[03/11/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 11
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!

AMERICAN DREAM (A.K.A. UNTITLED LOUIS C.K. PROJECT) (HBO) - Comedian Louis C.K.'s comedy pilot for the pay channel is scheduled to tape on Friday, April 8 at the Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles. The project, from executive producers Dave Becky, Mike Royce, Gary Halvorson and C.K. himself, revolves around a middle-class couple with a kid.

BOBBY CANNON (ABC) - Rocky Carroll ("Welcome to New York") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about a pro football quarterback (Kevin Sorbo) nearing retirement who has to mentor his replacement (Thad Luckinbill) while figuring out what to do with the rest of his life. It's understood Carroll will play the agent of Sorbo's character. The Touchstone Television/Mosaic Media-based project comes from executive producers Barry Kemp and Eric Gold. Joanna Canton also stars.

BRIAR & GRAVES (FOX) - Colm Meaney ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a female doctor (Elisabeth Rohm) and a priest (Charles Mesure) who team up to investigate unexplained religious phenomena. He'll play Alistair in the 20th Century Fox Television/Adelstein-Parouse Productions-based project, which also stars Dondre Whitfield, Graham Beckel and Angel Desai. Paul Scheuring created the series and will executive produce along with Marty Adelstein and Dawn Parouse.

CONVICTION (CBS) - Oscar-winner Sally Field is set to star in the pilot, a legal drama about a team of lawyers who prosecute major cases. She'll play the leader of said team in the Warner Bros. Television/25C Productions-based project, which also stars Lisa Gay Hamilton and Eriq La Salle. Field had been previously linked to Holly Hester's comedy pilot "Sally" for ABC, however it now appears that project (which was recently renamed "Untitled Holly Hester Project") will go on without her involvement. As for "Conviction," Jon Avnet is directing the pilot from a script by creator Ed Redlich. The pair are also executive producing along with 25C's Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly.

CROSSING JORDAN (NBC) - Creator/executive producer Tim Kring has signed a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal with "Jordan's" NBC Universal Television. The pact calls for Kring to continue with his duties on "Jordan" should it return next season as well as develop new projects for the studio.

DEVIANT BEHAVIOR (FOX) - Johnny Messner ("The O.C.") is on target for the lead role in the pilot, a procedural drama about a team that tracks serial killers. No other details were available about Messner's character in the project, which comes from Regency Television and creator Josh Berman ("C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation"). Messner's involvement is the result of a talent deal the actor signed with the network in October (read the story).

EMILY'S REASONS WHY NOT (ABC) - Heather Graham ("Scrubs") has been snagged as the title role in the comedy pilot, about a self-help author (Graham) who doesn't take her own advice when it comes to dating. Her character, Emily Sanders, is described in the casting notice as: "30. She's pretty, with her own quirky sense of style and humor. An executive at a publishing house, Emily is has developed a self deprecating sense of humor, largely resulting from her history of disastrous relationships with men. A bit of an expert in romantic catastrophe, Emily has developed a rule of thumb for predicting whether a man will be "the one" or an unqualified disaster. If Emily finds five compelling reasons why she shouldn't be with a man, that's enough to convince her to end the relationship, pronto. After a painful recent breakup, Emily finds a seemingly perfect new admirer in her co-worker, Stan." Sony Pictures Television and Pariah Television are behind the project, which is executive produced by Gavin Polone, Emily Kapnek, Vivian Cannon and Robin Schiff.

ER (NBC) - The Peacock is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to order two more seasons of the veteran drama. Currently cleared through the 2005-06 season, the new pact will cover both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. An official statement about the news is expected by NBC and Warner Bros. Television in the coming week.

EVOLUTION OF MAN (The WB) - The taping of the comedy pilot, about three single guys - all friends since childhood - who hire a life coach to help them with women, has been pushed up to Wednesday, April 6 at Warner Bros. Studios. No casting has been announced for the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Ross McCall, Marsh McCall and Aaron Peters.

JONNY ZERO (FOX) - Industry insiders have confirmed the freshman drama has been officially canceled. The network announced on Tuesday it had pulled the series from its schedule effective immediately (read the story). Repeats of its various comedies plan to fill the Friday, 9:00/8:00c hour through late April, after which feature films will take over the night.

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX) - Owain Yeoman ("Commando Nanny") has scored a prime role in the comedy pilot, about the life of famed New York chef Anthony Bourdain. He'll play Steven Daedelus in the project, which also stars John Francis Daley. His character is described by the casting notice as: "30�s. English and elegantly wasted, he is a chef, a friend of Jack's, who is persuaded by Jack to join him at Bistro Pino. Formerly a drunk and a thief, he's cleaned up his act considerably. Later, it's a good thing that Steven's impervious to pain, when one of the sous chefs accidentally thwacks off the tip of his finger." 20th Century Fox Television, New Line Television and Darren Star Productions are behind the project, which is executive produced by Darren Star, David Hemingson, David Knoller and Jim Rosenthal.

MINDY & BRENDA (The WB) - The comedy pilot, about two former college roommates and best friends with decidedly different worldviews, is slated to tape on Thursday, April 7 at the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles. Virginia Williams, Simon Rex and Josh Janowicz all star in the Carsey-Warner/Martin-Stein Co.-based project, which was created by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers.

POOL GUYS (FOX) - The comedy pilot is slated to tape on Tuesday, April 19 at Sony Pictures Studios. Jonathan Sadowski and Jake Sandvig star in the project, about two 21-year-old pals who live in Tarzana, California and clean pools - while dreaming of the day they'll scrub the whirlpool at the Playboy Mansion. Alexandra Rushfield and Jennifer Konner are behind the project, which is set up at Regency Television.

SUPER AGENT (Spike TV, New!) - The cable channel has given an eight-episode order to a new elimination-style reality series about nine sports agents vying for the chance to sign Shaun Cody, an All-America defensive lineman on Southern California's national championship team and possible first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The series then tracks said agents through a series of challenges that test their negotiating skills, ability to evaluate football talent and handling of personal relationships with friends and families. Kansas City Chiefs star Tony Gonzales has been tapped to host the series, which premieres on Wednesday, July 20, as well as act as an advisor to Cody. The show's finale then will tape on NFL Draft Day (April 23-24) with Cody signing with the winner and being drafted by an NFL team. NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution is behind the series, which is executive produced by Jack Bechta, Josh Ripple, Tami Holzman and Rick DeOliveira.

THE UNIT (CBS) - Robert Patrick ("The X-Files") is the latest addition to the Shawn Ryan/David Mamet-produced drama pilot, about the members of a Special Forces unit and their families. He'll play Tom Ryan, the unit's commander, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which also stars Scott Foley, Amy Acker, Regina King, Dennis Haysbert and Michael Irby.

UNTITLED JEFFREY LIEBER PROJECT (FOX) - Dagmara Dominczyk ("Kinsey") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a brother (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and sister (Leslie Bibb) who manage a wedding emporium in Las Vegas. No details were released about Dominczyk's chracter. Thomas Carter is directing the Spelling Television-based pilot from a script by creator Jeffrey Lieber. Lieber then is executive producing alongside Warren Littlefield, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent.

UNTITLED JOSH GOLDSMITH/CATHY YUSPA PROJECT (A.K.A. STROLLER WARS) (CBS) - The now-untitled comedy pilot, about a New York City couple who are forced to grow up when they have kids of their own, is scheduled to tape on Friday, April 8 at the Culver Studios in Los Angeles. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa are behind the Sony Pictures Television/Paramount Network Television-based project, which stars Tiffani Thiessen.

UNTITLED MICHAEL CALEO PROJECT (A.K.A. NEIGHBORS) (ABC) - Lenny Clarke ("Rescue Me") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about dueling neighbors who have to deal with each other when their wives and kids become friends. He'll play one of said neighbors in the Touchstone Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Michael Caleo and Matthew Gross. Clarke's involvement is the result of a talent deal the actor signed with Touchstone back in August (read the story).

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters and Audiences Unlimited

  [march 2005]  

· ER (NBC)

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