[09/24/13 - 11:26 PM]
Development Update: Tuesday, September 24
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!

BILLY RAY (FOX, New!) - Writer Clifton Campbell ("The Glades") and director Robert Zemeckis (Flight) have scored a put pilot commitment from the network for a drama about "a family thrown into chaos when the child who was stolen from them as a baby is returned 16 years later after being raised in rural Alabama by someone with a questionable past." Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine also serve as executive producers on the hour, to be co-produced by Compari Entertainment and a yet-to-be-determined studio. (Deadline.com)

THE BLACK BOX (ABC; W: Amy Holden Jones; D: Simon Curtis) - Vanessa Redgrave is set to star opposite Kelly Reilly in the limited series, about Dr. Elizabeth Black (Reilly), a world-famous neuroscientist who unwraps the mysteries of the brain as she juggles complex issues of her own. She'll play Dr. Hartramph, "Elizabeth's psychiatrist and the only one who knows all her secrets." (Deadline.com)

DOLL & EM (HBO, New!) - The pay channel has acquired Sky Living's upcoming six-episode series, a semi-improvised comedy about what happens when your best friend becomes a Hollywood star and you find yourself employed as their personal assistant. Real-life best friends Emily Mortimer ("The Newsroom") and Dolly Wells (Bridget Jones' Diary) topline the half-hour and co-wrote the script alongside director Azazel Jacobs. Said trio likewise executive produced with Alessandro Nivola, Stacia Peters, Kevin Comer, Andrew Eaton and Lucy Lumsden for King Bee Productions and Revolution Films. (Deadline.com)

THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE (ABC, New!) - British author Chris Ewan's bestselling book series - about "the charming and unpredictable Charlie Howard as he travels the world, blogging about his adventures... while stealing for fun and profit" - is being developed as a drama at the Alphabet. Hart Hanson ("Bones") and Andrew Miller ("The Secret Circle") are spearheading the adaptation - which has a significant penalty attached - via the former's 20th Century Fox Television-based Far Field Productions. (Deadline.com)

GORTIMER GIBBON'S LIFE ON NORMAL STREET (Amazon; W: David Anaxagoras; D: TBA) - Robyn Lively and Sloan Morgan Siegel have booked the lead roles on the comedy pilot, about the lives of three quirky tweens who live in a surreal world of eccentric characters and strange happenings. Siegel will play the title role with Lively as "Gortimer's smart, relaxed and independent mom." (Deadline.com)

GOTHAM (FOX, New!) - The early years of DC Comics hero Commissioner James Gordon are set to be explored as part of a new drama at the network spearheaded by Bruno Heller ("The Mentalist"). The project, which has a blind series commitment, will track Gordon when he was still "a detective with the Gotham City Police Department and has yet to meet Batman, who will not be part of the series." Said effort is set up at Heller's Warner Bros. Television-based Primrose Hill Productions. (Deadline.com)

HOW TO BE AN ADULT (ABC, New!) - Nick Kreiss ("Punk'd") is developing "a hybrid workplace comedy about a man-child tasked with saving his family business alongside his dad's comically awful widow." Sony Pictures Television is behind the semi-autobiographical half-hour with Evan Silverberg, Underground Films' Trevor Engelson and FanFare Productions' Jamie Tarses also on board as executive producers. (Deadline.com)

LINE OF SIGHT (AMC/AMC Studios/FTS; W: Blake Masters; D: Jonathan Demme) - Chinasa Ogbuagu ("The Following") is the latest to board the drama pilot, about Lewis Bernt (David Morrissey), a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash, bringing him on a quest to discover the accident's cause. She'll play Mary Jo Stiger, "who is trying to figure out why her husband died in the crash while the others escaped injury." Darren Pettie, Kai Lennox, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Omar Metwally, Samantha Mathis and Sarah Clarke also star. (Deadline.com)

LOVE IS DEAD (USA/GIT/UCP; W: Zev Borow; D: Lorene Scafaria) - Richard Kind ("Golden Boy") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a unique company that specializes in breaking-up romantic relationships - rationally, compassionately, thoroughly - on behalf of those who are willing to pay to not be around when it happens. He'll play Ken Bell, Alex's (Ben Rappaport) father, a cantankerous man with a penchant for tough-love advice and quality mustard. Janina Gavankar and Khary Payton also star. (Deadline.com)

THE ODYSSEY (NBC, New!) - Writers Adam Armus and Kay Foster ("The Following") are set to team with director Peter Horton ("Ironside") for a potential drama about "three families who are torn apart when a stranded female soldier, a disillusioned corporate attorney and a disrespected political activist are pulled into the same shocking international military conspiracy." Said trio will co-write the hour - NBC's first pilot order for the 2014-15 broadcast season - with Horton directing for Universal Television. Fabrik Entertainment's Mikkel Bondesen and Kristen Campo and Red Arrow Entertainment Group's Simon Maxwell and Henrik Bastin will also serve as executive producers. (THR.com)

UNTITLED SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is set to star in a potential multi-camera project at the Peacock based on his stand-up and life. Dan Kopelman ("Rules of Engagement") is penning the script for Sony Pictures Television and Levity Entertainment Group with Lakeshore Entertainment's Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg also serving as executive producers and Scott Herbst as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Joanne Kelly will recur on "Hostages" as an ambitious ambassador and the sister of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's First Lady of the United States (Deadline.com); Jack Coleman is likewise bound for "Scandal" as "a charming Southerner with ties to one of the gladiators" (Deadline.com); America Olivo is bound for NBC's "Chicago PD" as the wife of Jon Seda's Antonio Dawson (Deadline.com); Kim Kardashian will lend her voice to "American Dad" as a furry alien that falls for Roger after he spaceship crash-lands in Langley Falls (EW.com);

Zuleikha Robinson will recur on CBS's "Intelligence" as Amelia, the MIA wife of Josh Holloway's Gabriel, a role played by Sandy Sidhu in the original pilot (EW.com); Steven Pasquale is set to guest on "White Collar" as "a rogue stock broker who sees an opportunity to exploit the world of high-frequency trading on Wall Street" (EW.com); Kate Micucci will return to "The Big Bang Theory" as Lucy in a November episode (THR.com); James Allen McCune and Danika Yarosh will both visit the new season of "Shameless" (THR.com).

  [september 2013]  


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