[02/17/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 17
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our newly revamped "Series in Development" charts. Visitors can now filter our listings by network, genre and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

14 HOURS (TNT) - The original movie, which stars JoBeth Williams and Rick Schroder, has been slated to air Sunday, April 3 at 8:00/7:00c. Here's how TNT's press materials describe the project: "14 HOURS tells the harrowing tale of a hospital in Texas besieged by a monstrous storm, one that threatens both patients and staff. But in a memorable show of community, everyone comes together to ensure that not a single life is lost during the ordeal."

AMY COYNE (FOX) - Matthew Bomer ("Tru Calling") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a woman (Ashley Williams) who inherits her father's sports agency business following his sudden death. Bomer will play Case Tucker, a sports agent and romantic foil for Williams's character. Kevin Falls is behind the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television.

CELEBRITY POOL (Bravo) - The one-hour backdoor pilot special, which features four teams of two celebrities facing off for charity, has been scheduled to air Thursday, March 3 at 10:00/9:00c. No details were available however on who said celebrities are.

THE COMMUTERS (CBS) - Jeri Ryan ("Boston Public") is the first to be cast in the pilot, a one-hour dramedy about three childhood pals who, now as adults, commute to Manhattan together every morning. Ryan will play Anne, a successful and assertive investment banker, in the project, which comes from Paramount Network Television and creator Dan Bucatinsky. In addition, Bucatinsky's producing partner Lisa Kudrow and Michael Taylor have been added as executive producers while Stephen Kay ("Boogeyman") will direct from a script by Bucatinsky.

CRAZY LAWYERS (FOX) - Adam Goldberg ("Saving Private Ryan"), Rachael Leigh Cook ("She's All That") and Rockmond Dunbar ("Soul Food") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a successful golden boy lawyer (Chris O'Donnell) who has a nervous breakdown and teams up with another mentally disturbed lawyer with an anger problem to help people with issues, legal and otherwise. Goldberg will play Shultz, said unkempt attorney with an explosive rage problem, while Cook is set as Kate, a rich, troubled young woman who got to know Payne (O'Donnell's character) in the hospital he was admitted to after his breakdown. Dunbar then will play Dr. Robinson, a therapist who helps out the characters. Aimee Garcia also stars as the assistant to Payne and Shultz. "Lawyers" comes from executive producers Jeff Rake, Bill Chais and Barry Josephson and is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

DR. 90210 (E!) - The second season of E!'s popular reality series is set to open with a commercial-free premiere on Monday, February 28 at 10:00/9:00c.

FATHOM (NBC) - Rade Serbedzija ("The Quiet American") and Leighton Meester ("Tarzan," "24") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a group of naval officers, oceanographers and fishermen from around the world who encounter a group of mysterious sea creatures. In addition, the producers have confirmed NBC's description of the sea creatures - "space invaders from Venus, here to make life on earth sustainable for even more creatures to come" - is indeed incorrect. The creatures' origins actually remain a mystery for now. As for the casting news, Serbedzija will play Dr. Clay Ling, described in the casting notice as: "40s-mid 50s, Asian, East Indians or Pakistanis. He's a weathered, likeable Asian man, a Noble Prize winning scientist who is called in to evaluate the damage to a stranded nuclear sub whose crew has apparently vanished without a trace. From indications at the scene, Ling begins to believe that the sub was the victim, not of an enemy power, but of a bizarre sea creature of enormous size and strength. Later, he debriefs Daughtery [Lake Bell] after her terrifying encounter with the creature, making it clear that Daughtery has no choice but to cooperate with the government's investigation into the case." Meester then is set as Savannah, who's detailed as: "17. Miles's [a boy who discovers one of the sea creatures] puritanical older sister. She castigates her brother for getting into trouble, yet again, for his offbeat shenanigans. She's a bit hard on Miles, but she has a droll sense of humor that offsets her biting words." Josh & Jonas Pate are behind the project, which comes from NBC Universal Television.

HOLLYWOOD POKER NIGHT (E!) - Laura Prepon's entry into the celebrity poker craze has been slated to premiere Thursday, March 17 at 10:00/9:00c. Among the initial celebrities set to appear are Macaulay Culkin, Andy Dick, Shannon Elizabeth, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, Tom Green, Chris Masterson, Danny Masterson, Sara Rue, Wilmer Valderrama, and skaters Tony Hawk and Bam Margera.

HOT PROPERTIES (ABC) - Nicole Sullivan ("The King of Queens") has scored one of the lead roles in the comedy pilot, about four women who run a real estate office in New York. Suzanne Martin is behind the project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television.

LENNIE ROSE (ABC) - Abigail Spencer ("All My Children"), Sasha Barrese ("Run of the House"), Moon Bloodgood ("Rocky Point"), Keir O'Donnell ("Lost") and Carlos Ponce ("Chasing Papi") have been revealed as the principal cast members of the drama pilot, about a single woman trying to find love and make it big in New York. Spencer's casting as the title role lifts the cast-contingency on the pilot's production. No details were available on the other characters. "Rose," which is set up at Touchstone Television, comes from executive producers Ken Olin and Krista Vernoff.

PEEP SHOW (FOX) - Rachel Boston ("American Dreams") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, described as a look inside the disturbing minds of two roommates (Johnny Galecki, Josh Meyers). Amanda Holden also stars. "Peep" comes from executive producers Jeff & Jackie Filgo and the Carsey-Werner studio.

PROS & CONS (ABC) - Billy Baldwin ("Backdraft") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about five ex-cons who end up working with the F.B.I.'s antifraud forces. He'll play Det. Van Horn in the project, which comes from Touchstone Television and executive producers J.J. Abrams, Raven Metzner, Stuart Zicherman, Thom Sherman and Michael Engler.

STILL STANDING (CBS) - Lifetime Television has purchased the exclusive cable off-network rights to the CBS comedy from Twentieth Television. The cable channel will begin airing repeats of the series weekdays beginning in September 2006. It's understood back-to-back episodes of the series will be paired with fellow acquisition "Reba," which is set to arrive at Lifetime the previous month. Financial details about the pact weren't released.

TRUE (The WB) - Recent "Huff" guest star Swoozie Kurtz has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a woman (Anne Heche) who has to move back in with her parents after her boyfriend breaks up with her while she is in labor with their baby. She'll play Helen True, the mother of Rosie (Heche) and wife of the recently cast Ed Bagley Jr. Here's how the show's casting notice describes her character: "Late 50's. Rosie's high strung mother, Helen is married to frank. Donny and Joy are her son and adopted daughter. Helen is the family's chatterbox, and she can't stop commenting on everything going on around her, even when she should. Often in charge of making peace between Donny and Joy, Helen maddens her daughter Rosie by videotaping every single moment of the birthing process, including the very icky parts, and later, to her pleased surprise, lets Rosie move back into the family home again. Helen busily acts as a matchmaker between Rosie and Johnny." "True" comes from Warner Bros. Television and creator Kari Lizer.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2005]  

· 14 HOURS (TNT)
· 24 (FOX)
· DR. 90210 (E)

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