[03/05/14 - 11:01 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, March 5
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!

AMERICA IN THE KING YEARS (HBO) - "Treme" co-creators David Simon and Eric Overmyer has signed on to oversee Oprah Winfrey's long-in-the-works six-hour mini-series, based on the celebrated book trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1954-68. They'll succeed playwright Robert Schenkkan, who was originally attached when the project was sold in May of 2010. Winfrey is executive producing via her Harpo Films banner. (Deadline.com)

AMERICAN CRIME (ABC/ABC Studios; W/D: John Ridley) - Penelope Ann Miller and Timothy Hutton have both been cast in the drama pilot, which centers on a racially charged murder and the subsequent trial in California's Central Valley as seen through the personal lives of the players involved. She'll play Eve Harmon, "the emotionally shattered mother of the killed man's badly beaten wife who is on life support"; while he's set as Chuck Skokie, "an honest but average guy working at a big-box retailer in Arizona who has made great pains to reconnect with his now adult sons, Matt and Mark." Benito Martinez, Caitlin Gerard, Elvis Nolasco, Johnny Ortiz, Richard Cabral and W. Earl Brown also star. (Deadline.com, THR.com)

ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB, THE (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Stephanie Savage; D: Nick Cassavetes) - Azure Parsons ("Salem") has been cast in the summer drama, which tells the true story of the women behind NASA's early astronauts and the struggles they face when their lives and families are catapulted into the spotlight overnight. She'll play Annie Glenn, "the wife of John Glenn whom she's known since they were toddlers in Ohio." JoAnna Garcia Swisher also stars. (Deadline.com)

COERCION (NBC/Universal; W/D: George Nolfi) - Annie Ilonzeh ("Charlie's Angels") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about the O'Connor family and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), a decorated American war hero and CIA analyst who is a true patriot and loves his country and family. Unbeknownst to him, both of his parents (Hope Davis, TBA) and his sister (Margarita Levieva) are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated. She's on board as Julia Marcus, "a no-nonsense Special Agent with the FBI assigned to work closely with Alex." (Deadline.com)

CONSTANTINE (NBC/Warner Bros.; W: Daniel Cerone & David S. Goyer; D: Neil Marshall) - Lucy Griffiths, Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford have all been cast in the drama pilot, about John Constantine (Matt Ryan), an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond. She'll play Liv Parson, "an offbeat young woman tired of her ordinary life who comes to discover that she has the ability of seeing the supernatural world among us, which makes her a key player in the battle between good and evil." Perrineau then is set as Manny, "an authoritative angel assigned to watch over Constantine who has the power to step into other people's bodies"; with Halford as Chas, "Constantine's oldest friend and staunch companion who possesses powerful survival skills that might possibly be supernatural." (Deadline.com)

CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS) - Emmy-winner Patricia Arquette ("Medium") has been tapped for the lead role on the show's proposed spin-off, about Avery Ryan, "Special Agent in Charge at the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI in Quantico, VA, who is tasked with solving high-octane crimes that start in the mind, live online, and play out into the real world." Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony E. Zuiker and Ann Donahue are behind the hour, which will air as a backdoor pilot later this season. (Deadline.com)

DAMAGED GOODS (ABC/Warner Bros.; W: Lauren Iungerich; D: Declan Lowney) - Kellee Stewart ("The Soul Man") has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about three damaged women and two damaged men who explore the minutiae of love and relationships. She's set as Betsy, a sexy dilettante who is living off alimony. Ben Lawson, Justin Hartley and Steve Talley also star. (Deadline.com)

HOW I MET YOUR DAD (CBS/20th; W: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas & Emily Spivey; D: Pamela Fryman) - Krysta Rodriguez ("Smash") has landed a role on the comedy pilot, which tells the "How I Met Your Mother" story from a female point of view, that of Sally (Greta Gerwig), and revolves around a new group of friends in New York. She'll play Sally's best friend Juliet, "a sexy, flamboyant force of nature who runs the most successful fashion blog in the country." Drew Tarver also stars. (Deadline.com)

KEEP IT TOGETHER (ABC/20th; W: Kevin Hart, Garrett Donovan & Neil Goldman; D: TBA) - Bresha Webb ("Love That Girl!") has booked the female lead on the comedy pilot, a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple, Derek (Romany Malco) and Lorraine, trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite differences. She's set as the aforementioned Lorraine in the project, which also stars Amber Stevens and Kevin Hart. (Deadline.com)

