[04/23/14 - 11:45 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, April 23 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CASUAL VACANCY, THE (HBO, New!) - The pay channel has signed on to co-produce the three-hour mini-series, based on J.K. Rowling's novel of the same name, with the BBC. Jonny Campbell ("In the Flesh") is helming the project from a script by Sarah Phelps ("EastEnders") with Ruth Kenley-Letts ("The Hour") producing. Said effort revolves around Pagford, "a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty facade, however, is a town at war: Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils." Rowling and Neil Blair are executive producing via their Bronte Film and Television banner alongside Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat. (Deadline.com)HOW I MET YOUR DAD (CBS/20th; W: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas & Emily Spivey; D: Rob Greenberg) - Meg Ryan has been tapped as the narrator of the Eye's "How I Met Your Mother" spin-off, which revolves a new group of friends in New York. She'll serve as the future voice of Sally (Greta Gerwig), a female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she's going in life. After breaking up with her husband of less than a year, Sally finds a solid circle of support in her friends and family. Anders Holm, Andrew Santino, Drew Tarver, Nick D'Agosto and Tiya Sircar also star. (Deadline.com)PHARAOH (HBO, New!) - Writer David Schulner ("Do No Harm") and director Ridley Scott (Prometheus) have set up a potential drama at the pay channel which "explores an alternate explanation for the foundation and ascent of the ancient Egyptian empire - one in which greatness was bestowed upon us by beings from another world, calling into question what it means to be a 'god.'" Giannina Facio and Colet Abedi co-created the hour alongside Schulner and will executive produce with Scott and David W. Zucker via their Scott Free Productions banner. In addition, Schulner has inked a two-year overall deal with producer Universal Television. (THR.com)SISTERHOOD, THE (Lifetime, New!) - Hot Snakes Media has received a six-episode order for a new unscripted series "that will follow the journey of five young women as they decide whether or not to become nuns." The hour-long project "will explore whether the modern women can rise to serve God when they are cut off from family and friends and embedded in an unfamiliar community." Shannon Evangelista and Eric Evangelista are the executive producers as are Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and Colleen Conway Grogan from the network. (THR.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - VH1 has pulled the plug on its "Best Week Ever" revival after two seasons (Deadline.com); and Willa Fitzgerald will recur on "Royal Pains" as "a mysterious young woman who shows up in the Hamptons with a hidden past and a secret agenda" (TVGuide.com).