[02/19/14 - 11:46 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, February 19 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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36, THE (A&E, New!) - Charley and Vlas Parlapanides (Immortals) have sold a potential drama to the cable channel which "stems from the mystical Jewish concept of the Righteous 36, which stipulates that at all times there are 36 people in the world possessing special powers who don't necessarily know each other but if even one of them was missing, the world would come to an end." A+E Studios is behind the hour, which would revolve around Dane, "a complicated hero who soon learns that he's right in the middle of this battle for the soul of mankind." Michael London of Groundswell Productions is also on board to executive produce alongside the duo, who likewise are attached to direct. (Deadline.com)BLACK-ISH (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Kenya Barris; D: TBA) - Tracee Ellis Ross ("Girlfriends") has scored a role on the single-camera comedy pilot, about Andre "Dre" Johnson (Anthony Anderson), an upper-middle-class black man who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father (Laurence Fishburne), and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. She's presumably on board as said wife, Rainbow. (Deadline.com)CLEMENTINE (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Dean Georgaris; D: Michael Dinner) - Kathleen Munroe ("Alphas") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about Clementine Ross (Sarah Snook), a habitual criminal who digs into the mystery of her origins after she becomes the target of a group of zealots who fear she possesses latent supernatural abilities that she will one day harness for either profound good or monstrous evil. She's set as Lydia Tomas, "Charlie's (Kevin Alejandro) practical, regimented, and protective fianceé who is often at odds with Clementine." David Strathairn and Edwin Hodge also star. (Deadline.com)DARK LORD OF DELAWARE (FOX, New!) - Feature writers Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simon (Megamind) are developing an animated comedy at the network about Zarbus, "a man who must deal with the conflicting emotions of being a stay at home dad after losing his job. The situation is made all the more challenging by the fact his previous position was that of a Voldemort-like evil sorcerer who once ruled over a magical kingdom. Now banished to our world, he must navigate the social minefield of suburbia while keeping his omnipotent powers in check." Marcus Wiley will also executive produce for 20th Century Fox Television. (Deadline.com)EMPIRE (FOX/20th; W: Danny Strong & Lee Daniels; D: Lee Daniels) - Terrence Howard (Lee Daniels' The Butler) has been tapped for the lead role on the pilot, a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire. He'll play Lucious Lyon, "a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public." (Deadline.com)FOREVER (ABC/Warner Bros.; W: Matthew Miller; D: TBA) - Judd Hirsch ("Numb3rs") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Dr. Henry Morgan, a 200-year-old man who spends his days working in the New York City Morgue trying to find a key to unlock the curse of his immortality. He'll play Abe, Henry's best (and only) friend. (Deadline.com)HERE'S YOUR DAMN FAMILY (FOX/Warner Bros.; W: Ricky Blitt; D: TBA) - Natasha Bassett ("Camp") will round out the cast of the multi-camera comedy pilot, about Richard Gordon (Jon Heder), a stunted, set-in-his-ways thirtysomething man living with his mom, Carol (Jane Kaczmarek), who finds his perfectly organized world upended when she gets married - and her new husband, Mike Baldwin (David James Elliott), plus his three teenage children (Peter DaCunha, Brendan Meyer and Bassett) move in. She'll play Emma, "a pretty and smart but rebellious 17-year-old who's upset her dad (Elliott) remarried so quickly after her mother's death." (Deadline.com)MYSTERIES OF LAURA, THE (NBC/Warner Bros.; W: Jeff Rake; D: McG) - Debra Messing ("Smash") has landed the title role on the drama pilot, about a female homicide detective who's great at her job but struggles to deal with her cheating husband and five-year-old identical twin boys. She'll play said woman, Laura Diamond, the casting of which lifts the contingency on the pilot's production. Berlanti Productions and Kapital Entertainment also co-produce the hour, which will now shoot in New York. (Deadline.com)SAINT FRANCIS (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Christopher Moynihan; D: TBA) - Paget Brewster ("Criminal Minds") is set to star opposite Michael Imperioli in the multi-camera comedy pilot, about Francis Quinlan, a blue-collar, no-nonsense Long Island cop and family man who butts heads with the modern, liberal world when his 29-year-old sister gets pregnant out of wedlock. She's set as his wife, Stephanie, "who dreads her upcoming 40th birthday but she is also the glue of the family and rallies support for her sister in law." (Deadline.com)SEA OF FIRE (ABC/Sony; W: Jenna Bans; D: Allison Liddi-Brown) - Zoe Soul and Keir Gilchrist are the latest additions to the drama pilot, which chronicles the fallout from three teenage girls starring in a pornographic film, an event that tears their families apart and leads to a disappearance and a murder. She'll play one of said girls, Sonya Harper who's smart, sarcastic and a bit awkward in her own skin; while he'll play Rudy McAllister, a beta male nerd boy with a dark side. Christina Chang, Isabelle Cornish, Jack Davenport, Jeffrey Nordling, Jennifer Carpenter and Lilli Birdsell also star. (Deadline.com)SECRETS & LIES (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Barbie Kligman; D: Charles McDougall) - KaDee Strickland and Belle Shouse have both scored roles on the drama pilot, about Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe), a family man who finds the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. The former will play his wife Christy "whose feelings towards Ben are complicated by the discovery of the neighbor boy's body." Shouse then is set as their younger daughter Abby. Juliette Lewis and Natalie Martinez also star. (Deadline.com)WEIRD LONERS (FOX/20th; W: Michael J. Weithorn; D: TBA) - Nate Torrence ("Hello Ladies") has booked a lead role on the single-camera comedy pilot, about four relationship-phobic people who are unexpectedly thrust into one another's lives and form an unlikely bond in a townhouse in Queens, New York. He'll play one of said quartet, Eric Lewandoski, "a nerdy but not unattractive guy who works as a toll collector on a commuter bridge." Zachary Knighton also stars. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - CeeLo Green has bowed out of returning to "The Voice" as a coach this fall (Deadline.com); "Nikita" alum Albert Kim has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television where he'll join the studio's "Sleepy Hollow" as a co-executive producer (Deadline.com); Heather Hemmens, Chris Brochu and Raffi Barsoumian are among the latest faces bound for "The Vampire Diaries"(Deadline.com,EOnline.com)
; Tim Daly will guest on "The Mindy Project" in a yet-to-be-revealed role (@CannonBK); Will Kemp has been cast as "prima ballerina Cathy Dollanganger's abusive dancer boyfriend Julian Marquet" on Lifetime's "Petals on the Wind"(EW.com);
Janel Parrish will drop by "Drop Dead Diva" as "a cheerleader for a professional basketball team who finds viral video fame after someone captures her epic on-field meltdown on camera" (EW.com); Michael Gross will guest on "Last Man Standing" as "a longtime no-nonsense math teacher who has seen standards drop over the years and struggles to the hold the line" (TVGuide.com); Ryan McPartlin will visit USA's "Playing House" as "a hunky officer who helps Maggie and Emma install their baby seat" (TVGuide.com); and Thomas Lennon is bound for "The Goldbergs" as "Adam's gym teacher who oversees him taking the Presidential fitness test, and Barry's wrestling coach" (TVGuide.com).