LIFESAVER (NBC/Universal; W: Wil Calhoun; D: TBA) - Chris Butler ("The Good Wife") has landed a role on the comedy pilot, about two polar opposites - the uptight, neurotic Graham Parmenter (Christian Borle) and the energetic, large personality Leon Barrow (Jonathan Ryland) - who become inextricably linked after the latter saves the former's life by giving him a kidney. He'll play Campbell Carter, Graham's neighbor, childhood friend and world class mooch. Lindsay Price also stars. (Deadline.com)

MADAM SECRETARY (CBS/CTS; W: Barbara Hall; D: David Semel) - Patina Miller (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the personal and professional life of maverick Secretary of State Elizabeth Faulkner McGill (Tea Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. She'll play Daisy Finch, her press coordinator. Geoffrey Arend and Tim Daly also star. (Deadline.com)

MESSENGERS, THE (The CW/CTS; W: Eoghan O'Donnell; D: Stephen Williams) - Diogo Morgado ("The Bible") is the latest to be cast in the drama pilot, about a group of unconnected strangers who seemingly die from an energy pulse, only to awaken to learn that they have been deemed responsible for preventing the impending Apocalypse. He'll play The Man, "a mysterious figure who wakes up naked and burned in the desert and sets out on a mission to provide some answers about the strange events." Also starring are Joel Courtney, Jon Fletcher and Sofia Black-D'Elia. (Deadline.com)

RED BAND SOCIETY (FOX/ABC Studios; W: Margaret Nagle; D: TBA) - Ciara Bravo and Nolan Sotillociara have both been cast in the drama pilot, about a group of teenagers who meet as patients in the children's wing of a hospital and become unlikely allies and friends. She'll play Emma Mehta, "a beautiful patient on the pediatric ward struggling with anorexia"; while he's on board as Jordi Palacios, "a very smart and resourceful young man who refuses to take no for an answer." Charlie Rowe, Griffin Gluck, Octavia Spencer, Rebecca Rittenhouse and Zoe Levin also star. (Deadline.com)

RED OAKS (Amazon, New!) - Greg Jacobs (Criminal) and Joe Gangemi (Wind Chill) have booked a pilot order at the digital distributor for "an upstairs/downstairs set at a country club that focuses on the employees and their high-end clientele." Steven Soderbergh and David Gordon Green are also on board to executive produce the half-hour, with the latter attached to direct. (Deadline.com)

STATE OF AFFAIRS (NBC/Universal; W: Alexi Hawley; D: Joe Carnahan) - Cliff Chamberlain has joined the cast of the Katherine Heigl-led drama pilot, about Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attache who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world, all while balancing her intense political responsibilities with a complicated personal life. He's set as Brett Welker, a single linguist who loves B movies and cyberwarfare. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED RICHARD LAGRAVENESE PROJECT (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Richard LaGravenese; D: Taylor Hackford) - Rufus Sewell ("Parade's End") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. He'll play said male lead, Philip Fitzgerald Julien, whose looks, confidence, breeding and style is immediately imposing. (Deadline.com)

VISITORS, THE (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Soo Hugh; D: Mark Romanek) - Brianna Brown ("Devious Maids") is the latest to board the drama pilot, billed as a race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world by using the Earth's most precious resource: children. She'll play Lena Lawrence, who along with her husband Wes (Barry Sloane), "discovers that her daughter is being turned against her by a covert alien operation." Also starring are Catalina Denis, Derek Webster, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Lily Rabe and Milo Ventimiglia. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - AMC has passed on its sci-fi pilot "Line of Sight" from writer Blake Masters and director Jonathan Demme, starring David Morrissey (Deadline.com); Mary-Louise Parker has closed her deal to topline NBC's single-camera comedy pilot "Feed Me" (Deadline.com); Mallika Sherawat will guest on "Hawaii Five-0" as "a woman who has a history with Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth)" (TVLine.com); and Brooke Burke-Charvet is bound for two episodes of "Melissa & Joey" as Joe's (Joey Lawrence) ex-girlfriend, "who stirs up trouble for him and Mel (Melissa Joan Hart)" (THR.com).

  [october 2015]  


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