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[09/10/15 - 11:31 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, September 10
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!


CANARY (ABC, New!) - Zack Estrin ("The Whispers") is developing a new drama at the Alphabet about "a woman who risks everything to help a whistleblower come forward with secret information that will impact the lives of millions." Said effort comes from ABC Studios and Momentum Television with the latter's Nick Hamm and Sabrina Eisenstadt also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


CHAMPION: THE JEFF BEEKMAN STORY (FOX, New!) - John Aboud and Michael Colton (Penguins of Madagascar) have scored a put pilot commitment from the network for a single-camera comedy which "chronicles the everyday experiences of a hyper-competitive but perpetual underdog dad presented like a sports documentary, with commentary and analysis." The project is set up at ABC Studios with Mila Kunis, Susan Curtis, Cami Curtis and Lisa Sterbakov of Orchard Farm Productions also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


CRUSADERS, THE (FOX, New!) - Actor Idris Elba and writer/director Thomas Ikimi (Legacy) are set to re-team for a new drama at the network about "an extended family of second-generation Africans living in the U.S. who specialize in locating and returning valuable objects stolen from Africa during colonial occupation." Legendary Television-based Di Bonaventura Television is behind the project with Green Door Pictures' Elba, T&T Studios' Ikimi and Di Bonaventura's Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


DOWNWARD DOG (ABC, New!) - Samm Hodges and Michael Killen have received an off-cycle pilot production order from the Alphabet for a single-camera comedy about "a woman and her dog." Legendary Television and ABC Studios are behind the project, which began as a web series produced by Animal Media Group. Mosaic Media Group's Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen and Animal's Kathy Dziubek are also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED LENA WAITHE PROJECT (Showtime/Fox 21; W: Lena Waithe; D: Clark Johnson) - Tequan Richmond, Aisha Hinds, Alex Henderson, Sierra McClain, Olivia Dawson and Jason Weaver are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African American male in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death. Richmond will play Emmett, "an attractive, young African-American teen who believes his sexual prowess is what defines him"; with Hinds as Jada, "Emmett's young, single mother"; Henderson as Kevin, "an adolescent whose childlike innocence collides with his pent up aggression"; McClain as Jerrika, "a tightly wound restaurant manager"; Dawson as "the mother of two of the main characters Brandon and Coogie"; and Weaver as Ronnie, "a street corner philosopher and a fixture in the neighborhood, who must go to extraordinary lengths to try and win back the love of his life." Production is set to begin in Chicago later this year with Elwood Reid recently added as showrunner. (Deadline.com)


URBAN COWBOY (FOX/20th/Paramount; W/D: Craig Brewer) - Nathalie Kelley ("UnREAL") and Lindsey Gort ("Impastor") are both bound for the network's modern reimagining of the 1980 movie, about star-crossed young lovers Kyle (Alfonso Herrera) and Gaby as they pursue their dreams and passions through the sweat of line dancing in honky tonks, the grime of the oil refineries and the glamour of modern Texas. Kelley will play the aforementioned Gaby, "the gorgeous, feisty, independent minded, bright and resourceful daughter of Marshall (Jim Belushi), the owner of Gilley's, a super-popular Houston honky tonk." Gort then is set as Pam, "the beautiful daughter of one of Houston's most powerful families who captures Kyle's attention." Bryana Salaz and Edward James Olmos also star. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - HBO's Bernie Madoff docudrama "The Wizard of Lies" has added Nathan Darrow (as Andrew Madoff), Kathrine Narducci (Eleanor Squillari), Steve Coulter (Martin London), Kristen Connolly (Stephanie Madoff) and Diana Henriques (herself) to the cast (Deadline.com); Vivica A. Fox has been cast as Cookie's (Taraji P. Henson) older sister on "Empire" (Deadline.com); David Slade has been tapped to direct the pilot and several more episodes of Starz's "American Gods" (Deadline.com); and Christopher Stanley will recur on "American Crime" as "a handsome and sophisticated businessman and love interest to Felicity Huffman's character" (THR.com).






  [september 2015]  
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· AMERICAN CRIME (ABC)
· AMERICAN GODS (STARZ)
· CANARY (ABC)
· CHAMPION: THE JEFF BEEKMAN STORY (FOX)
· CHI, THE (SHOWTIME)
· CRUSADERS, THE (FOX)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DOWNWARD DOG (ABC)
· EMPIRE (FOX)
· IMPASTOR (TV LAND)
· UNREAL (LIFETIME)
· URBAN COWBOY (FOX)
· WHISPERS, THE (ABC)
· WIZARD OF LIES, THE (HBO)





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