LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ANATOMY OF AN AFFAIR (FOX, New!) - The network has given a pilot presentation order to a new drama which tracks a man and woman embarking on a workplace affair. The Fox TV Studios-based project, which is described as "Closer" meets "American Beauty," comes from executive producers Tommy Swerdlow ("Brutally Normal"), Guy Shalem and Tony Krantz ("24").
BRENNAN (FOX) - Greg Yaitanes ("Empire," "Lost") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about a team of forensic anthropologists who solve crimes using evidence supplied by skeletal remains. Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson and Kathy Reichs are the executive producers of the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television.
COMPLICATIONS (A.K.A. GREY'S ANATOMY) (ABC) - The medical drama's title has quietly been changed to "Complications." The project revolves around the personal and professional lives of five first-year interns at Seattle Grace Hospital. The show's original title was an amalgam of Henry Gray's famed book "Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Medicine & Surgery" and the name of star Ellen Pompeo's character, Meredith Grey. No reason for the change was given. A premiere date for the series is expected to be announced shortly.
CRAZY LAWYERS (A.K.A. HOUSE OF PAYNE) (FOX) - Chris O'Donnell ("Scent of a Woman") has been tapped to star in the drama pilot, while Andy Fleming ("Dick") and Barry Josephson ("The Tick") have come aboard to direct and executive produce, respectively. O'Donnell, who spent the past development season as part of the failed CBS comedy pilot "The Amazing Westerbergs," will play Jason Payne in the project, a golden boy successful lawyer who has a nervous breakdown and teams with a mentally disturbed lawyer with an anger problem to represent people with all kinds of issues, not just legal ones. Bill Chais ("Family Law") and Jeff Rake ("The Street") created the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
GASTINEAU GIRLS (E!) - The reality series, which tracks the adventures of the mother and daughter team of Lisa and Brittny Gastineau as they search for true love across the country, is now slated to premiere on Tuesday, February 15 at 10:00/9:00c with back-to-back half-hour episodes.
HOT PROPERTY (NBC, New!) - Feature writer Gail Gilchriest ("My Dog Skip") has landed a cast-contingent pilot order from the Peacock for a new comedy about three immoral real estate agents in Houston. The project, not to be confused with Suzanne Martin's similarly-titled comedy pilot "Hot Properties" at ABC, is set up at 20th Century Fox Television and Brad Grey Television.
J.A.G. (CBS) - David James Elliott has inked a one-year development deal with ABC and Touchstone Television. The pact, which begins in May, calls for the network and the studio to develop a new series for Elliott, who will also co-produce any series that results from the deal, or cast him in an existing project. Said development means that Elliott won't return to "J.A.G." should it be renewed for the 2005-06 season. Paramount Network Television and the producers of "J.A.G." nevertheless are still trying to secure an 11th season of the series, which would feature co-star Catherine Bell and the soon-to-join Chris Beetem ("As the World Turns"). Beetem's first episode is expected to air later this month. A final decision on "J.A.G.'s" fate is due in May, when the Eye announces its 2005-06 lineup. Through 12 airings this season, "J.A.G." has averaged 9.81 million viewers, off a noticeable 19.79% after the same number of airings last season (12.23 million). Lead-in "Joan of Arcadia" however has experienced similar declines as the sophomore series is off 24.10% from last season (8.25 million vs. 10.87 million after 14 airings).
LANCASTER (CBS, New!) - Filmmakers Kevin Kennedy and Niels Mueller ("The Assassination of Richard Nixon") have been given a cast-contingent pilot order for a new drama about the mayor of a mid-sized city who enjoys massive popularity even as he deals in backroom politics and shady deals. The project is set up at Perry Simon's Paramount Network Television-based Shore View Entertainment. Simon will then executive produce alongside Kennedy and Mueller, who will pen the pilot script.
STROLLER WARS (CBS, New!) - Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa ("The King of Queens") have scored a pilot order from CBS and Sony Pictures Television for a new comedy about a young couple who adjust to life as new parents in New York City. The pair will write the pilot script and executive produce.
UNTITLED CHRISTOPHER LLOYD/JOE KEENAN PROJECT (CBS, New!) - "Frasier" co-creators Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan have booked a pilot order from the Eye for a new comedy about a family of single doctors. Lloyd and Keenan will write and executive produce the project, which comes from Paramount Network Television.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters