[03/07/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 7
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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

3 LBS. (CBS) - Mark Feuerstein ("Good Morning, Miami") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the world of brain surgeons. He'll reportedly play Dr. Jonathan Fowler in the Paramount Network Television-based project, described in the casting notice as: "30-34. Upper West Side New York over-achiever with a rare gift for neurosurgery. Jonathan has come through the long and intensely competitive training with his conscious and heart amazingly still intact. His greatest challenge is yet to come as he has landed the most sought after apprenticeship in the country and relocated with his wife and children to Brentwood to work alongside his mentor, Dr. Douglas Hanson [Dylan McDermott]. A man who's quite unused to the freeways and the beaches and the size of the homes on the Los Angeles west Side (dwarfing the living spaces of the New York West Side), Dr. Fowler is a fish out of water, unsure that this move will make him happy, a little homesick for New York, quietly fearful that his job will force him to chose between his family and success." Reiko Aylesworth also stars in the project, which comes from executive producers Barry Levinson, Paul Stupin, Tom Fontana and Peter Ocko.

BONES (FOX) - Emily Deschanel ("Boogeyman") has scored the lead role in the drama pilot, about a team of forensic anthropologists who solve crimes using evidence supplied by skeletal remains. She'll play Temperance Brennan, the leader of said team in the 20th Century Fox Television-based project. David Boreanaz and Michaela Conlin also star in the pilot, which comes from executive producers Barry Josephson and Hart Hanson and is based on the "Brennan" novels by Kathy Reichs.

BRIAR & GRAVES (FOX) - Dondre Whitfield ("Hidden Hills"), Graham Beckel ("Helter Skelter") and Angel Desai ("Law & Order") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a hard-living priest who partners with a female doctor to investigate unexplained religious phenomena. The trio will play Jefferson Graham, Marco and Saralee respectively in the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and executive producers Paul Sheuring, Marty Adelstein and Dawn Parouse.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC) - Julie Ann Emery ("Line of Fire") has joined the cast of two-hour drama pilot, about the nation's first female president (Geena Davis). She'll play Secret Service agent Joan Greer in the project, which comes from Touchstone Television and creators Rod Lurie and Marc Frydman. Ever Carradine, Caitlin Wachs, Harry J. Lennix and Kyle Secor also star.

CRAZY (UPN) - Lara Flynn Boyle ("The Practice," "Huff") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a psychiatrist who sees the problems of her patients reflected in her own life. Kristin Bauer and David Julian Hirsh also star in the Spelling Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Sarah Thorp, Ed Zuckerman, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent.

CRAZY LAWYERS (FOX) - Jake Cherry ("Third Watch") has scored the role of Chris O'Donnell and Krista Allen's son in the drama pilot, about a successful golden boy lawyer (O'Donnell) who has a nervous breakdown and teams up with another mentally disturbed lawyer with an anger problem (Adam Goldberg) to help people with issues, legal and otherwise. Aimee Garcia, Rachael Leigh Cook and Rockmond Dunbar also star in the 20th Century Fox Television project, which comes from executive producers Bill Chais, Jeff Rake and Barry Josephson. Cherry spent the past development season attached to the failed ABC drama pilot "Kat Plus One."

DR. 90210/GASTINEAU GIRLS (E!) - 690,000 viewers tuned into "Dr. 90210's" one-hour second season premiere on February 28. Said number was up 3.76% from its launch last year (665,000). 708,000 viewers on average watched the show's freshman run. The following night, the latest installment of "Gastineau Girls" drew 650,000 viewers.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS) - Alyson Hannigan ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the exploits of a single man (Josh Radnor), as told through his own eyes 20 years later. No details were available about Hannigan's character. In addition, Rob Greenberg ("Frasier") has signed on as an executive producer of the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which was created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas ("American Dad")

INTRODUCING LENNIE ROSE (ABC) - Patricia Wettig ("thirtysomething") and Vondie Curtis-Hall ("Chicago Hope") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a single woman (Abigail Spencer) trying to find love and make it big in New York. Wettig will play the mother of Spencer's character while Curtis-Hall is set as her boss. Touchstone Television is behind the project, which also stars Sasha Barrese, Moon Bloodgood, Keir O'Donnell, Carlos Ponce and Aya Sumika. Krista Vernoff and Ken Olin, Wettig's husband, are the executive producers.

KOJAK (USA) - The Ving Rhames-led revival of the 1970s Telly Savalas cop drama will now premiere Friday, March 25 at 9:00/8:00c, two days earlier than originally reported. New episodes then will air Sundays at 10:00/9:00c beginning April 3.

LOVE MONKEY (CBS) - Jason Priestley ("Beverly Hills, 90210") is the latest addition to 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, thirtysomething record executive (Tom Cavanagh). Priestly will play a married doctor, one of said friends in the project, which also stars Judy Greer and Larenz Tate. Michael Rauch and Mark Johnson are the executive producers of the pilot, which is loosely based on Kyle Smith's novel of the same name. "Monkey" is set up at Sony Pictures Television, Paramount Network Television and Johnson's Grand Via Productions.

MAKING THE BAND 3 (MTV) - 1.89 million viewers tuned into Thursday's one-hour season premiere of the reality series, including a 0.9 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and a 1.6/5 in persons 12-34. Said numbers were up roughly 20% from its debut last season.

MARRIAGE 911 (FOX, New!) - The network is developing a potential spin-off of "Nanny 911," ordering a one-hour backdoor pilot special to air later this season. Like "Nanny," "Marriage" will see a team of experts try and help solve marriages in crisis. Granada Television is behind the spin-off, additional details of which were not available.

PEPPER DENNIS (The WB) - Lindsay Price ("Coupling") has joined the cast of the Rebecca Romijn-led drama pilot, about an ambitious TV news reporter (Romijn) who tries to balance work, romance and family. She'll play the best friend of Romijn's character in the 20th Century Fox Television project, which comes from executive producers Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harberts and Shawn Levy. Josh Hopkins also stars.

THICK AND THIN (A.K.A. UNTITLED PAULA PELL PROJECT) (NBC) - Jessica Capshaw ("The Practice") has been tapped for the lead role the Paula Pell-created comedy pilot, about an obese woman who turns thin and struggles in her relationships with her still-large family and friends. Capshaw's involvement lifts the cast-contingency on the pilot's production. The project, to be written and executive produced by Pell, comes from NBC Universal Television and Lorne Michaels & Joann Alfano's Broadway Video.

UNTITLED BRETT BUTLER PROJECT (Comedy Central, New!) - Comedian Brett Butler has signed with the cable channel to develop a new half-hour comedy which is being described as "Blue Collar TV" meets "Insomniac With Dave Attell." The untitled project, to be executive produced by Butler and Chuck Sklar ("The Chris Rock Show," "The Man Show"), will feature the former "Grace Under Fire" star running around the country, hanging out with small-town characters.

UNTITLED CHRISTOPHER LLOYD/JOE KEENAN PROJECT (CBS) - Henry Winkler ("Arrested Development") has joined the cast of the Christopher Lloyd/Joe Keenan-produced comedy pilot, around a family of single doctors. He'll play Stewart Chase in the project, described in the casting notice as: "Mid 50�s-60�S. Ben�s [the lead character's] dad. A recently divorced gastroenterologist. Having lived for many years in the shadow of a driven, strong-willed and highly successful wife, he cherishes his new freedom but is also at a loss about what do to with it." Stockard Channing also stars as his ex-wife in the project, which is set up at Paramount Network Television.

UNTITLED FRED GOSS/NICK HOLLY PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Fred Goss ("Significant Others") and Nick Holly have booked a pilot presentation order from the Alphabet for a new partially improvised comedy about a large extended family in an average, middle-America town. The project is set up at NBC Universal Television and Broadway Video with Goss, Holly and Broadway's Lorne Michaels and Joanne Alfano executive producing.

UNTITLED PETER DINKLAGE PROJECT (ABC) - Busy Philipps ("Dawson's Creek," "Freaks and Geeks") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an unconventional teacher (played by Peter Dinklage). She'll play Maddie in the project, which comes from creator Don Todd, Touchstone Television and Stu Bloomberg's Cabloom! banner.

UNTITLED MARK BORCHARDT/MIKE SCHANK PROJECT (Comedy Central, New!) - "American Movie" stars and Wisconsin-based filmmakers Mark Borchardt and Mike Schank are set to be the focus of a potential new reality series for Comedy Central. The pair are developing a new reality series which will track their efforts to create Borchardt's next horror film. Tom Green and Howard Lapides are also on board to executive produce the project, additional details of which were not available.

UNTITLED TOM FONTANA/BARRY LEVINSON PROJECT (The WB) - Audra McDonald ("Mister Sterling") is the latest addition to the Frog's college-based drama pilot. She'll play a professor in the Warner Bros. Television/HIP project, which also stars Ernest Waddell, Penn Badgley, Milo Ventimiglia and Matthew Modine. Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson, Julie Martin and Jim Finnerty are the executive producers.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2005]  

· 3 LBS. (CBS)
· DR. 90210 (E)
· NANNY 911 (CMT)

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