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[03/09/07 - 12:13 AM]
Development Update: Friday, March 9
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) - Steve Howey ("Reba") has been tapped for the lead role on the comedy pilot, about a womanizing veterinarian (Howey). Howey's casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: Steve Howey
Writer: Tucker Cawley
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Tucker Cawley
Studios: CBS Paramount Network Television, FremantleMedia North America


CARPOOLERS (ABC) - Tim Peper ("Law & Order") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about four suburban men who carpool to work together. He'll play Dougie, one of said quartet.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Allison Munn (Cindy), Faith Ford (Leila), Fred Goss (Gracen), Jerry Minor (Aubrey), Jerry O'Connell (Laird), T.J. Miller (Marmaduke), Tim Peper (Dougie)
Writer: Bruce McCulloch
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Executive Producers: Bruce McCulloch, Darryl Frank (DreamWorks Television), David Miner (3 Arts Entertainment), Justin Falvey (DreamWorks Television)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - Executive producer Ed Bernero has inked a massive two-year, seven-figure overall deal with the show's co-producer CBS Paramount Network Television. The pact calls for Bernero to continue with his showrunning duties as well as develop new series projects for the studio.


GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - Taylor Momsen ("Misconceptions") and Chace Crawford ("The Covenant") have both landed roles on the drama pilot. Crawford will play Nate, the boyfriend of Leighton Meester's character while Momsen will play an unspecified character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Blake Lively (Serena), Chace Crawford (Nate), Leighton Meester (Blair), Taylor Momsen
Writers: Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage
Director: Mark Piznarski
Executive Producers: Bob Levy (Alloy Entertainment), Josh Schwartz (College Hill Productions), Leslie Morgenstein (Alloy Entertainment), Stephanie Savage
Studio: Warner Bros. Television


GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - Co-stars Ellen Pompeo, James T. Pickens Jr. and Chandra Wilson have each inked new deals with the ABC Television Studio while Justin Chambers and T.R. Knight are reportedly close as well. The pacts will give raises to all the actors with Pompeo now earning nearly $200,000 per episode while the others will now rake in about $125,000 per installment. As for the remaining original cast members - Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh and Katherine Heigl - the former two are still in negotiations with the studio while the latter has publicly broken off talks for the time being. Despite the impasse, Heigl and the others are still bound by their original contracts for the foreseeable future. Also landing a new deal: late arrival Kate Walsh, who's prepping for a potential spin-off for her character. No financial details were released about her new pact.


PHILADELPHIA GENERAL (FOX) - Drew Sidora ("Wild Hogs") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about the lives and loves of a team of nurses in a big-city hospital. She'll play Becca DiMato, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Mid-20s, gorgeous, confident, smart. A beauty and our self-admitted resident slut. She's a dating machine but is not ashamed of her escapades. Becca doesn't take things too seriously and is lots of fun, but is deeper than she lets on and smarter than she looks. She drinks too much and steals pills from the floor pharmacy. She'll be Eve's fast friend and roommate. Serious about her job, Becca has an instinctive gift for healing, as she proves when she bucks the establishment to save a misdiagnosed patient."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brett Dalton (Dr. Kurt Taylor), Drew Sidora (Becca DiMato), Gregory Harrison (Dr. Richard Miller), Katheryn Winnick (Eve Miller), Melinda Page Hamilton (Margo MacDonald), Ramon Rodriguez (Patrick Quinn), Sara Rue (Chris Korenek)
Writers: Andy Stern, Samantha Goodman
Director: P.J. Hogan
Executive Producers: Ann McManus (Shed Productions), Barry Josephson (Josephson Entertainment), Eileen Gallagher (Shed Productions), P.J. Hogan
Co-Executive Producers: Andy Stern, Samantha Goodman
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


PROTECT & SERVE (CBS) - Thad Luckinbill ("The Young and the Restless") and Victoria Cartagena ("The Bedford Diaries") have both landed roles on the drama pilot, about cops living in the Los Angeles suburbs as they deal with the stress of police life on and off the job. They'll play Tim and Antia, respectively, two unspecified characters. In addition, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan ("Battlestar Galactica") has been tapped to direct the hour from a script by co-creators Mark Gibson and Philip Halprin.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Eric Balfour (Grogan), Monica Potter (Lizzie), Steve Harris (Dennis), Thad Luckinbill (Tim), Victoria Cartagena (Anita)
Writers: Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin
Director: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Executive Producers: Gary Scott Thompson, Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


REAPER (The CW) - Rick Gonzalez ("Coach Carter") has been cast in the drama pilot, about a young man (Bret Harrison) who essentially becomes Satan's bounty hunter, reclaiming souls that have somehow escaped from hell. No details about his character were released.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bret Harrison (Sam), Nikki Reed (Andi), Rick Gonzalez, Tyler Labine (Sock)
Writers: Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Director: Kevin Smith
Executive Producers: Deborah Spera (The Mark Gordon Company), Mark Gordon (The Mark Gordon Company), Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Studio: ABC Television Studio


SLUTS (FOX) - Lacey Chabert ("Party of Five") has signed onto the comedy pilot, about three sorority sisters (Chabert, Molly Stanton, Dorian Brown) who try to clean up their act after graduating from college. No other specifics were given about her character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Dorian Brown (Kate), Lacey Chabert, Molly Stanton (Allison)
Writer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Director: Jason Winer
Executive Producers: Dawn Parouse (Dawn Parouse Productions), Jeff Richman (Dawn Parouse Productions)
Supervising Producer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


THE THICK OF IT (ABC) - Oliver Platt ("Huff") has been tapped for a role in the comedy pilot, about the workers in the office of a low-level congressman. He'll play the chairman of the Party Committee.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Oliver Platt, Rhea Seehorn (Ollie)
Writers: Mitchell Hurwitz, Richard Day
Director: Christopher Guest
Executive Producers: Armando Iannucci, Mitchell Hurwitz, Paul Telegdy (BBC Worldwide Productions), Richard Day
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


UNTITLED GREY'S ANATOMY SPIN-OFF PROJECT (ABC) - "Veronica Mars" co-star Chris Lowell is the latest to score a role on the "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off backdoor pilot. As was the case for the previous casting announcements, no details were given about his character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Chris Lowell, Kate Walsh (Addison Shepherd), Paul Adelstein, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly
Writer: Shonda Rhimes
Director: Michael Grossman
Executive Producers: Betsy Beers (Shondaland Productions), Mark Gordon (The Mark Gordon Company), Shonda Rhimes (Shondaland Productions)
Studio: ABC Television Studio


VIVA LAUGHLIN! (CBS) - P.J. Byrne ("Charlie Wilson's War") and Eric Winter ("Harold & Kumar 2") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a man (Lloyd Owen) who dreams of opening a casino. Winter is set as Peter Carlyle, a police detective, while Bryne will play the accountant and business manager of Owen's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Carter Jenkins (Jack), D.B. Woodside (Marcus), Ellen Woglom (Cheyenne), Eric Winter (Det. Peter Carlyle), Hugh Jackman (Guest Star), Lloyd Owen (Ripley Holden), Madchen Amick, P.J. Byrne
Writer: Bob Lowry
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Executive Producers: Bob Lowry, Gabriele Muccino, Hugh Jackman (Seed Productions), John Palermo (Seed Productions), Paul Telegdy (BBC Worldwide Productions), Peter Bowker
Studios: CBS Paramount Network Television, Sony Pictures Television


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SYFY)
· BEAST, THE (FOX)
· BEDFORD DIARIES, THE (WB)
· CARPOOLERS (ABC)
· CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· GOSSIP GIRL (CW)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· HOT YEARS, THE (FOX)
· HUFF (SHOWTIME)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· MISCONCEPTIONS (WB)
· NURSES (FOX)
· PARTY OF FIVE (FOX)
· PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
· PROTECT & SERVE (CBS)
· REAPER (CW)
· REBA (CW)
· THICK OF IT, THE (ABC)
· VERONICA MARS (CW)
· VIVA LAUGHLIN (CBS)









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