CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
AMERICAN IDOL (FOX) - Simon Cowell, the judge everyone loves to hate, has signed on for another three installments of the blockbuster reality franchise. He's set to be paid $150,000 per episode for his work on the series, which returns for its third season in January. In addition, FOX has given Cowell a blind series commitment for his new production banner, Simcow Ltd.
THE BACHELORETTE (ABC) - The Alphabet network will shell out $1 million for the rights to document "Bachelorette" Trista Rehn's wedding to fiance Ryan Sutter. The network will get its money's worth however as ABC has the final say on everything from the bridal gown to the cake. The end result will be a pair of two-hour specials: one leading up to the wedding and another of the actual ceremony. The pair received $100,000 upon signing the contract in May, with another $500,000 due after exchanging vows and the balance paid out in equal installments during the show's production. The contract (released by The Smoking Gun) stipulates that should they not go through with the ceremony they must return the $100,000 down payment as well as face breach of contract charges. Air dates for the specials have not been set.
SEX AND THE CITY (HBO) - Blair Underwood ("City of Angels") has signed on to appear in four episodes of the series' final season. Specifics about his character were not revealed other than he'll start his run around the ninth episode of the season. Also set for a guest shot is Tatum O'Neal ("Paper Moon") who will play a photographer friend of Sarah Jessica Parker's character on the show's August 17 episode.
TWO AND A HALF MEN (CBS) - Holland Taylor ("The Naked Truth") has signed on to replace Blythe Danner in the Charlie Sheen-led comedy. She'll take over as Evelyn Harper, the controlling mother of Sheen's and Jon Cryer's characters. Portions of the pilot will be reshot to reflect the change. No reason was given for Danner's exit from the series.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters