LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
ADOPTED (ABC, New!) - Writer/producers Jim Rash and Nat Faxon ("Reno 911") have received a pilot order from ABC for a new comedy about a thirtysomething writer whose life is turned upside down when his biological mom shows up on his doorstep one day, resulting in his adoptive and birth mothers comically competing for his attention. The project, which is loosely based on a sketch by the Groundlings, is set up at 20th Century Fox Television and PYE with the latter's Paul Young, Peter Principato and Brian Dobbins executive producing along with Rash, Faxon and Kevin Abbott ("Reba").
AMY COYNE (FOX) - Three-time Emmy winner Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") has come aboard to direct the drama pilot, about a young woman who inherits her father's sports agency after he dies. The project, which was created by Kevin Falls ("The West Wing"), is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
INVASION (ABC) - Nine-time Emmy winner Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing," "Jack & Bobby") has been tapped to direct the drama pilot, about the bizarre occurrences in a small Florida town after it's ravaged by a hurricane. Warner Bros. Television is behind "Invasion," which was created by Shaun Cassidy ("The Agency," "The Mountain").
MURDER BOOK (FOX) - Feature helmer Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day," "King Arthur") is set to direct the drama pilot, about L.A. cops and the beat-by-beat way they go about their business, including compiling reams of info about a case in one giant book. "North Shore" executive producers Chris Brancato and Bert Salke are behind the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
THE SOPRANOS (HBO) - A&E has emerged as the winner of the repeat rights to HBO's Emmy-winning drama series. The cable channel, which will begin airing all 78 episodes of the series weeknights in the fall of 2006, is understood to have paid just north of $2.5 million per episode for the drama. Said deal marks the largest off-network drama sale in television history, beating out the recent deals by Bravo and USA for "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" ($1.92 million per episode) and Spike TV for "C.S.I.: New York" ($1.9 million).
UNTITLED DEBORAH KAPLAN/HARRY ELFONT PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Feature writers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont ("Surviving Christmas," "Can't Hardly Wait") have booked a single-camera comedy pilot at the Alphabet about thirtysomething singles dating in Philadelphia. Touchstone Television is behind the untitled project, with Kaplan and Elfont executive producing alongside Jamie Tarses and Karey Burke.
UNTITLED EDDIE IZZARD PROJECT (FX, New!) - Actor/comedian Eddie Izzard ("Ocean's Twelve") has signed on to star in a new dark comedy pilot for the cable channel and Maverick Television. He'll play the con artist patriarch of an Irish family that moves to the southern U.S. in the project, which will be created and written by Russian playwright Dmitry Lipkin ("Baton Rouge," "Cranes"). Michael Rosenberg, Guy Oseary and Mark Morgan will executive produce the one-hour pilot for Maverick.
UNTITLED LEWIS BLACK PROJECT (New!) - Comedian Lewis Black ("The Daily Show With Jon Stewart") has inked a development deal with Sony Pictures Television to star in an unspecified series project for the studio. No other details were available about the project, which will likely be based on his cantankerous stage persona. Black spent the past development season as the star of his own comedy pilot for ABC.
UNTITLED LIZ TUCCILLO PROJECT (The WB, New!) - Liz Tuccillo ("Sex and the City") has scored a one-hour pilot order from the Frog for a new dramedy which tracks four adult sisters in Manhattan who together struggle through career and romance. Warner Bros. Television and Steve Pearlman's Class IV Productions are behind the project, which will be executive produced by Tuccillo, Pearlman, Class IV's Andrew Plotkin and "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters