CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
ABOUT SCHMIDT (New!) - New Line Television is reportedly looking into turning the recent feature into a weekly television series. It's not clear whether writer/director Alexander Payne will be involved in the project, which is still in the early stages of development.
CLANDESTINE (TNT, New!) - The cable channel is developing a small screen version of the James Ellroy bestseller of the same name. William Peterson ("C.S.I.") is attached to star and executive produce the project, which is still in the early development stage. "Clandestine" centers on a 1950s-era L.A. cop (Petersen) on the rise who finds himself in alliance with some bad cops while on the trail of a serial killer and inevitably takes the fall for their misdeeds. Peterson is producing through his production company High Horse Films, along with partner Cindy Chvatal. Should it go forward, the telefilm would be Peterson's second project for the channel. He last partnered with the network for the 1992 telefilm "Keep the Change," which he starred in and executive produced.
FACE VALUE (Style, New!) - The E!-owned cable channel has committed to a pilot for a new reality series that chronicles the day-to-day business of a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon. The project will take on the doctor's perspective as he tends to patients' needs, either serious or purely cosmetic as well as follow him into his home life. E! has cast the doctor however has yet to reveal his name. Rick Leed (TLC's "Extreme Plastic Surgery") and Donald Bull ("The Osbournes") are the executive producers of the project, which is in pre-production to air during the first quarter of 2004.
FRIENDS (NBC) - Emmy-winning writer/producers Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen have signed a seven-figure, multiyear overall deal with Paramount Network Television to develop comedy projects for the studio. The duo have been the executive producers/co-showrunners of "Friends" since December of 2001 and have been widely credited with the show's creative and rating resurgence during its Emmy-winning eighth season. The two will complete their work on "Friends," which comes from Warner Bros. Television, when production on the series wraps in January. Fellow "Friends" executive producers Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan, as well as co-creator Kevin Bright, are moving on to the "Friends" spin-off "Joey."
IN THEIR OWN WORDS (E!, New!) - Eugene Pack's long-running Los Angeles stage production of "In Their Own Words: Celebrity Autobiographies" is set to be the focus of a new comedy pilot at the cable channel. Fred Willard, Julie Brown and Penelope Ann Miller are among the actors scheduled to appear in the pilot, which features comedic performances of actual celebrity memoirs such as those by Britney Spears, Tommy Lee, Mr. T and Elizabeth Taylor. Pack himself along with Dale Rehfeld will executive produce the project which is being targeted for a March air date. Should it go forward to series, each episode will be taped in front of a live audience in L.A. with star footage from E!'s library punctuating scenes.
LIAR (CBS) - Writer/producers Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh ("Family Business") have been named the executive producers/showrunners of the Eye's comedy game show pilot, which is hosted by D.L. Hughley.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT (NBC, New!) - Verne Troyer ("Austin Powers") is set to be the centerpiece of a new reality series about his life in Hollywood. Manager Elena Fondacaro and veteran character actor Phil Fondacaro ("Willow," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch") will also be featured in the project, which comes from Mark Cronin's Mindless Entertainment ("The Surreal Life"). The Peacock has committed to a pilot for the series, which will track the trio as they live together in a San Fernando Valley home that's been specially built to accommodate their size. Cronin ("The Surreal Life") will executive produce with Elena Fondacaro on board as producer.
THE LINE-UP (FOX) - FOX is reportedly close to giving a six-episode order for the series, which tells crime stories through the point-of-view of multiple people on a police lineup. Lawrence Bender ("Kill Bill"), Kevin Brown ("Roswell") and John McNamara ("Fastlane") are the executive producers of the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which was created by writer Thomas Hines.
THE POLITICIAN'S WIFE (USA, New!) - The cable channel and New Line Television are developing a U.S. version of the 1995 U.K. mini-series of the same name, additional details of which were not available.
UNTITLED BLUMENFIELD/MARSH PROJECT PROJECT (Showtime, New!) - The pay channel has ordered a pilot presentation from "Family Business" executive producers Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh for a new talk/variety show described as a comedic look at social differences. Additional details were not available.
UNTITLED BLUMENFIELD/MARSH PROJECT PROJECT (VH1, New!) - VH1 has given a blind series commitment to executive producers Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh ("Family Business") for a new unscripted project at the channel. The duo was behind the popular VH1 special "Surviving Nugent," which featured seven strangers living with rock iconoclast Ted Nugent.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters