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[01/18/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: January 17-18
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

DANCE NATION (FOX, New!) - "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller and "American Bandstand" legend Dick Clark are looking to team with FOX for a new primetime dance competition series which looks to crown one person (or a couple) the best dancer(s) in the country. No format details however have been released as it's not exactly clear how the series would work. More than likely contestants will be asked to learn a particular style of dance each week and compete in a live contest, with viewers or celebrity judges making the eliminations. The project is set up at Clark's Mandalay Mosaic Media Group-based production company and Fuller's 19 Entertainment with the pair executive producing. It's also not clear if "Dance" is related in any way to Fuller and Clark's also-in-the-works revival of "American Bandstand" (read the story).

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS PRE-SHOWS - In the battle of the cable pre-shows, E!'s "Live From the Red Carpet," hosted by Star Jones Reynolds, averaged a 2.12 metered-market household rating, double that of Joan and Melissa Rivers' coverage on the TV Guide Channel (1.06 metered-market household rating).

IN JUSTICE (ABC, New!) - Writer/producers Robert & Michelle King ("The Vertical Limit") have booked a pilot order at the Alphabet and Touchstone Television for a new drama about a group of impassioned lawyers who aid the wrongly convicted. Stu Bloomberg is also on board to executive produce the project with the Kings.

IN THE GAME (ABC) - Alyson Hannigan ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") has opted out of joining the cast of the Jennifer Love Hewitt-led comedy as Sara Gilbert ("Roseanne") has been brought in to replace her. No reason for the change was given. Gilbert's character will also now be listed only as a guest star and not a series regular.

LENNIE ROSE (ABC, New!) - Krista Vernoff ("Wonderfalls") and Ken Olin ("Alias") have received a cast-contingent pilot order from ABC for a new dramedy about a single woman trying to find love and make it big in New York. Touchstone Television is behind the project.

NIGHT STALKER (ABC) - Frank Spotnitz's revival of the 1970s cult series has been given the green light to produce a pilot by ABC. The project, which is set up at Touchstone Television, is the result of Spotnitz's overall deal at the studio (read the story). "Stalker" revolves around a hardboiled journalist's investigations into freakish occurrences.

SOCCER MOMS (ABC) - Don Todd ("life as we know it") and Marla Ginsburg's ("Highlander: The Series") drama project has been given a cast-contigent pilot order. The project, which is set up at Touchstone Television, revolves around two suburban housewives who team up as private investigators.

SUPER BOWL XXXIX COMMERCIALS (NFL Network, New!) - Those only interested in the Super Bowl's commericals can avoid the game entirely and check out "Super Bowl XXXIX Commercials," a half-hour special airing on the cable network that consists of all the spots that ran during the game on FOX. The special will air right after the game (at approximately 10:00/9:00c) on Sunday, February 6 as well as replay the following night at 6:30/5:30c as well as twice on February 8 (times TBA).

SUPERNATURAL (The WB) - David Nutter ("Smallville") has come aboard to direct and executive produce the drama project, which has been given the green light to produce a pilot. Writer/producer Eric Kripke ("Tarzan") created the project, which is set up at McG and Stephanie Savage's Warner Bros. Television-based Wonderland Sound and Vision, and will executive produce along with Nutter, McG and Savage. "Supernatural" revolves around two brothers who travel the country hunting down supernatural beings.

TILT (ESPN) - The cable channel's second original drama series posted 2.0 million viewers (1.60 household rating) for its debut on Thursday. Said numbers were down 23% from the opener to its previous original "Playmakers" (2.6 million viewers, 2.41 household rating) but up significantly from the network's Thursday, 9:00/8:00c time period average.

TRU CALLING (FOX) - As long expected, FOX topper Gail Berman confirmed at the network's session at the TCA Winter Press Tour the series has been axed. FOX nevertheless hopes to run the completed episodes in the future: "We finished six episodes of 'Tru Calling,' and we anticipate putting them on air at some point," Berman told reporters. As for why the show got cut, Berman said: "What changed for us was when we saw 'Point Pleasant,' we really felt we had a show that was incredibly compatible with 'The O.C.' So our thoughts changed, not so much about 'Tru Calling,' but the possibility of not only having an exciting show and a winner at 8 o'clock, but also something that could really make headway for us at 9 o'clock in an incredibly competitive time period."

TRUE (The WB) - Anne Heche ("Everwood") has been cast in the lead role of the comedy pilot, about a woman whose boyfriend breaks up with her while she is in labor with their baby, forcing her to move back in with her parents. Heche's involvement lifts the cast-contingency on the project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television. Kari Lizer ("Will & Grace") created "True" and will executive produce.

WORLD OF TROUBLE (NBC, New!) - Peter Noah ("The West Wing") has scored a pilot production order from the Peacock for a new drama about the a real-life F.B.I. unit that investigates crimes against Americans and American interests overseas. No other details were available about the project, which is understood to feature a female lead.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· ALIAS (ABC)
· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (UPN)
· EVERWOOD (WB)
· IN JUSTICE (ABC)
· IN THE GAME (2004 VERSION) (ABC)
· IN THE GAME (2005 VERSION) (ABC)
· INTRODUCING LENNIE ROSE (ABC)
· LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (ABC)
· NIGHT STALKER (ABC)
· PLAYMAKERS (ESPN)
· POINT PLEASANT (FOX)
· SMALLVILLE (CW)
· SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (FOX)
· SOCCER MOMS (ABC)
· SUPERNATURAL (CW)
· TARZAN (WB)
· TILT (ESPN)
· TRU CALLING (FOX)
· TRUE (WB)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)
· WONDERFALLS (FOX)
· WORLD OF TROUBLE (NBC)





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