CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
ALIEN HUNTER (Sci Fi) - James Spader plays a cryptologist and former government SETI scientist who tries to decipher an otherworldly object discovered in Antarctica in Sci Fi's latest original telefilm. It's set to air Saturday, July 19 at 9:00/8:00c.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (Sci Fi) - The cable channel's mini-series is set to premiere Sunday, December 7 at 9:00/8:00c with part two airing the following night, also at 9:00/8:00c.
BUGS (Sci Fi) - Sci Fi has scheduled its latest "monster" movie to air Saturday, September 6 at 9:00/8:00c.
DEEP SHOCK (Sci Fi) - David Keith ("Daredevil") and Simmone J. McKinnon ("Baywatch") play members of a drilling team in Antarctica who are attacked by a giant electric eel in Sci Fi's latest Saturday movie entry, which airs August 9 at 9:00/8:00c.
MOMENTUM (Sci Fi) - Teri Hatcher ("Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman") and Louis Gossett Jr. ("Iron Eagle") topline this new telefilm for the cable channel about a man with telekinesis who is recruited by the Feds to help stop a band of telekinetic renegades. It airs Saturday, July 26 at 9:00/8:00c.
MUTANT X (Syndication) - Cast member Lauren Lee Smith has announced via her official web site that she will not be returning for the series' third season. "So for starters I should tell you all that I will not be returning to 'Mutant X' for season three, other changes have been made on the show that you will find out eventually." You can read the complete post by clicking here. Smith will be replaced by Karen Cliche ("Adventure, Inc.") as the female lead on the series, playing a new character named Lexa. The announcement was made on her own official site (which you can read by clicking here).
TV LAB (Sundance) - The Sundance Channel and Viacom Productions have announced plans to create a new half-hour series, dubbed "TV Lab." The project will be along the lines of HBO's "Project Greenlight," except with a focus on creating television series. The series will track several "mini-pilots" and have the creative teams deliver a short "pitch" directed at the audience. The specific mechanics of the show were not revealed other than the network may opt to develop some of the concepts into a regular series. Viacom will also have the option of developing them into full-blown pilots to be shopped to other broadcast and cable networks. Sundance will mount an "open casting call" in the coming months to solicit submissions for the series.
UNTITLED JILL RITCHIE PROJECT (FOX) - Actress Jill Ritchie ("Nancy Drew," "The Pool at Maddy Breaker's") has signed a talent deal with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Co. Specific terms of the pact were not revealed other than the companies will develop a series project targeted for midseason or fall 2004 for the acterss.
WORD OF HONOR (TNT) - Jeanne Tripplehorn, Sharon Lawrence, John Heard, Christopher McDonald and Arliss Howard have joined Don Johnson in cable channel's adaptation of the Nelson DeMille novel. The courtroom drama stars Johnson as Ben Tyson, a hotshot corporate executive, family man and Vietnam veteran who is accused of a massacre committed by his platoon 30 years earlier during the war. Tripplehorn will play a JAG lawyer who prosecutes the case with Lawrence as Tyson's wife, Heard as a former Army medic from Tyson's platoon who becomes his accuser, Howard as Tyson's attorney and McDonald as a CIA agent who offers Tyson a deal the administration hopes he can't refuse.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters