CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
LIKE FAMILY (WB) - Diane Farr ("The Job") has joined the cast of the Frog's new comedy where she will replace Amy Yasbeck in the role of Maddie, a newly single, down-on-her-luck mother who winds up taking her 16-year-old son and moving in with the family of her best friend (Holly Robinson Peete). Farr was previously attached to two other pilots (NBC's "The Ripples" and CBS' "Harry's Girl") as well as her own project at ABC, all of which were not picked up for the 2003-04 season. She'll join current cast members Kevin Michael Richardson, J. Mack Slaughter, J. Anthony Brown, Megalyn Echikunwoke and B.J. Mitchell on the comedy, which comes from Warner Bros. TV.
HAPPY FAMILY (NBC) - Pam Fryman ("Just Shoot Me") has signed onto the comedy as director and executive producer. Fryman directed the pilot episode and will stay on as the in-house director, helming all episodes of the comedy. Previously, she directed 94 episodes of the recently canceled "Just Shoot Me," as well as episodes of "Frasier," "Friends," "Three Sisters," "Cybill" and "Welcome to New York."
SPIDER-MAN (MTV) - Eve, Gina Gershon, Michael Clarke Duncan, Keith Carradine, and Rob Zombie have been set as guest voices on the cable channel's new animated series, which premieres Friday, July 11 at 10:00/9:00c.
SURVIVING LOVE (CBS) - The Ted Danson/Mary Steenburgen-toplined telefilm has changed its title from "Rediscovered Love."
UNDERCOVER CHRISTMAS (CBS, New!) - Tyne Daly ("Judging Amy") and Jami Gertz ("Still Standing") have signed on to star in a new telefilm from producers Michael Jaffe, Howard Braunstein and Darrah Cloud (the trio recently behind NBC's "Martha Inc." and the Eye's "Ice Bound"). Nadia Tass ("Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story") will direct from script by Cloud, which centers on a conservative F.B.I. agent who's forced to take a federal witness (Gertz) home for the holidays. Daly will play the agent's mother and stern family matriarch. Production is set to begin next month in Calgary.
UNTITLED FARRELLY BROTHERS PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Peter and Bobby Farrelly has pacted with FOX to create a new half-hour comedy series based on the life of writer Ricky Blitt ("Family Guy," "Becoming Glenn"). The project, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television, is described as a younger version of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" as the comedy focuses on Blitt (who is expected to play himself), a thirtysomething Hollywood telemarketer who finds showbiz success when a script he writes is picked up and turned into a hit TV show. The brothers Farrelly will co-write, direct and executive produce both the pilot and series via their Conundrum Entertainment banner. Conundrum's Bradley Thomas will serve as a producer on the untitled project, which is being eyed for midseason. The network has given a series commitment to the project, meaning they'll pay a severe penalty should the pilot not go to series.
UNTITLED RYAN PINKSTON PROJECT (MTV) - Ryan Pinkston ("Punk'd") has signed a development deal with the cable channel to topline a new series project for the network. Pinkston, 15, is best known on the series for posing as a red-carpet interviewer who purposely asks offensive questions to his celebrity interviewees.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters