[03/15/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 15
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!

BORD & BREAD (FOX) - Nestor Carbonell ("The Tick"), Leah Pipes ("Clubhouse") and Phillip Rhys ("24") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the staff of a fertility clinic. The trio will play Gavin, Tess and Sunil respectively, full character details of whom weren't specified. They join the previously cast Joely Fisher and Matt Letscher in the project, which comes from creators Sean Jablonski and Jason Katims; 20th Century Fox Television; and David Nevins & Brian Grazer's Imagine Television.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC) - Emmy and Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland ("Path to War") has joined the cast of the two-hour drama pilot, about the nation's first female president (Geena Davis). He'll play the Speaker of the House in the Touchstone Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Rod Lurie and Marc Frydman. Julie Ann Emery, Ever Carradine, Caitlin Wachs, Harry J. Lennix and Kyle Secor also star.

DEVIANT BEHAVIOR (FOX) - Marguerite Moreau ("life as we know it") has joined the cast of the pilot, a procedural crime drama centering on a team that tracks serial killers. She'll play Lyford in the Regency Television-based project, which also features Johnny Messner as Hale. In addition, Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner ("LAX") have been added as executive producers of the project, which was created by Josh Berman.

EVOLUTION OF MAN (The WB) - George Wendt ("Cheers") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about three single guys, all friends since childhood, who hire a life coach to help them with women. He'll play Tug Clarke in the Warner Bros. Television/Bruckheimer Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Marsh McCall, Ross McCall and Aaron Peters.

INCONCEIVABLE (NBC) - Alfre Woodard ("The Practice") has booked a potentially recurring role on the drama pilot, about the doctors, psychologists and lawyers at a fertility clinic. She'll reportedly play Lydia Clarke in the project, who's described in the casting notice as: "Late 30�s, African-American. A psychologist, compassionate and loving to her inner circle, but suffers no fools when it comes to those who cross her. Single, married to her work, but surfs Match.com in the wee hours." Joelle Carter, David Norona, Ming-Na and Jonathan Cake also star. Touchstone Television and Tollin/Robbins Productions are behind the project, with Marco Pennette, Oliver Goldstick, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola executive producing.

LAWS OF CHANCE (ABC) - Fran Kranz ("The Village") has scored a role in the drama pilot, about a feisty female A.D.A. (KaDee Strickland) in Houston who uses unconventional methods against the old-boy Texas defense attorneys. He'll play Lucas Baines, a young D.A., in the project, which also stars Bruce McGill. Grant Scharbo, Gary Glasberg and Gina Matthews are the executive producers of the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television and Roundtable Ink.

LIES AND THE WIVES WE TELL THEM TO (NBC) - Jessica St. Clair ("The Colin Quinn Show") has been revealed as an additional cast member of the comedy pilot, about four couples as they navigate their way through the "politics of marriage" with "lies that range from tiny to big, revealing how fabrications -- when done right -- may in fact further a healthy relationship." Jeremy Garrett, Ed Helms, Johnny Sneed and Kyle Chandler also star in the NBC Universal Television-based project, which taped this past weekend. David Guarascio and Moses Port are the executive producers.

THE LOT (UPN) - Gina Gershon ("Snoops") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a group of twentysomething assistants working at a Hollywood studio backlot. She'll reportedly play Bebe Knight in the project, who's described as: "Mid 30s. Pretty (having used Pilates and Botox to skim a decade off her looks), high strung, demanding, she's a successful movie producer who has an office on a major Hollywood studio lot. She is also Heather's [Kelly Overton] boss. Bebe likes to tell Heather that they are partners, but also likes to take credit for her work. She is quick to fire Heather when she learns she's an actress, and just as quick to hire her back when she realizes she's quite indispensible." Joel Silver, Danielle Stokdyk, Jennifer Gwartz and Dana Baretta are the executive producers of the project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television and Silver Pictures.

MERMAID (The WB) - Roger Daltrey ("Highlander") has scored a role on the drama pilot presentation, about a mermaid (Nathalie Kelley) who tries life on land in Miami. He'll play the antagonist on the show, full details of which have yet to be specified. Geoff Stults also stars in the project, which comes from creator Brad Kern, Spelling Television and executive producers Aaron Spelling & E. Duke Vincent.

MISSING (Lifetime) - The cable channel has confirmed the sophomore drama will return for a third season this summer, with new episodes set to premiere Sunday, June 12 along with a new season of "Strong Medicine." The news comes in spite a 10% drop in the ratings this season (1.9 million vs. 2.1 million on average last season). Production on the new season of the Lions Gate Television series is set to begin on April 18. As for specifics on the new season, Lifetime executives confirm "sparks are finally going to fly" between Vivica A. Fox and Mark Consuelos's characters while Fox and Caterina Scorsone will start seeing eye-to-eye in their casework. Justin Louis also stars in the series, which is executive produced by Glenn Davis, William Laurin and Debra Martin Chase.

THE PRINCE (The WB) - Tim Matheson ("The West Wing") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a rich New York family and the relationship between the father and the younger son following the older son's death. He'll play Solomon in the project, which comes from Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti-Liddell Productions and Fort Hill Productions. Matt LeBlanc, Jesse Wigutow, John Goldstone, Greg Berlanti and Mickey Liddell are the executive producers.

RED AND BLUE (ABC, New!) - Dan Staley and Rob Long ("Cheers") have scored a last-minute pilot order for a new comedy about a liberal dad and a conservative grandfather who are both looking to lend their political influence to the next generation. The project is set up at Touchstone Television and Tom Shadyac's Shady Acres banner with Staley, Long, Shadyac and Michael Bostick executive producing. The pilot itself is scheduled to tape on Thursday, April 28 at Walt Disney Studios.

UNTITLED CHRIS KATTAN PROJECT (ABC) - James Patrick Stewart ("Andy Richter Controls the Universe") and Tinsley Grimes ("That '80s Show") have both joined the cast of the Chris Kattan-led comedy pilot, about an egocentric consumer reporter (Kattan) at a fledgling cable news channel. Stewart will play Scott in the 20th Century Fox Television/3 Arts Entertainment-based project. His character is described by the casting notice as: "28-35, Caucasian, at least 6'1", extremely handsome man. He's the general manager of the television station. Slept his way to the top--gives ulcers and does not get them - the guy who calls all the shots. Seemingly friendly and outgoing, he won't hesitate to fire anyone who doesn't deliver. When his features editor drops dead on the job, Scott hires the inexperienced Lily for the position - but when she decides to dump the fluff and sensationalism that has been the station's stock-in-trade, Scott warns her to get back to the stuff that sells - namely, stories about sex."

Grimes then is set as Lily: "25-32. She's a very pretty, wholesome, eager young woman who has just been appointed the new features editor at Chris's television station. A Fulbright scholar with an MBA from Wharton, Lily has never set foot in a newsroom before, and her brash, take-charge attitude, coupled with her complete lack of experience, make for some tension among the established news staff. Convinced that she's supposed to be the new broom sweeping out the station's former sensationalism, Lily insists that her correspondents do "hard news." However, when Lily learns the big boss will bounce her unless she puts some sex and sensation back into the coverage, she's quick to comply." Tom Maxwell, Michael McCullers, David Miner, Michael Rotenberg, Steve Tann, Don Woodard are the executive producers.

WESTSIDE (ABC) - Peter Weller ("Odyssey 5") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about an upscale agency specializing in high-end homes on Los Angeles' Westside. He joins the previously cast Peter Facinelli, Camille Guaty, Stark Sands, Judith Light, Charlotte Ross and Ashley Scott in the project, which comes from creator Silvio Horta, Warner Bros. Television and Steve Pearlman's Class IV Productions.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2005]  

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