LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ANIMAL PRACTICE (NBC) - Gail Lerner ("Happy Endings") have been tapped to serve as showrunner of the recently ordered comedy, about George Coleman (Justin Kirk), a veterinarian who loves animals but usually hates their owners. There she'll supervise co-creators Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka as well as executive produce alongside American Work's Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan and co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo for Universal Television. (Deadline.com)
FAME WHORE/UNTITLED JOHN SCOTT SHEPHERD PROJECT (Showtime/USA, New!) - John Scott Shepherd (NBC's "Save Me") has booked a pair of projects on the cable side. First up is the half-hour comedy "Fame Whore" at Showtime, about "our national obsession with being seen, validated, and adored by strangers, illustrated by a backup singer's determined quest." Shepherd is executive producing alongside Kim and Eric Tannenbaum of CBS Television Studios and John Legend and Mike Jackson of Get Lifted Film Co. Then there's an untitled hour at USA, details of which weren't given. Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park are executive producing alongside Shepherd. (Variety.com)
THE REPUBLIC OF PIRATES (NBC) - The period drama - about the world's most notorious pirates as they forge their own rogue nation, called New Providence, which became the first democracy in the Americas - is on track for a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes. Neil Cross is in talks to oversee the project, taking over for Tom Fontana. Marc Rosen's Georgeville Television and Reliance Entertainment's Motion Picture Capital have likewise come aboard to co-produce alongside the previously announced Universal Media Studios and Parkes/MacDonald Productions. Jim Hart and Amanda Wells penned the original pilot, which is based on Colin Woodard's book of the same name. Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ted Gold then will executive produce alongside Rosen and Cross. (Deadline.com)
AND IN OTHER NEWS... - FOX is reportedly mulling a post-upfront pickup of the Cuba Gooding Jr.-led drama pilot "Guilty" (Deadline.com); "Grey's Anatomy" co-stars Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson have all re-upped for two more seasons, all but guaranteeing a ninth season (Deadline.com); Britney Spears, after months of negotiations, has reportedly closed an eight-figure to join "The X Factor" next season (EOnline.com); and Josh Hopkins, Kevin Pollak and Christopher Masterson will guest star on the fourth episode of TBS's new comedy "Men at Work" (TVLine.com).