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!
BILLIONS (Showtime; W: Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman & David Levien; D: Neil Burger) - Malin Akerman ("Trophy Wife") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, which takes a forensic look at the world of high finance by tracking the approaching collision between two titanic figures - the hard charging, whip-smart U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhodes (Paul Giamatti), and the brilliant, ambitious hedge fund king, Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Damian Lewis). She'll play Lara Axelrod, "a former nurse from humble beginnings who now is married to billionaire Bobby," presumably succeeding Kerry Condon in the role. Condola Rashad, David Costabile, Maggie Siff and Toby Leonard Moore also star. (Deadline.com)
CASUAL (Hulu/Lionsgate; W: Zander Lehmann; D: Jason Reitman) - Michaela Watkins and Tara Lynne Barr are the first to be cast in the upcoming original, which follows the story of a dysfunctional family with a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating (on-line and off), while living under one roof again and raising a teenager. Watkins will play said therapist sister, Valerie Cole, with Barr as her daughter, Laura. In addition, Liz Tigelaar has signed on to executive produce alongside the auspices as well as Reitman's production partner Helen Estabrook. (Deadline.com)
CHEERLEADER DEATH SQUAD (The CW/CBSP; W: Dan Truly, Marc Cherry & Neal Baer; D: TBA) - The trio's drama - about "a disgraced CIA agent-turned-teacher at an elite Washington, D.C. prep school who, after realizing that his students have high-level access through personal connections, trains a select few to be his eyes and ears into the world of international espionage and help him earn his way back into the agency" - is the latest to receive a pilot order at the netlet. CBS Television Studios is behind the hour with Cherry/Wind Productions' Sabrina Wind likewise executive producing. (Deadline.com)
FAST BOYS (AMC, New!) - Newcomer Anthony Pucillo is developing a new comedy at the cable channel about "the birth of the fast food industry - or, simply, the great American hamburger boom - in post-World War II San Bernardino, California." He'll also executive produce the half-hour alongside his management company Black Box. (THR.com)
PEOPLE ARE TALKING (NBC/Universal; W: D.J. Nash; D: Pamela Fryman) - Tone Bell ("Bad Judge") is the first to board the multi-camera comedy pilot, about a white and a black couple and examines sex, race and everything else your parents told you never to talk about. He'll play the male lead's best friend/neighbor, "a stand-up comic, which is relevant only in that he has no fear when it comes to talking to someone or making a scene in public to prove his point." Said casting comes on the heels of Bell signing a talent holding deal with the network. In addition, Pamela Fryman has signed on to helm the half-hour. (THR.com)
UNTITLED ASEEM BATRA PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Aseem Batra ("Animal Practice") has scored a pilot order from the Peacock for "a politically incorrect office comedy centered on best friends Dale and Georgie whose relationship is upended when he starts dating the "perfect" woman." The multi-camera project is set up at Universal Television with Joe and Anthony Russo likewise executive producing. (Deadline.com)
AND IN OTHER NEWS... - FOX has reportedly ordered its small screen take on Mike Carey and Peter Gross's Vertigo Comics series "Lucifer" to pilot (BleedingCool.com); Pamela Fryman is also set to direct comedy pilots at FOX from Dana Klein and CBS from Dan O'Shannon & Peter Warren (Deadline.com); Marc Webb has signed on to helm the CBS pilot "Limitless," succeeding Neil Burger, who will remain an executive producer (Deadline.com); Naya Rivera is bound for "Devious Maids" as "a new maid in the neighborhood who has landed a job with the seemingly picture-perfect Beverly Hills family" (Deadline.com); IFC is reportedly nearing a series order for its single-camera comedy "Uncle Chubby's" (Deadline.com); "Allegiance" executive producer Rashad Raisani has closed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television (Deadline.com);
Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary's Revelations Entertainment has signed a multi-year first look deal with CBS TV Studios, home to their new drama "Madam Secretary" (Deadline.com); Neve Campbell is set for four episodes of "Welcome to Sweden" as "an American transferred to Stockholm to work as head of marketing at a bank" (THR.com); Benderspink is looking to develop a TV series around the experiences of former FBI hostage negotiations honcho Christopher Voss (Variety.com); Rob Mayes has joined the cast of "Mistresses" as "a bromantic interest for Brett Tucker's fan-favorite character" (TVLine.com); Trina McGee and Blake Clark will reprise their roles of Angela Moore and Chet Hunter on "Boy Meets World" follow-up "Girl Meets World" (ETOnline.com); and Jennifer Hudson and Rita Ora will both drop by "Empire" later this season (EOnline.com).