[10/24/13 - 11:13 PM] Development Update: Thursday, October 24 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICAN CRIME (ABC, New!) - Feature writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) has sold a potential drama to the Alphabet about "a racially charged murder in California's Central Valley and the subsequent trial, which are examined through the personal lives of the victims, the accused and their families." ABC Studios is behind the hour with Michael McDonald executive producing alongside Ridley. (Deadline.com)GRAND AVE (Amazon, New!) - "FlashForward" alums Ian Goldberg and Jessika Borsiczky are developing a period drama at the digital service about "the explosive, overnight transformation of L.A. from small town to iconic American city. The show revolves around a powerful, ruthless family and explores - in an upstairs/downstairs fashion - how the destiny of a select few coincided with a major metropolis on the verge of its grand arrival." No other details were given. (Deadline.com)MURDER, SHE WROTE (NBC, New!) - Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Alexandra Cunningham ("Prime Suspect") are set to team for a revival of the 1984-1996 CBS series, which starred Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The Peacock has given a put pilot commitment to the project, which would star Spencer as "a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel. Set in a day where sensational headlines inundate the news, this woman's avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations." Cunningham and David Janollari then will executive produce for Universal Television-based David Janollari Entertainment while Lansbury has reportedly been approached to be a part of the reboot. (Deadline.com)PLAYERS (The CW, New!) - Nina Fiore and John Herrera ("Alphas") have booked a new drama at the netlet set against the Golden Age of Hollywood, about "a young Midwestern woman who moves to Los Angeles to avenge her sister's death at the hands of a predatory studio head and finds herself swept up in the Hollywood star-making machine, unwittingly becoming the ingénue in a closeted movie star's lavender marriage, and a pawn in a studio fixer's scheme against the mob." Danny Cannon ("The Tomorrow People") is on board to direct the potential hour with Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman of the Warner Bros. Television-based A Very Good Production likewise executive producing. Fiore and Herrera then will serve as supervising producers. (Deadline.com)SECRETS & LIES (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet has issued a 10-episode order for an import of the upcoming Australian crime drama, about "a family man who finds the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. He has no choice but to try to find the real killer as his marriage, his kids, his reputation and his sanity are all at stake." Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan and Hoodlum's Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield are executive producing the project for ABC Studios. The search is underway for a showrunner. (Deadline.com)SKIN DEEP (ABC, New!) - Michael Diliberti (30 Minutes or Less) has booked a potential comedy at the Alphabet about "an idealistic young beauty salon owner forced to take on a brash and opinionated male stylist." Said effort is set up at ABC Studios with Shine America and Jack Black's Electric Dynamite also producing. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED REMY CHANDLER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Bill Chais ("Franklin & Bash") is looking to bring Thomas Sniegoski's Remy Chandler urban fantasy novels - about "an angel who, having grown weary of celestial warfare, chose to embrace earthly life and develop a deep appreciation for humans and their vices" - to the small screen. Chais will pen the adaptation and executive produce alongside Jonathan Levin for 20th Century Fox Television. (Deadline.com)VICE (CBS, New!) - Michael Diliberti (30 Minutes or Less) has set up a new drama at the Eye about "a pair of inexperienced young cops who must confront their own vices when they stumble into high-profile undercover work in the City of Angels." Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Len Goldstein are also on board to executive produce via their ABC Studios-based Fake Empire banner. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Michael Morris has bowed out of directing E!'s Bethany Joy Lenz-led drama pilot "Songbyrd"(Deadline.com); Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima will drop by "The Crazy Ones" in December (THR.com); Marianne Jean-Baptiste is set to recur on NBC's "Believe" as "a dangerous political lifer who is aligned with the series' villain Roman Skouras (Kyle MacLachlan) in a conspiracy to capture and exploit Johnny Sequoyah's Bo" (TVGuide.com); and Kirk Acevedo will guest on "Blue Bloods" as the brother of Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez), Danny Reagan's (Donnie Wahlberg) partner (Zap2It.com).