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[08/20/12 - 11:21 PM]
Development Update: Monday, August 20
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 FRANCHISE (Showtime) - The pay channel is trimming the show's second season by one week, with the finale now set for this Wednesday, August 22 at 10:00/9:00c. To date its sophomore run, featuring the Miami Marlins, has averaged a very modest 77,000 viewers and a 0.0 rating among adults 18-49. Last summer's inaugural season, showcasing the San Francisco Giants, averaged 106,000 viewers and a 0.0 adults 18-49 rating. (Sun-Sentinel.com)


PAGING DR. FREED (USA) - Kyle Howard and Joel David Moore have booked the lead roles on the long-in-the-works single-camera comedy pilot, about David (Howard) and Jonathan (Moore) Freed, two gynecologist brothers who inherit their father's thriving medical practice after he suffers a heart attack during an attempt at "playing" doctor with his young secretary. Their casting lifts said contingency on the half-hour, which comes from Fox 21, Universal Cable Productions and Watson Pond Productions. Marc Buckland is attached to direct from a script by Michael Feldman with Katy McCaffrey and Brad Johnson also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


RED WIDOW (ABC) - Goran Visnjic ("ER") has joined the cast of the midseason drama, about a woman, Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), who must take over her late husband's illegal drug business to protect her three young children. He'll take over for Thomas Kretschmann as mob boss Christian Schiller in the project, from writer Melissa Rosenberg. Clifton Collins Jr., Erin Moriarty, Jaime Ray Newman, Jakob Salvati, Lee Tergesen, Luke Goss, Rade Serbedzija, Sterling Beaumon, Suleka Mathew and Wil Traval also star in the ABC Studios-based project. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED DIGGY SIMMONS PROJECT (BET, New!) - 17-year-old rapper/blogger Daniel "Diggy" Simmons III, son of Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons, is set to star in a new original movie at the cable channel about Blake, a blogger with a "close group of loyal friends who hold him down on his rise to the top." Also cast in the project, a backdoor pilot for a potential series, are Allen Maldonado as Blake's best friend Manny; Teyana Taylor as Manny's twin sister/Blake's ex-girlfriend Tae; Chris Brew as tech geek/fellow pal Dot; Bria Murphy as Manny's girlfriend Nia; and Stephanie Charles as Dot's ex-girlfriend Sheri. Salim Akil ("Sparkle") will direct from a script by Kenya Baris with Mara Brock Akil, Chris Lighty, Laurie Dobbins and James Dubose also among the executive producers. Simmons and Kevin Liles will also serve as co-executive producers. Production is set to begin later this year. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (FX, New!) - Jonathan Shapiro ("The Firm") has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about a former police detective who now works as a fixer. Ryan Seacrest Productions and The Weinstein Co. are behind the hour, which Shapiro will executive produce presumably alongside Seacrest, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Nina Wass and Adam Sher. No other details were given. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - "Saturday Night Live" will kick off its 38th season on Saturday, September 15 (NBC.com); Sundance Channel has commissioned a second season of its summer series "Push Girls" (Deadline.com); Bryan Cranston is set to direct an episode of "The Office" this season (@RainnWilson); Nicki Minaj is the latest name being tossed around as a judge for "American Idol" (THR.com); Rob Corddry will guest on FOX's freshman entry "Ben & Kate" (EW.com); Ed Skrein and Jacob Anderson have been cast as Daario Naharis and Grey Worm, respectively, on "Game of Thrones" (WinterIsComing.net); Marco Pennette has been tapped as the new showrunner of "Animal Practice," succeeding Gail Lerner beginning with the show's fourth episode (Deadline.com); Jayson Blair has been upped to series regular on "The New Normal" as Goldie's (Georgia King) cheating husband Clay (Deadline.com); Chuck Lorre is finalizing a new four-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television, which includes a feature component (Deadline.com); Rob Huebel will drop by "Up All Night" as "Chris's (Will Arnett) annoying roommate from college that he can't seem to get rid of" (TVGuide.com); and Super Bowl XVII winner Joe Theismann will make a cameo on "Necessary Roughness" as himself (THR.com).






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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· ANIMAL PRACTICE (NBC)
· BEN & KATE (FOX)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· ER (NBC)
· FIRM, THE (NBC)
· FRANCHISE, THE (SHOWTIME)
· GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
· NECESSARY ROUGHNESS (USA)
· NEW NORMAL, THE (NBC)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· PAGING DR. FREED (USA)
· PUSH GIRLS (SUNDANCE)
· RED WIDOW (ABC)
· SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC)
· START UP, THE (BET)
· UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (FX)
· UP ALL NIGHT (NBC)











[08/21/14 - 06:00 PM]
GSN's Third Episode of Body-Painting Competition Show, "Skin Wars," Delivers Series-High Ratings
GSN spins the numbers for Wednesday, August 20.

[08/21/14 - 04:28 PM]
Lifetime's Upcoming Premieres - "The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story", "Girlfriend Intervention", "Kim of Queens", and "Dance Moms: Abby's Studio Rescue"
The latter returns on Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00/7:00c on the cable channel.

[08/21/14 - 02:56 PM]
NBC Partners with Television Academy and NBCUniversal Networks to Bring Most Social Experience Ever for "The 66th Emmy(R) Awards" Live on Mon., Aug. 25
"Access Hollywood," E! and the "Today" show along with host Seth Meyers and his "Late Night" team, will join forces to harness the strength of their collective social media footprint.

[08/21/14 - 01:35 PM]
GSN Greenlights Season Four of Emmy(R) Nominated Hit Series "The Chase" and Season Two of Matchmaking Show "It Takes a Church"
Both seasons - of 20 and eight episodes, respectively - will air in 2015.

[08/21/14 - 12:54 PM]
WE tv Is Getting in the Box - The "Sex Box" - Network Greenlights First-Ever Extreme Relationship Therapy Series for 2015 Premiere
The first season will feature nine, one-hour episodes.

[08/21/14 - 12:08 PM]
It's Manzo Mania! Caroline and Family Return with Series Premiere of Bravo Media's "Manzo'd with Children"
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" spin-off will premiere with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, October 5 at 9:00/8:00c.

[08/21/14 - 11:18 AM]
The Hub Network's App Is Honored with the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
In its review of the Hub Network's app, The National Parenting Center praised the app for its wholesome entertainment, interactivity and the manner in which it is organized.

[08/21/14 - 11:11 AM]
The Search for the Next "MasterChef" Begins with Open Casting Calls Starting Saturday, September 13
Calls are set for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, San Diego, San Antonio, Memphis and New Orleans in the coming weeks.

[08/21/14 - 11:07 AM]
"The Tonight Show" Sets Nine-Week Highs in 18-49 Demo and Total Viewers for Week of Aug. 11-15
NBC spins the late-night numbers for the week of August 11-15.

[08/21/14 - 11:06 AM]
Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Features Travers Stakes on Saturday at 4:30 PM ET on NBC and TVG Pacific Classic on Sunday at 8 P.M. ET on NBCSN
The Travers and the Pacific Classic will be the sixth and seventh shows, respectively, of 11 programs in the Challenge Series leading to the Breeders' Cup World Championships on NBC and NBCSN, October 31-November 1.

[08/21/14 - 10:51 AM]
Video: "Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways" - Trailer (HBO)
The eight-part documentary series premieres Friday, October 17 at 11:00/10:00c.

[08/21/14 - 10:45 AM]
Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis and Joan Jett Star in "Big Driver" - Original Movie Based on Short Story by Stephen King - Premieres October 18 on Lifetime(R)
The film tells the story of a young novelist hell-bent on revenge after falling victim to a brutal crime.

[08/21/14 - 10:42 AM]
Go Under the Covers with Discovery Fit & Health for Sextember, A Month-Long Exploration of Sex in America
Every weeknight at 10:00/9:00c beginning September 1, the network will encore provocative programming from Discovery's complete library of content.

[08/21/14 - 10:41 AM]
"Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories" Premieres Thursday, September 18th at 12:15 a.m. (ET/PT) on Adult Swim
Each episode offers a unique tale: dark, horrifying, perverse, insane... hilarious - featuring a wide array of comedic and dramatic guest stars.

[08/21/14 - 10:12 AM]
"Rebuilding the World Trade Center" - Marcus Robinson's Poignant Film Chronicles 8 Years of Construction; Premieres Thursday, September 11, at 6 p.m. on History
The two-hour special - eight years in the making, from laying of the first foundation to triumphantly topping the gleaming new 104-story One World Trade Center with its spire - focuses on the construction workers who performed the Herculean task.