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[09/11/14 - 11:45 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, September 11
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!


BRAINY BUNCH, THE (ABC, New!) - Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux ("Bob's Burgers") are developing a new comedy at the Alphabet which "follows an extraordinarily gifted family who find themselves unprepared for their new lives in Orange County, CA, a place where beauty is valued more than brains." The 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which has a penalty attached, is inspired by Kitchener Harding and Mona Lisa Montoya's book of the same name, subtitled "The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve." Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo will also serve as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


DIGITAL FORTRESS (ABC, New!) - A small screen take on Dan Brown's book - "a sexy cat-and-mouse game between a Snowden-esque character who is threatening to release all of the government's secrets to the highest bidder and a female cryptographer and her elite team who are tasked to stop him" - has received a put pilot commitment from the Alphabet. Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz ("Outlaw Country") are penning the project with 20th Century Fox Television-based Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, THE (Amazon; W: Frank Spotnitz; D: David Semel) - Rupert Evans ("Rogue") has snagged a lead role on the drama pilot, based on Philip K. Dick's Hugo Award-winning novel - about an alternate history in which the Axis Powers occupy the United States, where fascism rules and the few surviving Jews hide under assumed names. He'll play Frank Frink, "an artist and an intellectual with a secret." Alexa Davalos, Cary Tagawa and Luke Kleintank also star. (Deadline.com)


MR. ROBOT (USA/UCP; W: Sam Esmail; D: Niels Arden Oplev) - Portia Doubleday ("Mr. Sunshine") and Carly Chaikin ("Suburgatory") have both been cast in the drama pilot, about a young programmer, Elliot (Rami Malek), who suffers from a debilitating anti-social disorder and decides that he can only connect to people by hacking them. He wields his skills as a weapon to protect the people that he cares about. Elliot will find himself in the intersection between a cybersecurity firm he works for and the underworld organizations that are recruiting him to bring down corporate America. Doubleday will play Angela, "the pragmatic old childhood friend of Elliot and an account executive at the AllSafe Cyber Security firm"; with Chaikin as Marlene, "the chain-smoking striking hipster who also happens to be an expert at writing malicious malware - specifically, dangerous computer worms that take down entire networks." (Deadline.com)


PROTECT & SURVIVE (ABC, New!) - David Slack ("Person of Interest") has set up a potential drama at the Alphabet about "the last LAPD precinct fighting to hang on in Los Angeles after a massive disaster changed life as we know it." ABC Studios-based Shondaland is behind the hour, with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers executive producing alongside Slack. (THR.com)


PUBLIC INTEGRITY (CBS, New!) - Aaron Tracy (Crackle's "Sequestered") has sold a new drama to the Eye which "centers on the nation's watchdogs - the passionate prosecutors of the Public Integrity Section who target criminals within the government." Said effort comes from the CBS Television Studios-based Kennedy/Marshall Co. with Rene Balcer, Robert Zotnowski and Frank Marshall also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


SHOOTER (TNT, New!) - Stephen Hunter's book "Point of Impact" turned 2007 film by Antoine Fuqua - about "a marksman, former U.S. Marine Scout Sniper Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), who is coaxed back into action only to be framed for murder and goes on the run" - is being developed as a drama at the cable channel. Paramount Television is behind the project, to be written by John Hlavin (Underworld: Awakening). Wahlberg himself and his frequent collaborator Stephen Levinson will also executive produce. (Deadline.com)


SORT OF FAMILY, A (CBS, New!) - Sharon Horgan and Aaron Kaplan are re-teaming for a new multi-camera comedy at the Eye about "a single guy's discovery that a one-night stand produced a teenage son, and their clumsy attempts to form a sort of family." The former is co-writing the half-hour alongside fellow British scribe Neil Forsyth for CBS Television Studios; Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment; and Horgan and Clelia Mountford's Merman Films. (Deadline.com)


TITANS (TNT, New!) - Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and executive-turned-scribe Marc Haimes are reportedly near a pilot order from the cable channel for a new drama about "the eponymous group of young super heroes-to-be from the DC Universe." Warner Horizon Television is behind the hour, which would focus on Dick Grayson, "who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new Super Heroes including Starfire, Raven and many others." Goldsman will executive produce with Haimes serving as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED JOHN STAMOS PROJECT (FOX, New!) - The John Stamos-led single-camera comedy - about "a charismatic longtime bachelor whose life is upended when he discovers he's a father - and a grandfather" - has found a home at FOX. Danny Chun ("The Office") penned the ABC Studios-based half-hour and is executive producing alongside Rhode Island Ave Productions' Dan Fogelman and Stamos himself via his St. Amos banner. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED MANNY COTO/EVAN KATZ PROJECT (FOX, New!) - "24" alums Evan Katz and Manny Coto are set to re-team for a new supernatural drama at FOX about "an Iraq war vet who experiences a supernatural attack that leaves his wife in an unexplained coma. He embarks on a desperate quest to unravel the truth behind hauntings. Though a determined and acerbic loner, circumstances force him to work with a media-hungry, but not very successful team of ghost hunters. The team is led by a former university professor fired because of her research into mysterious phenomena, who is now determined to restore her reputation and academic career. Together, they chronicle dangerous, violent and truly terrifying occurrences." Michael Cuesta is also on board to direct the hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television. (Deadline.com)


WALK-UP, THE (NBC, New!) - Julia Brownell ("Parenthood") has set up a new multi-camera comedy at the Peacock about "two 30-something couples - one with a baby on the way - who decide to buy and live in a Brooklyn brownstone together, creating their own version of the modern urban family." Said effort, inspired by inspired by the recent TheAtlantic.com article "Two Couples, One Mortgage," comes from Jason Katims and Michelle Lee's Universal Television-based True Jack Productions. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - HBO has passed on its drama pilot "Open" from Ryan Murphy and Lauren Gussis (Deadline.com); Bravo has pushed the return of "Shahs of Sunset" from October 13 due to striking postproduction crew members (Deadline.com); "Salem" co-creator Brannon Braga has inked a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television (Deadline.com); David Fumero has joined the cast of "Power" as Mike Sandoval, "the handsome new Chief of the Crime Division, who has moved from Southern California to NY to make sure this prominent investigation is run correctly" (Deadline.com); Arjay Smith is bound for "Sons of Anarchy" as "a good, street smart kid who is trying to protect his mother" (Deadline.com); Sony Pictures Television is reportedly developing a spin-off of "Married... with Childen" focusing on David Faustino's character, Bud Bundy (EOnline.com);

Ricky Gervais will guest on ABC's "Galavant" as "a medieval wizard named Xanax, who is well-known for having the best potions in all the land and excels at guiding his clients through alchemy-induced trips down memory lane" (EW.com); Linda Hunt's Hetty will visit "Scorpion" as part of a crossover with "NCIS: Los Angeles" (EW.com); Naomi Grossman is bound for "American Horror Story: Freak Show" as her "Asylum" character Pepper (EW.com); Gillian Anderson's Bedelia du Maurier has been upped to series regular on "Hannibal" (TVLine.com); Charlie Carver will guest on "Hawaii Five-0" as "an attractive young man who is devastated by a crushing recent loss, but finds comfort from an unusual source" (TVLine.com); and Marsha Stephanie Blake has booked a recurring role on "Orange Is the New Black" as "a new corrections officer" (THR.com).






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· 24 (FOX)
· AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)
· BOB'S BURGERS (FOX)
· BRAINY (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIGITAL FORTRESS (ABC)
· GALAVANT (ABC)
· GRANDFATHERED (FOX)
· HANNIBAL (NBC)
· HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
· MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, THE (AMAZON)
· MR ROBOT (USA)
· MR SUNSHINE (ABC)
· NCIS: LOS ANGELES (CBS)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· OPEN (HBO)
· ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (NETFLIX)
· PARENTHOOD (NBC)
· PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)
· POWER (STARZ)
· PROTECT & SURVIVE (ABC)
· PUBLIC INTEGRITY (CBS)
· ROGUE (AUDIENCE)
· SALEM (WGN)
· SCORPION (CBS)
· SHAHS OF SUNSET (BRAVO)
· SHOOTER (USA)
· SONS OF ANARCHY (FX)
· SORT OF FAMILY (CBS)
· SUBURGATORY (ABC)
· TITANS (DC)
· UNTITLED COTO & KATZ PROJECT (FOX)
· WALK-UP, THE (NBC)





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