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[03/23/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 23
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!

BOW (The WB) - Actor/rapper Bow's comedy pilot, which tracks him as he comes of age and takes control of his business, is set to tape on Thursday, April 28 at the CBS Studio Center. Erica Montolfo, Dan Cross & David Hoge are behind the Touchstone Television-based project, additional casting of which wasn't specified. Teresa Caldwell and Michael Mauldin also executive produce.

THE COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF JEFF FOXWORTHY (Comedy Central) - A whopping 6.2 million viewers tuned into the special's debut on Sunday, making it the second most-watched broadcast ever on the cable channel. Said numbers topped several broadcast offerings, including new episodes of "Arrested Development" (5.73 million), "Malcolm in the Middle" (5.23 million) and "The Sketch Show" (4.54 million) on FOX. The news comes on the heels of last month's stellar 6.1 million viewer opening for "The Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again." Only a 1998 episode of "South Park" ranks higher in the history of Comedy Central.

THE CATCH (ABC) - Filming began today on the long-in-the-works drama pilot, which stars Greg Grunberg, Don Rickles and Kym Whitley. The newly revamped Touchstone Television/Bad Robot-based project will now focus on a single father/private eye (Grunberg), his grandfather-partner (Rickles) and their new partner (Whitley). In addition, Joanne Kelly ("Jeremiah") and newcomer Daylia Wallace have been added to the cast as the sister and daughter respectively of Grunberg's character. Grunberg and J.J. Abrams created the series, while John Eisendrath ("Playmakers") is also attached to executive produce.

A CURRENT AFFAIR (Syndication) - The syndicated newsmagazine's revival got off to a decent start on Monday, averaging a 3.5 rating/7 share in the 26 (of the 56) metered markets that carry the series. Said number was up 3% in year-to-year comparisons (3.4/6) but down 8% on average from its lead-in (3.8/7). Among the three largest markets "Affair" failed to build much steam as it was down 31% on WNYW New York (2.5/5), down 38% on KTTV Los Angeles (2.1/5) and down 25% on WFLD Chicago (1.2/3) in year-to-year comparisons.

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT MEN (CBS) - Lauren Tom ("Bad Santa"), Hugh Bonneville ("Iris") and Rea Seehorn ("Im With Her") have all joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a young ad agency executive (Jenna Elfman) as she navigates the men in her life. Tom will reportedly play Jan in the project, who's described in the casting notice as: "Mid 30s. Jan works at LRS&E Advertising along with Bex [Elfman]. While for most of the others, LRS&E is a career, for Jan it's simply a job. A sardonic woman whose cynically realistic view of life is often validated by subsequent events, Jan gives Bex intelligent advice on her love life, advice that goes unheeded because Bex isn't ruthless enough to follow through. Used to Bex ignoring her wisecracking commentary on her life, Jan doesn't fear getting fired because she knows where all the bodies are buried."

Bonneville then is believed to be playing Charles Kenny - "35. Bex's boss, Charles actually is as good looking as he thinks he is. Divorced from Victoria, Charles is now dating Cassandra and is inclined to dumptruck his workload onto Bex's desk while he feuds with his ex" - with Seehorn as Christine "Chris" Firth - "A beautiful, driven, 30-something junior executive at the Manhattan ad agency where Bex works, