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[02/01/07 - 12:34 AM]
Development Update: Thursday, February 1
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!


THE BEAST (FOX) - Tucker Cawley's sitcom project, based on the British series of the same name, has been ordered to pilot. The workplace comedy centers on a charming and womanizing veterinarian who hates animals but loves the perks his job provides. Cawley penned the pilot script and is executive producing the hour for CBS Paramount Network Television and FremantleMedia North America, who holds the rights to the U.K. original.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously put pilot)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Tucker Cawley
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Tucker Cawley
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television, FremantleMedia North America


CANTERBURY'S LAW (FOX) - Feature helmer Mike Figgis ("Leaving Las Vegas") has been tapped to direct the hour, about a rebellious female defense attorney who pushes the boundaries of the law to protect innocent clients. The news mark Figgis' first pilot for television.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Dave Erickson
Director: Mike Figgis
Executive Producers: Denis Leary (Apostle Productions), Jim Serpico (Apostle Productions)
Co-Executive Producer: Dave Erickson
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


JUDY'S GOT A GUN (ABC) - Sheree Folkson ("Ugly Betty") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about Judy Lemen, a detective who struggles to balance her personal life as a single mother with her job investigating the unusual crimes that take place in suburbia.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: Michelle King, Robert King
Director: Sheree Folkson
Executive Producers: Michelle King, Robert King, Stu Bloomberg (Cabloom!)
Studio: Touchstone Television


MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC) - Jordana Brewster ("The Fast and the Furious") has been cast as Jane Smith in the network's small screen take on the feature film, about a married couple who are spies. Her character is described as "cool, tough and smart as she is gorgeous and can disarm a horde of thugs without breaking a sweat."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jordana Brewster (Jane Smith)
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Director: Doug Liman
Executive Producers: Dave Bartis (Dutch Oven Productions), Doug Liman (Dutch Oven Productions), Simon Kinberg
Studio: Regency Television


THE OFFICE (NBC) - Ed Helms ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart") has been upped to series regular on the Emmy-winning comedy. He'll continue in his role of Andy Bernard, an employee of paper supply company Dundler Mifflin's now-defunct Stamford, Connecticut, office. Said development is tied to a talent holding the deal the actor has with producer NBC Universal Television.


PLAYING CHICKEN (FOX) - John Pasquin ("Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous") has come aboard to direct the comedy pilot, about a loud-mouthed conservative and his brother, an intellectual leftie, who are forced to live together after the former suffers an accident that leaves him wheelchair-bound.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: John Morris, Sean Anders
Director: John Pasquin
Executive Producers: Eric Gold (Werner-Gold-Miller), Jimmy Miller (Werner-Gold-Miller), Tom Werner (Werner-Gold-Miller)
Co-Executive Producers: John Morris, Sean Anders
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


SEE JAYNE RUN (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet has booked a pilot order for a new comedy about a tough and accomplished investment banker who tries to balance her career and motherhood. Alana Sanko ("Just for Kicks") is behind the single-camera half-hour, which is based at Peter Traugott's Brillstein-Grey Television and Touchstone Television.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Alana Sanko
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Alana Sanko, Peter Traugott (Brillstein-Grey Television)
Studio: Touchstone Television


UNTITLED ELIZABETH MERIWETHER PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Newcomer Elizabeth Meriwether has scored a pilot commitment from FOX for a new single-camera half-hour about four single women as they adjust to life after college. The 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which was developed through the network's Creative Writer Development Initiative, will be executive produced by Dawn Parouse and Jeff Richman with Meriwether serving as a supervising producer.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Dawn Parouse, Jeff Richman
Supervising Producer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


UNTITLED SHANA GOLDBERG-MEEHAN PROJECT (ABC) - "Joey" alum Shana Goldberg-Meehan's latest comedy project has received a pilot order from the network. The Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour revolves around a man and woman who fall in love, despite working for rival Democrat and Republican congressmen who attempt to keep the lovebirds apart.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously put pilot)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


THE VIRGIN OF AKRON, OHIO (Lifetime) - Laurie Metcalf ("Desperate Housewives") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a model who returns home to Ohio and her dysfunctional family before surviving a brutal car crash leading townspeople to believe she was sent from God. She'll play Lydia, the girl's mother. In addition, Randy Zisk ("Prison Break") has come aboard to direct the hour.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Laurie Metcalf (Lydia)
Writer: Jordan Budde
Director: Randy Zisk
Executive Producers: Cary Brokaw, Jordan Budde
Co-Executive Producer: Aaron Geller
Studio: Fox Television Studios


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· BEAST, THE (FOX)
· CANTERBURY'S LAW (FOX)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· HILL, THE (ABC)
· HOT YEARS, THE (FOX)
· JOEY (NBC)
· JUDY'S GOT A GUN (ABC)
· MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· PLAYING CHICKEN (FOX)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· SEE JAYNE RUN (ABC)
· UGLY BETTY (ABC)
· VIRGIN OF AKRON, OHIO (LIFETIME)









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