CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from various wire reports each morning:
THE APPRENTICE (NBC, New!) - NBC has committed to 13 episodes of the reality series which will feature would-be moguls braving a simulated corporate environment, all with the goal of landing a job with a tycoon who'll then train the winner in the art of the deal. Donald Trump (and his Trump Organization) has signed on to be said tycoon. "Survivor's" Mark Burnett (who is also behind NBC's upcoming "The Restaurant") will produce the series. Contestants are expected to be a mix of college grads and blue-collar types of which Trump will help determine who is "fired" each week. The winner will then serve under him for a least a year for a cool six-figure salary. The series is set to debut sometime during the 2003-04 season.
BOARDING HOUSE: NORTH SHORE (WB) - The WB has shifted the premiere of its summer reality series to June 18 (from June 3) and will instead air Wednesdays at 8:00/7:00c.
THE MULLET BROS. (UPN) - John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld") and Loni Anderson ("WKRP in Cincinnati") has signed on to UPN's pilot presentation about two boys with the much-maligned haircut.
MY LIFE WITH MEN (ABC) - Sam Robards ("American Beauty") will play Wendie Malick's husband in the comedy pilot while Nadia Dajani ("Ned & Stacey") has signed on as her lesbian sister.
PEPSI SMASH (WB, New!) - The Frog network has committed to six episodes of a new live music series, which will (as you might have guessed from the title) feature Pepsi as a premiere sponsor. The cola giant will fork over a large chunk of its estimated $800,000 to $1 million budget. Joel Gallen ("Not Another Teen Movie") is set to produce the series. Each episode will include at least six live music performances along with a countdown feature and celebrity appearances. Pepsi already has a solid relationship with the WB as the company is behind the upcoming "Play for a Billion" special and was a major partner in the WB's now shelved "Live from Tomorrow" talk show/variety series. "Smash" will premiere some time this summer.
SPLITSVILLE (FOX) - Lynn Collins has landed the female lead in the drama pilot while Adam Shankman ("Bringing Down the House") has signed on to direct.
THESE GUYS (ABC) - Jsu Garcia is set in one of the lead roles of the Tim Allen produced comedy pilot.
UNTITLED DAN FINNERTY PROJECT (ABC) - Emily Deschanel ("Providence") has been cast in the comedy pilot.
WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO? (WB, New!) - The WB has ordered six episodes of the reality series from Bruce Nash ("Meet My Folks") and comic pioneer Stan Lee for the 2003-04 season. The project will feature average joes pitching their superhero idea (in the costume of said hero to boot) to a panel of celebrity judges who have played onscreen superheroes. Semifinalists will undergo a "superhero makeover" -- with a professional artistic gloss overseen by Lee -- and compete in various stunts and challenges that mimic comic book derring-do. The winner will then be eligible to have his or her idea developed and expanded by Lee's team, possibly for a comic book spinoff. Open auditions are set to being in a few weeks.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters