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[06/23/03 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: June 23
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

10.5 (NBC) - John Schneider ("Smallville"), David Cubitt ("Robbery Homicide Division"), Fred Ward, Dule Hill ("The West Wing"), Kaley Cuoco ("Eight Simple Rules"), Rebecca Jenkins, Ivan Sergei ("Jack & Jill") and Beau Bridges have joined the cast of the upcoming Peacock mini-series toplined by Kim Delaney. The four-hour project, from Jaffe/Braunstein Films and Pearl Pictures, deals with a deadly earthquake that hits the West Coast. Delaney plays a seismologist at the University of Washington who discovers a correlation between the early tremors and warns that they will lead to a big one.

A DATE WITH DARKNESS (Lifetime) - A new ending is being written and the budget enlarged for the cable channel's upcoming telefilm about about fugitive rapist Andrew Luster. Luster, who was convicted in absentia of 86 counts of raping and drugging women and sentenced to 124 years in prison, was captured Wednesday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after five months on the run. Jason Gedrick ("Boomtown") plays Luster in the telefilm, which bows August 11 at 9:00/8:00c, with Marla Sokoloff ("The Practice") as Connie, one of Luster's date-rape victims.

HAPPY FAMILY (NBC) - Jeff Davis ("On the Spot") has joined the cast of the Peacock's new fall comedy where he will replace Hamish Linklater. He'll play the eldest child of parents John Larroquette and Christine Baranski whose twentysomething children keep coming back home.

HUFF (Showtime) - Hank Azaria ("Mad About You") will topline the pay channel's two-hour drama pilot from producer Mike Newell ("Donnie Brasco"). Azaria will play Craig Huffstodt, a psychiatrist suffering a midlife crisis. Bob Lowry ("Any Day Now") wrote the script for the pilot, which comes from Sony Pictures Television, and will executive produce with Newell, Cam Jones, Azaria and Nancy Sanders. Production is set to begin August 18 in Vancouver.

LAW & ORDER: S.V.U. (NBC) - Diane Neal has signed onto the Dick Wolf drama as a recurring character. She'll fill the void left by Stephanie March, who exited the series at the end of last season to pursue other interests. Neal, who has an option to become a regular on the drama, will play the new ADA assigned to the sex crime victims unit.

THE MAYOR (WB) - Vince Calandra ("Two Guys and a Girl") has been tapped as showrunner of the Frog's midseason comedy. He'll serve as an executive producer on the sitcom, which comes from Sony Pictures Television and Adam Sandler's Happy Madison shingle. As part of his pact with Sony, Calandra also has an option to develop other projects at the studio. Six episodes of the comedy, which revolves around an 18-year-old (played by Ben Feldman) who wins enough votes to take over the mayor's job in a small town, are set to be produced. Sandler will also executive produce, along with Doug Robinson, Jack Giarraputo and Adam Resnick, who wrote the pilot.

SEX AND THE SINGLE MOM (Lifetime, New!) - The cable channel has greenlighted a new telefilm headlined by Gail O'Grady ("American Dreams") and Grant Show ("Epoch"). The project follows 15-year old Sara (Danielle Panabaker) as she contends with the pregnancy of her divorced mother (O'Grady) following a brief affair with an out-of-town doctor (Show). Production is underway in Toronto on the telefilm which reteams executive producer Andrea Baynes and director Don McBrearty ("The Interrogation of Michael Crowe"). Alexander Enright will also executive produce the telefilm, which is written by Judith Paige Mitchell ("Young at Heart").

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 10.5 (NBC)
· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· ANY DAY NOW (LIFETIME)
· BOOMTOWN (NBC)
· DATE WITH DARKNESS, A: THE TRIAL AND CAPTURE OF ANDREW LUSTER (LIFETIME)
· EIGHT SIMPLE RULES (ABC)
· EPOCH (SYFY)
· HAPPY FAMILY (NBC)
· HUFF (SHOWTIME)
· INTERROGATION OF MICHAEL CROWE, THE (COURT TV)
· JACK & JILL (WB)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· MAYOR, THE (WB)
· ON THE SPOT (WB)
· PRACTICE, THE (ABC)
· ROBBERY HOMICIDE DIVISION (CBS)
· SEX AND THE SINGLE MOM (LIFETIME)
· SMALLVILLE (CW)
· TWO GUYS AND A GIRL (ABC)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)





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