[08/26/03 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: August 26
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

BOSTON PUBLIC (FOX) - Actor/comedian Dennis Miller has signed on for a three-episode arc on the series. He'll play "an unabashedly materialist investment banker who, convicted of securities fraud, avoids jail time by agreeing to community service � his worst nightmare � teaching math at an inner city school," according to the network's press release. Miller's first episode will air October 24. Also signing up for a three-episode guest arc is Lyndsy Fonseca ("The Young and the Restless"). Fonseca will play an introverted student who hangs out with a bad boy played by "Gilmore Girls'" Milo Ventimiglia.

COLD CASE (CBS) - Danny Pino (of the recent failed pilot "N.Y.P.D. 2069") has joined the cast of Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama. He's set to join the series in its sixth episode where he'll play partner to Kathryn Morris' character.

THE D.A. (ABC) - The Steven Weber-led drama is still in contention at the Alphabet for a possible midseason order.

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS) - As a show of goodwill, the producers of the long-running comedy have decided to share some of the backend profits on the series with co-stars Patricia Heaton, Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts. The adjustment (which is retroactive to season one) will likely net each actor between $10-$20 million however specifics were not released. The news seems likely to put an end to any further rumbling from the respective actors' camps, all of whom are repped by the same attorney, leaving fellow co-star Brad Garrett as the lone hold out. Garrett reportedly is still unhappy with all offers given by the network and the show's producers. Currently on the table is a new deal which would more than double his current salary in addition to the same backend participation given to the other actors. Nevertheless, production is moving forward on the show's second episode which is expected to once again see Garrett's character written out of the script.

EYES (ABC, New!) - Writer/producer John McNamara ("Fastlane") has landed a seven-figure put pilot commitment from the network for a new drama series. The project, which will come from his Warner Bros. TV-based McNamara Paper Products production company, will revolve around a high-powered risk management corporation that operates along the fringes of the law in order to affect the outcome of a host of civil and criminal matters. McNamara will write and executive produce the pilot which includes a hefty penalty should it not get greenlighted for production.

THE HANDLER (CBS) - Laura San Giacomo ("Just Shoot Me") will guest on the upcoming new Eye drama as a desperate, coked-up wife who is admitted to a rehab facility after crashing her car.

LAP OF LUXURY (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet has greenlighted a new one-hour special that will take an inside look at the lavish lifestyles of the young and wealthy. The backdoor pilot will feature rap mogul Master P's Gucci helicopter and Louis Vuitton Ferrari, a tour of Virgin tycoon Richard Branson's Caribbean Island and a look at the world's richest teens. "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'" Robin Leach will host the special, which is set to air some time during the 2003-04 season, with former King World executive Andy Friendly and Krysia Plonka ("In Style") executive producing.

MISS MATCH (NBC) - Dave Ortiz ("The Crow: Wicked Prayer") has joined the cast of Alicia Silverstone-led dramedy. Ortiz will play a streetwise private eye employed by Silverstone's law firm.

MY WIFE AND KIDS (ABC) - Andrew McFarlane has been upped to regular on the comedy. He'll continue in his role as boyfriend to Jennifer Freeman's character.

NIP/TUCK (FX) - Julie Warner ("Family Law") has signed on for a recurring role on the network's original drama series. She'll play a breast cancer survivor with a mastectomy who goes in for reconstructive surgery.

ONCE UPON A MATTRESS (ABC, New!) - Carol Burnett is looking to revive the musical as part of the network's "Wonderful World of Disney" banner. Uber-producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are in talks to executive produce the project as is Marissa Jaret Winokur ("Hairspray") for the lead role of Princess Winnifred (a role originally played by Burnett). Burnett herself is attached to star as the Queen in the telefilm, a retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea." Jane Browell ("Eloise at the Plaza") is also on board to adapt the script to accompany the original lyrics by the late Mary Rodgers. CBS had previously been working on a new small screen take on "Mattress" but it fell through partly due to financial reasons. ABC has been quietly working to get the rights ever since and hopes to have the project done in time for a May sweeps air date.

PARADISE (Showtime) - Anita Barone ("Daddio") has joined the cast of the pay channel's drama pilot. Her role in the project, about a TV evangelist (David Strathairn) and his family, is not known.

PHANTOM FORCE (Sci Fi) - Production has been completed in Bulgaria on the "Interceptor Force" spin-off. Richard Grieco ("21 Jump Street"), Tangi Miller ("Felicity") and Nigel Bennett ("Widows") star as members of a military team sent to investigate paranormal activity on a submarine in the Aegean Sea. The telefilm is being eyed for an early 2004 air date.

REDEMPTION: THE STAN 'TOOKIE' WILLIAMS STORY (FX) - Lynn Whitfield ("Head of State") has signed on as Barbara Becnel in the network's biopic of the Crips gang leader (played by Jamie Foxx). Becnel was a writer who helped Williams pen children's books.

THE PRACTICE (ABC) - Cheryl White ("The D.A.") has signed on to appear in at least two episodes of the drama's upcoming season. She will play the sister-in-law to Chris O'Donnell's character. White has also been tapped to guest star on upcoming installments of the WB's "Everwood" and NBC's "Las Vegas."

SKIN (FOX) - Cameron Richardson and Gabriel Casseus have signed on for recurring roles in the upcoming drama series. Richardson will play a sexy new porn star at the company owned by Ron Silver's character. Casseus will play the chief of staff of the Los Angeles district attorney (Kevin Anderson) trying to take down Silver's character.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU (WB) - MTV personality Nick Zano has landed a recurring on the comedy where he'll play a romantic interest for Amanda Bynes' character. This past development season, Zano starred in the Frog's failed comedy pilot "Sweet Potato Queens."

WHOOPI (NBC) - Rick Gonzalez ("Boston Public") is set to guest star on the new comedy with an option to continue as a regular. He will play Money, a 19 year-old con man.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [august 2003]  

· NYPD 2069 (FOX)

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