[02/28/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 28
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!

ACCORDING TO JIM (ABC) - TBS has scored the off-network cable rights to the veteran ABC comedy from Buena Vista Television. The pact, which begins in 2009, is understood to be valued at $250,000-$300,000 per episode and may or may not include some bartered advertising time. "Jim," currently in its fourth season, will enter the syndicated marketplace in the fall of 2006 on local stations across the country.

AMY COYNE (FOX) - Tom Berenger ("Peacemakers"), Kate Jennings Grant ("Kinsey") and Phillip Vaden ("Pope Dreams") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a woman (Ashley Williams) who inherits her father's sports agency following his death. Berenger will play Amy's mentor, an associate at the agency who was her dad's No. 2. No details however were available about Grant and Vaden's roles. Matthew Bomer also stars. Todd Holland is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based pilot from a script by creator Kevin Falls.

BOOK OF DANIEL (NBC) - Susanna Thompson ("Once & Again"), Christian Campbell ("All My Children"), Alison Pill ("Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen") and Garret Dillahunt ("Leap Years") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about an Episcopalian minister (Aidan Quinn) with a prescription drug problem who finds himself speaking routinely with Jesus. Thompson will play Judith Webster, described in the casting notice as "40s. Attractive, Daniel's wife, Judith is elegant and in control, under any circumstances; a woman who always has the right word, clothes, club, or wine. She likes to stay on top of things. She probably could've been a surgeon or a diplomat, but for many reasons, she chose wife and mother. The wife of an Episcopalian bishop, Judith maintains her equilibrium in the face of a drug-dealing daughter and embezzling brother-in-law with discretion (her mantra in disaster is "You haven't said anything, have you?") and martinis. Despite her need to present an image of a unified family status quo, Judith is in fact a strong, resilient woman who's devoted to her family. She's not a cold woman, simply practical, and she loves Daniel and her family very much."

Campbell then will play Peter Webster, who's listed as "Early 20's. The eldest Webster child and the survivor of his twin brother Jimmy, who died of leukemia, Peter has decided to specialize in biomedical research at Sloan-Kettering. Peter's a good kid, easy-going, well-adjusted, happy, the easiest of the Webster kids, and you'd never guess that he's gay. And not just gay - a Log Cabin Republican conservative gay man. Still recovering from the breakup with his boyfriend David, Peter comes across some of Grace's Manga drawings featuring him and David, and is surprised on many levels." Pill then is set as Grace Webster: "14-16. Daniel and Judith's daughter, she's a sweet girl under the teenage angst. Arrested for selling marijuana, Grace only partly masks her fear with anger and defiance as her parents bail her out of jail. Though Grace is frequently at odds with her obnoxious brother Adam, she is closer to her brother Peter, whom she features, along with his ex-boyfriend, in her Manga drawings. A talented artist with a real flair for the Japanese anime style, Grace is forced to admit that she began selling pot as a way of raising $2500 for an anime class. Beneath all the drama, Grace is a good girl who is close to her parents, particularly her father."

Finally, Dillahunt will play Jesus Christ, listed in the casting notice as "Early 30's. Daniel's conscience/alter ego/imaginary spiritual advisor/best friend/brother/father/partner, Jesus is a frequent visitor to Daniel in private moments, a good-humored, wise but non-judgmental presence that clearly gives Daniel comfort and guidance. He and Daniel can also laugh together like a couple of college buddies." Dylan Baker also stars as Roger Northrup, the senior warden at Daniel's parish. NBC Universal Television and Sony Pictures Television are behind the project with Jack Kenny and Flody Suarez executive producing.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC) - Harry J. Lennix ("The Matrix Revolutions") and Kyle Secor ("Veronica Mars") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the first female president of the United States. Lennix will play the outgoing president's chief of staff while Secor will play the incoming president's husband. Ever Carradine and Caitlin Wachs also star in the Touchstone Television-based project, the production of which still remains contingent on casting the lead role. Rod Lurie and Marc Frydman are the executive producers via Battle Plan Productions.

DON'T ASK (FOX) - Former "3rd Rock from the Sun" star Kristen Johnston has been cast in the pilot, a single-camera comedy about a married father of two teenage sons who announces he's gay and in love with his wife's shrink. No details were given about Johnston's character. Sandy Grushow, Nicky Silver and Paul Shapiro are behind the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

GOOD DAY LIVE (Syndication) - Twentieth Television has officially pulled the plug on the syndicated talk show after two seasons, citing simply "the economics dictated the necessity to cease production" in a brief statement to the press. The series has averaged a 0.9 household rating so far this season, below its already lackluster 1.0 average household rating from last season. Said news comes in spite of the addition of Debbie Matenopoulos and Arthel Neville as co-hosts this season. "Live's" final broadcast is set for Friday, March 18.

JOINT CUSTODY (ABC) - Nick D'Agosto ("Election") and Will McCormack ("The Sopranos") have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about a recent college grad who comes home and discovers that his parents have divorced and realizes that he must now take care of his eccentric family. D'Agosto and McCormack will play Joel and Mike respectively. The project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television, comes from Regina Stewart, Joel Stein and Shawn Levy.

LOVE MONKEY (CBS) - Larenz Tate ("Ray") is the latest to be cast in the drama pilot, about the lives of four male friends in various stages of dating and marriage as seen through the eyes of a single music executive (Tom Cavanagh). Tate will play one of said friends in the project, which comes from executive producers Michael Rauch and Mark Johnson and is set up at Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Network Television. Judy Greer also stars.

STACKED (FOX) - Christopher Lloyd ("Clubhouse") and Brian Scolaro ("Three Sisters") are the latest to join the cast of the comedy, about a woman (Pamela Anderson) working at a bookstore who's trying to change her life and break her habit of falling for less-than-responsible men. Lloyd will play an eccentric patron of the bookstore while Scolaro is set as Stuart. Tom Everett Scott also stars. In addition, Heidi Perlman, Jeff Richman, Peter Casey and Steven Lloyd have all been added as executive producers on the project, which comes from creator Steven Levitan and 20th Century Fox Television. FOX has already given the comedy a six-episode order.

TICKET TO RIDE (FOX) - Luke Perry ("Beverly Hills, 90210") and Jason Gedrick ("Boomtown") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the lives of 20 people from all walks of life who share a winning $386 million lottery jackpot. Perry will play Peter, a journalist who wins a share of the prize while Gedrick is set as another winner, Cameron, a university professor. Gwendolyn Parker and Laurie McCarthy are behind the project, which is set up at Regency Television.

THE UNIT (CBS) - Dennis Haysbert ("24") and Michael Irby ("Line of Fire") are the first to land roles in the Shawn Ryan/David Mamet-produced drama pilot, about the elite anti-terrorism force known as Delta Force. Haysbert and Irby will play Michael Blaine and Grey respectively, full details of which weren't specified. The project, which is loosely based on the book "Inside Delta Force" by Eric Haney, is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2005]  

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