[03/18/14 - 11:37 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, March 18 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CLIPSTERS (TBS/WHT; W: David Kohan & Max Mutchnick; D: TBA) - Ryan Pinkston, Matt Cook and Mike Castle are the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about an eclectic cast of stylists working in a barbershop in the Boston suburb of Worcester, Massachusetts. Pinkston is set as Ben, "the greedy owner of Buzzy's, who is always trying to squeeze an extra penny out of his business and appears to be unaware that all his employees know and despise his shopworn manipulative ploys"; with Castle as A.J. Salerno, "one of the hair stylists at the shop, a true hometown boy who was his town's top hockey player before being humbled by a devastating knee injury"; and Cook as Mo, "another stylist at the shop who is Ben's best friend and his direct opposite." (Deadline.com)DEAD BOSS (FOX/Warner Bros.; W: Patricia Breen; D: Barry Sonnenfeld) - Comedian David Cross has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about Helen Stephens (Jane Krakowski), an overachiever who is wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss and forced to rely on Laura (Justine Lupe), her train wreck of a sister to prove her innocence. He'll guest star as Eric Bridges, "the narcissistic, credit-stealing, misogynistic" title character. Amy Sedaris, Cedric Yarborough, Rachel Dratch and Ravi Patel also star. (Deadline.com)EMPIRE (FOX/20th; W: Danny Strong & Lee Daniels; D: Lee Daniels) - Grammy winner Macy Gray has booked a role on the pilot, a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire run by music superstar Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). She'll recur as Tasha, "a woman having an affair with the much-younger Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray), over whom she exercises considerable influence and control." Gabourey Sidibe, Grace Gealey, Jussie Smollett, Kaitlin Doubleday, Malik Yoba and Taraji P. Henson also star. (THR.com)FEED ME (NBC/Universal; W: Sally Robinson; D: Michael Trim) - Ethan Peck, Ed Quinn and Hart Bochner have all been cast in the Mary-Louise Parker-led comedy pilot, about a dysfunctional family bound by love and the restaurant they run together. "The three adult children of restaurant owners Alice and Len Carroll are all struggling with various romantic/sexual/marital crises, all of which seem to come to a head as they gather in a hospital waiting room to support Emma (Parker) as her husband Will (Bochner) recovers from a heart attack suffered during an extra-marital tryst." Peck then will play Ned, "Emma's terminally adolescent younger brother, a culinary artist who tries hard to bring some sophistication and modernity to his family's decades old restaurant, but his menu changes only infuriate his dad"; with Quinn as John, "the eldest and the most cynical and ironic of the three Carroll children." In addition, Michael Trim is slated to direct. (Deadline.com)HOW AND WHY (FX/FXP; W/D: Charlie Kaufman) - Oscar-nominees Sally Hawkins and Catherine Keener have both been cast in the comedy pilot, the story of a man, Goodman Hesselman (John Hawkes), who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life. "After losing his gig hosting children's science show How And Why, he tries to start over with a new show in a little TV market in the middle of nowhere when he encounters the supernatural world." No details were given about their characters. (Deadline.com)JANE THE VIRGIN (The CW/CTS; W: Jennie Snyder Urman; D: Brad Silberling) - Ivonne Coll ("Switched at Birth") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about Jane Gloriana Garcia (Gina Rodriguez), a hardworking religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated. She'll play Alba, "Jane's 60-ish doting grandmother who teaches her at an early age the importance of staying pure until marriage." Andrea Navedo, Brett Dier, Jaime Camil, Justin Baldoni and Yael Grobglas also star. (Deadline.com)MADAME ROSE (HBO, New!) - The pay channel is developing a biopic of original stage mom Rose Hovick, "the indomitable mother of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc, who would do anything to advance her daughters' career in show business." Adam Shankman (Hairspray) is attached to direct and executive produce the project alongside Jennifer Gibgot via their company Offspring Entertainment. Said effort will be based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. No writer was specified. (Deadline.com)STATE OF AFFAIRS (NBC/Universal; W: Alexi Hawley; D: Joe Carnahan) - Tommy Savas ("Hollywood Heights") has been cast in the drama pilot, about Charleston Whitney Tucker (Katherine Heigl), 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'll play Miles Singh, Charleston's intrepid assistant, in the project, which also stars Cliff Chamberlain, Sheila Vand and Adam Kaufman. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED RICHARD LAGRAVENESE PROJECT (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Richard LaGravenese; D: Taylor Hackford) - Britne Oldford ("Ravenswood") has landed a role on the drama pilot, about the love and rivalry between Philip Fitzgerald Julien (Rufus Sewell) and Margot Worth Cole (Melissa George), two equally matched, powerful socialites who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. She's set as Cecelia Karelle, "the No. 1 fashion model/cover girl in the world who is publicly, and in truth, a virgin, yet is portrayed in every photo shoot as sexual and unattainable." Elliot Knight, Oded Fehr, Katie Holmes and Daphne Rubin-Vega also star. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - CBS has placed its single-camera comedy pilot "Taxi-22" on hold because of problems casting the lead (Deadline.com); Bille Woodruff has been tapped to direct VH1's "Drumline: A New Beat"(Deadline.com); Walon Green is set to pen and executive produce National Geographic's four hour mini-series "Killing Jesus"(Deadline.com); Heather McComb has booked an arc on "Ray Donovan" as "a working-class mother who befriends Bunchy Donovan (Dash Mihok)" (Deadline.com); Mia Vallet will recur on "Believe" as "a vulnerable woman with a dark edge who becomes an antagonist to Bo (Johnny Sequoyah)" (Deadline.com); "Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan has inked a massive four-year overall deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television (Deadline.com);
Cynthia Addai-Robinson has been cast as Emily West, the Yellow Rose of Texas, in History's mini-series "Texas Rising"(Deadline.com); Caterina Scorsone will reprise her role from "Private Practice" on "Grey's Anatomy" later this season (TVGuide.com); Franka Potente is bound for "The Bridge" as a "shunned Mennonite who has a no-nonsense attitude" (EOnline.com); Betsy Brandt will visit "Masters of Sex" as the new secretary to Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) (THR.com); and Michael A. Goorjian will guest on "Covert Affairs" as "a former U.S. soldier who has become disillusioned with the American Dream" (TVGuide.com).