[12/05/13 - 11:31 PM] Development Update: Thursday, December 5 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE BRINK (HBO; W: Kim Benabib & Roberto Benabib; D: Jay Roach) - Esai Morales ("Criminal Minds") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about three compromised souls who must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War Three: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander (Tim Robbins); Alex Coppins (Jack Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Callahan (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. He'll play Julian Navarro, the President of the United States. Aasif Mandvi, Geoff Pierson and Maribeth Monroe also star. (Deadline.com)GIRLS IN THE GAME (VH1, New!) - Ryan Seacrest Productions has scored a six-episode order from the cable channel for a half-hour reality series about "a group of up-and-coming white female rappers as they aspire to and struggle for fame." Ryan Seacrest is executive producing alongside Adam Sher. (THR.com)THE GRIM SLEEPER (Lifetime, New!) - Dreama Walker, Macy Gray, Ernie Hudson and Michael O'Neill are set to star in an original movie at the cable channel "inspired by the true stories of the victims and survivor of the alleged serial killer dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" - referring to the apparent 14-year hiatus between his alleged murders." Walker will play investigative reporter Christine Pelisek, "who broke the story of the serial killer and coined the nickname," with Gray as Enietra "Margette" Washington (Gray), "the only known surviving victim of the Grim Sleeper, who provided a detailed account of the killer and his MO." Hudson and O'Neill then will play police officers investigating the case with Pelisek. Stanley M. Brooks is directing from a script by Robert Nathan and Teena Booth with Michael Jaffe and Joe Pichirallo serving as executive producers and Richard Bullock and Christian Bruyere as producers. (Deadline.com)MOZART IN THE JUNGLE (Amazon; W: Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman & Alex Timbers; D: TBA) - Malcolm McDowell, Lola Kirke, Bernadette Peters, Saffron Burrows, Peter Vack and Hannah Dunne will all join Gael García Bernal in the comedy pilot, about sex, drugs - and classical music - and shows that what happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what happens on stage. McDowell will play Thomas, "a seasoned conductor being forced into retirement by the arrival of hotshot new conductor Rodrigo (Bernal)"; with Kirke as "the impressionable oboist Hailey"; Peters as Gloria, "the Chairwoman of the Board of the symphony"; Burrows as Cynthia, "a cellist in the middle of an affair with Thomas," Vack as Joshua, "a talented dancer out of Juilliard who becomes Hailey's love interest"; and Dunne as Lizzie, "Hailey's friend and roommate." (Deadline.com)MULANEY (FOX/Universal; W: John Mulaney; D: Andy Ackerman) - Elliott Gould, Nasim Pedrad, Seaton Smith and Zack Pearlman have all been cast in the network's revival of the NBC pilot, about an aspiring comedian (John Mulaney) coming of age under the influence of his boss (Martin Short), his roommates and his neighbors. The former trio also starred in the original incarnation. Gould will return as Alfred, Mulaney's intimidating gay neighbor; with Pedrad as Jane, Mulaney's roommate who has been reconceived as "a personal trainer fixated on fairness and justice in her life - particularly, her romantic life." Smith then will play Motif, "an experienced comedian and ladies' man whom Mulaney often tries to emulate, but never quite will"; with Pearlman as a new character Andre, "a stubborn but energetic 29-year-old trust fund baby." Griffin Newman, who played Mulaney's other roommate, will not return. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED FOSTERS PROJECT (VH1, New!) - Erin Foster and Sara Foster, daughters of Grammy Award winner and Verve Music Group chairman David Foster, are set to star in a potential comic reality series about "two sisters who say they would never do a reality show, but are being filmed by a camera crew." 3 Arts Entertainment's Oly Obst, Kimberly Carver and Josh Lieberman are executive producing alongside Good Clean Fun's Jason Carbone. The show, which "explores the hypocrisy of reality TV," has a presentation commitment. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Norwegian broadcaster NRK is in the final stages of negotiations with producer Rubicon TV for a third season of "Lilyhammer"(Deadline.com); Brianne Howey will recur on "Twisted" as "a free spirit who is full of life and takes chances [who] comes to Green Grove to live with her father (Ivan Sergei) for a fresh start" (Deadline.com); Entertainment One is developing a new action drama with actress Pam Grier and writer Bennie Richburg (Deadline.com); Regina King and Melanie Merkosky are both bound for FX's "The Strain" as Ruby Wain, "the smart and accomplished manager of philandering rock star Gabriel Bolivar (Jack Kesy)," and "Jim Kent's (Sean Astin) wife Sylvia, who is suffering from cancer," respectively (Deadline.com);
Dianna Agron is the latest "Glee" alum set to return for the show's 100th episode (@MrRPMurphy); Chris Elliott will drop by "Community" as "the quirky founder of Greendale Community College who went missing many years ago after a bizarre sex scandal" (EW.com); Rebecca Mader will visit "Once Upon a Time" as "the newest villain going up against Storybrooke's forces of good" (EOnline.com); and James Landry Hebert will guest on "The Tomorrow People" as "a mysterious hitman who teleports past security and reads his victims minds" (TVGuide.com).