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[12/19/03 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: December 19
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

ANGELS IN AMERICA (HBO) - Part two of the pay channel's six-hour mini-series saw its audience dip to 2.9 million viewers on Sunday, 31% below its initial installment on December 7 (4.2 million).

THE COTTON CLUB (USA, New!) - The cable channel is reportedly close to greenlighting production on a new telefilm about about the 1983 "Cotton Club" murder. The two-hour project would track the rise and fall of Miami-based drug dealer Karen Jacobs, whose effort to break into the moviemaking business ended with the murder of producer Roy Radin and the disgrace of Hollywood legend Robert Evans. No other details, such as the director or screenwriter were revealed.

DANGERVILLE (FOX, New!) - Susanne Daniels' 20th Century Fox Television-based First Move Television is developing a new comedy at the network from Ira Ungerleider ("Friends"). The project, loosely based on Ungerleider's real-life experiences, is about an Upper East Side Jewish family who wind up moving to rural Louisiana.

THE ENTOURAGE (HBO) - Mark Wahlberg's comedy pilot is set to receive a series order at the pay channel. The project, which recently completed production on its pilot, follows the support staff of high-profile movie star Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier). Jeremy Piven ("Runaway Jury"), Kevin Connelly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon, Courtney Peldon ("Boston Public"), Arielle Kebbel ("Soul Plane") and Angela Patterson also star in the comedy, which is executive produced by Wahlberg (who has a cameo in the pilot), his manager Steve Levinson and writers Doug Ellin and Steve Tompkins ("The Bernie Mac Show"). HBO and the producers are said to be still working out the exact episode order and start date for the show, which will likely roll out during the 2004-05 season. David Frankel ("Band of Brothers") helmed the pilot episode.

HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (WB) - The second season of the Frog's reality series is set to premiere in March where it's expected to take over the network's Sunday, 9:00/8:00c time slot once "Surreal Life 2" wraps.

HUB (NBC) - Mark Gordon ("Speed") and Nick Thiel's ("Magnum, P.I.") drama pilot is apparently back on track at the Peacock after being scrapped from last year's development slate (read the story). The project, which comes from NBC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co., is an offbeat ensemble drama set behind-the-scenes at a large U.S. airport. Thiel wrote the script to the pilot and will executive with Gordon. NBC reportedly is close to going forward with production on the pilot, which is now being considered for the network's fall 2004 schedule.

I WANT TO MARRY RYAN BANKS (ABC Family) - ABC Family has scheduled its latest romantic comedy, which stars Jason Priestley ("Beverly Hills, 90210"), Bradley Cooper ("Alias") and Emma Caulfield ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer"), for Sunday, January 18 at 8:00/7:00c.

INAPPROPRIATE DAD (FOX, New!) - Perri Rein and Gigi McCreery ("Married to the Kellys," "Friends") are developing a new comedy at FOX which revolves around a thirtysomething salesman who must juggle his fun lifestyle with raising a young family. Susanne Daniels is executive producing the project through her 20th Century Fox Television-based First Move Television.

THE JURY (A.K.A. THE CIRCUIT) (FOX) - Shalom Harlow ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") has signed on to star in the drama pilot, which now features the title "The Jury." Harlow will play Melissa Greenfield, an ex-public defender turned private practice defense attorney in the series, which details a circuit court case each week through the eyes of the jury. Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, Jim Finnerty and James Yoshimura are the executive producers of the 20th Century Fox Television project, which is set to begin production shortly. Levinson will direct the pilot from a script by Fontana and Yoshimura.

KEEN EDDIE (Bravo) - Bravo's off-network run of the short-lived FOX series will not be shown in production order as originally expected. The drama will now kick off with its pilot episode on January 20 at 9:00/8:00c followed by "Sticky Fingers" on January 27. "Sticky Fingers," the 11th episode produced of the series, is one of six installments previously unaired by FOX.

THE OSBOURNES (MTV) - MTV will kick off the third season of "The Osbournes" on Tuesday, January 13 at 10:30/9:30c. It's not clear how Ozzy's recent crash of his all-terrain vehicle in England will affect production on the series, which has a 20-episode order for its third season.

PEARL CITY (NBC, New!) - The Peacock is reportedly close to giving a production green light to a new drama pilot from writer/producer Jeff Eastin ("Shasta McNasty") and NBC Studios. The project, which is set (and expected to be filmed) in Hawaii, is an ensemble drama that follows a diverse team of detectives at the local police department as they solve crimes on the picturesque island of Oahu.

THE REAL WORLD: SAN DIEGO (MTV) - The 14th season of the long-running reality series is set to premiere on Tuesday, January 6 at 10:00/9:00c.

SHUT UP AND LISTEN (CBS) - Kirsten Nelson ("The O'Keefes") has been cast as the female lead opposite Jason Alexander in the project, which is based on the life of Washington Post sportswriter Tony Kornheiser. Nelson will play Alexander's wife, a strong woman capable of meeting her husband toe-to-toe and of handling his neurotic neediness. Will Rothhaar ("Hearts in Atlantis") has also been cast in the Regency Television project as the couple's son.

SMALL-TIME KRAMERS (WB, New!) - The Frog is developing a new comedy about scam artist parents who recruit their kids to help on their "Robin Hood"-style schemes. Paul Lieberstein ("The Bernie Mac Show," "King of the Hill") is behind the project, which he will executive produce along with his sister, Susanne Daniels, through her 20th Century Fox Television-based First Move Television.

'TIL DEATH DO US PART: CARMEN & DAVE (MTV) - MTV's own take on "Trista & Ryan's Wedding" is set to premiere Wednesday, January 21. Former "Baywatch" star Carmen Electra and guitarist Dave Navarro star in the series, which tracks the preparations for their recent Las Vegas wedding.

TANNER '88 (Sundance) - The Sundance Channel has picked up the broadcast rights to the HBO's 11-part mini-series to begin airing Tuesdays at 9:00/8:00c starting February 3. Robert Altman and "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau created the project, which tracked a fictional Democratic presidential candidate (Michael Murphy) as he made his way into the actual 1988 presidential primary race. The producers have shot new two-minute segments for each episode which feature Tanner as he reminisces about his White House run and comments on the current crop of aspirants. Murphy will reprise his role as Tanner for the spots, as will Pamela Reed, who played his campaign manager, and Cynthia Nixon ("Sex and the City"), who played his 17-year-old daughter.

THAT'S SO ME (FOX, New!) - Rob Bragin ("Murphy Brown") is behind a new comedy at FOX about about a 30-year-old gym teacher who meets his 8-year-old clone. He'll executive produce the project along with Susanne Daniels through her 20th Century Fox Television-based First Move Television.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION (FOX, New!) - FOX is developing a new comedy from David Sacks ("The Simpsons," "3rd Rock From the Sun") about a 15-year-old kid and his siblings, who finds themselves struggling with neuroses thanks to their therapist parents. 20th Century Fox Television-based First Move Television is behind the project with company topper Susanne Daniels executive producing.

TRU CALLING (FOX) - Jason Priestley ("Beverly Hills, 90210") has signed on to appear in seven episodes of the series. He'll play Jack Harper, a new forensic attendant who will work alongside Tru (Eliza Dushku). "Charismatic and affable on the surface, Jack carries a dark secret that may impede Tru's ability to save those who die before their time," according to FOX's press release touting the news. Priestley's first episode, set to begin filming on January 6, will likely air during the February sweeps period.

UNTITLED DAVID REYNOLDS PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Feature writer David Reynolds ("Finding Nemo") is developing a new half-hour comedy at the Alphabet about the blending of two distinct families: a widower and his 11-year-old son and a woman who has triplets. Susanne Daniels' First Move Television is behind the project, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television.

UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Writer/producer Jonathan Shapiro ("The Practice") is behind a new drama at ABC about a former federal prosecutor who's "part detective, part lawyer" according to executive producer Susanne Daniels in Daily Variety. The project is set up at Daniels' 20th Century Fox Television-based First Move Television.

THE WILL (CBS) - The Eye has made a seven-episode commitment to the series, which was previously in development at ABC. The project is expected to be tweaked slightly from its Alphabet incarnation (including a new family) however it will still feature a slew of family members competing for the estate of a deceased releative. Mike Fleiss ("The Bachelor") will executive produce the series through his Telepictures-based Next Entertainment. CBS executives are targeting a summer 2004 air date however the series may be held until the 2004-05 season.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [december 2003]  
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· ALIAS (ABC)
· ANGELS IN AMERICA (HBO)
· BACHELOR, THE (ABC)
· BAND OF BROTHERS (HBO)
· BAYWATCH (SYNDICATION)
· BERNIE MAC SHOW, THE (FOX)
· BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (FOX)
· BOSTON PUBLIC (FOX)
· BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (UPN)
· COTTON CLUB, THE (USA)
· DANGERVILLE (FOX)
· ENTOURAGE (HBO)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· HAWAII (NBC)
· HIGH SCHOOL REUNION (TV LAND)
· I WANT TO MARRY RYAN BANKS (ABC FAMILY)
· INAPPROPRIATE DAD (FOX)
· JURY, THE (FOX)
· KEEN EDDIE (FOX)
· KING OF THE HILL (FOX)
· LAX (NBC)
· LISTEN UP (CBS)
· MARRIED TO THE KELLYS (ABC)
· O'KEEFES, THE (WB)
· OSBOURNES, THE (MTV)
· PRACTICE, THE (ABC)
· REAL WORLD, THE (MTV)
· SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
· SHASTA (UPN)
· SIMPSONS, THE (FOX)
· SMALL-TIME KRAMERS (WB)
· SURREAL LIFE, THE (VH1)
· THAT'S SO ME (FOX)
· THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN (NBC)
· 'TIL DEATH DO US PART: CARMEN & DAVE (MTV)
· TOO MUCH INFORMATION (FOX)
· TRU CALLING (FOX)
· UNTITLED DAVID REYNOLDS PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (ABC)
· WILL, THE (CBS)





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