's who meets his hero while working at a magic store" and goes on to become his assistant in the project, which also stars Kristen Connolly as Houdini's wife Bess. (THR.com)MANZO'D WITH CHILDREN (Bravo, New!) - The cable channel is reportedly moving forward with a pilot to a "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" spin-off featuring Caroline Manzo and her husband Albert as well as their three children (Lauren, Albie and Chris) and Manzo's sister. While no auspices were given, Lucilla D'Agostino Kuzminski, Nate Green, Rebecca Toth Diefenbach and Valerie Haselton of "New Jersey" producer Sirens Media will presumably executive produce the project. (Deadline.com)NEVER LOOK AWAY (NBC, New!) - Matt Venne ("Bag of Bones") is developing a small screen take on Linwood Barclay's novel of the same name, about "an award-winning journalist whose life is turned upside down as he discovers the truth about his missing wife, the town they live in, and even himself." Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour with Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein also executive producing via their studio-based Vendetta Productions. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED NICHOLE MILLARD/KATHRYN PRICE PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Screenwriters Kathryn Price and Nichole Millard (Fallen) have sold a new drama to the Alphabet about "two female detectives in San Francisco who are being partnered up again after one took a break to start a family and the secret that came between them." Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper are also on board to executive produce via their ABC Studios-based the Mark Gordon Co. (Deadline.com)THE WHOLE SHEBANG (FOX, New!) - Jason Micallef (Butter) has set up a potential drama at the network about "a newly single soccer mom who inherits a rundown male strip club and unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dysfunctional, makeshift family that helps her take charge of her life." Warner Bros. Television is behind the hour, which has a put pilot commitment, with actress Jennifer Garner executive producing via her studio-based Vandalia Films. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Dana Powell has been cast as Cam's (Eric Stonestreet) sister on "Modern Family," whom he shares a little bit of a competitive relationship (TVLine.com); Emily Wickersham has booked a three-episode arc - with an option to become a series regular - on "NCIS" as Bishop, "a bright, educated, athletic, attractive, fresh-faced, focused and somewhat socially awkward new agent" (TVLine.com); Rita Moreno has been tapped as the spicy grandmother of Lisette (Justina Machado) on NBC's "Welcome to the Family"(TVGuide.com);
Jon Tenney will reprise his "The Closer" role of Fritz Howard on "Major Crimes" as well as direct an upcoming installment (TVLine.com); Robert Knepper will guest as the FBI's latest target on "The Blacklist"(TVLine.com); Bailey Noble's Adilyn Bellefleur has been upped to series regular on the final season of "True Blood"(THR.com); and Lea Thompson will visit "CSI" as "a defense criminalist and will work very closely during her episode with Elisabeth Shue's Finlay" (TVGuide.com).