CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (FOX) - Jeffrey Tambor ("That Was Then") has officially joined the cast of the upcoming FOX comedy. The actor had previously been attached only as a guest star on the series. The sitcom stars Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, a widower with a 13-year-old son who's forced to take over the family business when his father, played by Tambor, is arrested for questionable accounting practices. Earlier this season Tambor was cast in the CBS pilot "Rubbing Charlie" which did not go forward as a series.
THE BERNIE MAC SHOW (FOX) - New co-executive producer Rich Appel ("A.U.S.A.") has signed a multiyear, seven-figure development deal with the show's distributor, 20th Century Fox Television. As part of the pact he'll create and executive produce his own projects for the studio in addition to working on its existing properties. The deal marks over a decade of work at 20th Century Fox by Appel who's best known for his years on animated series "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill."
NAVY C.I.S. (CBS) - Sasha Alexander ("Presidio Med") has signed on to the "J.A.G." spin-off as a tough, competitive Secret Service agent who joins the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team in the center of the show and butts heads with the team's leader, played by Mark Harmon. Alexander had previously been attached to the Eye pilot "Expert Witness," which did not go forward to series.
SIGNIFICANT OTHERS (Bravo) - The NBC-owned cable network is set to go forward with six episodes of the unscripted series, which was previously in development at the Peacock for this summer. Based on a short by commercial director Robert Roy Thomas, the project features improv actors posing as couples in therapy. The series is expected to bow next year on the channel and if things go well it could have episodes wind up on NBC. NBC executives are hoping to use the arts-oriented Bravo as an incubator for other potential new series as well.
TRADING SPACES (TLC) - Executive producer Denise L. Cramsey has signed a multiyear overall development deal with Universal Domestic Television. The pact calls for Cramsey (who's been with "Spaces" since its second season) to create and develop lifestyle reality programming for the studio.
24 (FOX) - The producers of the drama have opted not to pick up actress Penny Johnson Jerald's option for next season. Generally speaking, such news means the actress would be extremely unlikely to appear at all next season on the series. However considering that "24" producers did the same thing last season with Sarah Clarke (who went on to appear in a half-dozen episodes this past season), that may not be the case at all. Both network and studio reps are extremely tight-lipped about the show's third season as only Keifer Sutherland has been confirmed as returning this fall.
UNTITLED GILMORE GIRLS SPIN-OFF (WB) - The Frog has scrapped its spin-off of "Gilmore Girls," citing cost issues due to filming on location in Venice, California. The network had previously committed to six episodes of the series, which centered on Rory's former beau Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) going to live with his estranged father (Rob Estes), for midseason 2004. It's not clear however if Ventimiglia will return to the parent series due to the news.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters