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[08/06/03 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: August 6
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC) - Francis Capra ("44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout") has signed on for a recurring role on the drama's upcoming second season. He'll play a bully in the platoon where Will Estes' character is serving. The actor has also landed a guest spot on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's" forthcoming season where he'll play a murder suspect.

ER (NBC) - Glenn Howerton ("That '80s Show") has joined the cast of the long-running medical drama in a recurring role with the option to become a regular. He's set to play a medical intern on the show.

LINE OF FIRE (ABC) - Newcomer Sean Mahon has been added to the cast of the midseason drama in a recurring role. He'll play husband to Jennifer Sampson (Julie Ann Emery) on the series.

LOVE AGAIN (FOX) - Bruce Nash and Brian Gadinsky ("Mr. Personality") have landed a series commitment for the tentatively titled reality series. Like most of FOX's reality projects, both the network and the producers are mum on specific details other than, based on casting notices for the show, it will involve "divorced men and women" between the ages 21 to 45.

MARTHA STEWART LIVING (Syndication) - Various local stations across the country are set to bump the series to the later hours this fall. CBS owned-and-operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and four other major markets will move the series to post-midnight time slots as of September 15. The series however has picked up second runs in daytime on UPN affiliate stations in New York and Philadelphia and on the independent station KCAL-TV in Los Angeles.

MONEY (NBC) - The Peacock has given a six-figure script commitment for a new crime drama from producers Chris Brancato and Bert Salke ("Boomtown"), director Clark Johnson ("S.W.A.T.") and 20th Century Fox Television. The project revolves around F.B.I. and Treasury Department agents who target and track down big-ticket criminals by following their money trail. The project, which is targeted for fall 2004, also has a six-figure penalty attached if isn't piloted. Johnson (who helmed the pilots for "The Shield" and "The Wire") will direct "Money" should it go forward to pilot.

NIP/TUCK (FX) - Phillip Rhys ("24") is set to appear as a potential love interest of Dr. Sean McNamara's (Dylan Walsh) wife, Julie (Joely Richardson).

THE OFFICE - Greg Daniels ("King of the Hill") has signed on to executive produce the U.S. version of the popular BBC2 series. He'll write the pilot and produce the series along with Reveille's Ben Silverman ("Coupling") and 3 Arts Entertainment's Howard Klein. Silverman and Klein are still shopping the series to the major networks and expect to have a home in the next month.

SAVING JESSICA LYNCH (NBC) - Laura Regan ("They") has been tapped to play U.S. Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch in the Peacock's telefilm about her rescue. Conflicting reports about the event have forced NBC to make updates to the original script by John Fasano and will now focus largely on Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who alerted U.S. military officials to Lynch's whereabouts and has since relocated with his family to the United States. Production is set to begin this month for a November air date.

SMALLVILLE (WB) - Rutger Hauer has signed on for a two-episode arc on the series' upcoming third season. He'll play Morgan Edge in the series, an underworld kingpin. Hauer recently guested on "Alias" and will be seen in the forthcoming TNT mini-series "Salem's Lot."

STREET TIME (Showtime) - Gale Harold ("Queer as Folk") is set to do a two-episode arc on the pay channel's original drama. He'll play a drug-addicted rock star out on parole later this season.

SURVIVOR (CBS) - Mark Burnett Productions has signed a two-year overall development deal with Warner Bros. Television. The pact calls for Burnett along with his production partner Conrad Riggs to create, develop and executive produce both scripted comedies and dramas for the studio. The reality guru stepped into the scripted waters this past season with the WB pilot "Are We There Yet?," which wasn't picked up for fall. Meanwhile, Burnett is also casting for his new upcoming reality series "The Apprentice" as well as the all-star edition of "Survivor."

TARZAN (WB) - Leighton Meester (of the failed pilots "The Big Wide World of Carl Leamke," "No Ordinary Girl") has been added to the cast of the drama. She'll play Jane's (Sarah Wayne Callies) sister on the series.

A TIME FOR DANCING (Showtime) - The pay channel has picked up the exclusive distribution rights to the feature, which will premiere sometime in 2004 on the channel. The film, based on the book by Davida Wills Hurwin, details the true story of a young dancer who confronts a serious illness. Larisa Oleynik ("10 Things I Hate About You"), Scott Vickaryous ("Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion"), Shiri Appleby ("Roswell"), Peter Coyote and Amy Madigan star with Peter Gilbert directing.

TRADING SPACES (TLC) - Production designer Rick Rifle has joined the cast of the hit makeover series as a designer. His first episode is scheduled to air September 27.

TWO AND A HALF MEN (CBS) - Emmy-winner Andy Ackerman has signed a two-year, seven-figure overall development deal with Warner Bros. Television. Under the terms of the pact, Ackerman will serve as an executive producer on the Charlie Sheen-led comedy. He'll also be the exclusive director for the show's 13-episode order as well as helm two of the studio's comedy pilots this year.

TV'S NAUGHTIEST BLUNDERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD (FOX) - The network has committed to three specials based on the British series of the same name. Carlton Entertainment is behind the project, which is set for broadcast in the fourth quarter.

VARIOUS (FOX) - The network has committed to talent holding deals with three actors: Chyler Leigh ("That '80s Show," "girls club") Kristoffer Polaha ("America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story") and Amanda Righetti ("No Place Like Home"). Polaha's deal (shared with 20th Century Fox Television) calls for him to be placed in a drama pilot targeted for fall 2004 while Leigh and Righetti are said to be open to both comedy and drama series eyed for fall 2004.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU (WB) - Stephen Dunham ("DAG," "Oh Grow Up") has joined the cast of the comedy's sophomore season while current regular Simon Rex is set to exit the show. Dunham will play Valerie's (Jennie Garth) new boss at her PR firm as well a potential love interest. Rex is being written out as Valerine's boyfriend on the comedy in order to free her character up to date.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [august 2003]  
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· 24 (FOX)
· 44 MINUTES: THE NORTH HOLLYWOOD SHOOTOUT (FX)
· ALIAS (ABC)
· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· AMERICA'S PRINCE: THE JFK, JR. STORY (TBS)
· APPRENTICE, THE (NBC)
· ARE WE THERE YET? (WB)
· BIG WIDE WORLD OF CARL LAEMKE, THE (FOX)
· BOOMTOWN (NBC)
· COUPLING (NBC)
· CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS)
· DAG (NBC)
· ER (NBC)
· GIRLS CLUB (FOX)
· KING OF THE HILL (FOX)
· LINE OF FIRE (ABC)
· LOVE AGAIN (FOX)
· LUCKY US (FOX)
· MARTHA STEWART LIVING (SYNDICATION)
· MONEY (NBC)
· MR. PERSONALITY (FOX)
· NIP/TUCK (FX)
· NO ORDINARY GIRL (WB)
· NO PLACE LIKE HOME (FOX)
· NORTH SHORE (FOX)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· OH GROW UP (ABC)
· QUEER AS FOLK (SHOWTIME)
· ROSWELL (UPN)
· SALEM'S LOT (TNT)
· SAVING JESSICA LYNCH (NBC)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· SMALLVILLE (CW)
· STREET TIME (SHOWTIME)
· SURVIVOR (CBS)
· TARZAN (WB)
· THAT '80S SHOW (FOX)
· TIME FOR DANCING, A (SHOWTIME)
· TWO AND A HALF MEN (CBS)
· UNTITLED AMANDA RIGHETTI PROJECT (FOX)
· WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU (WB)
· WIRE, THE (HBO)





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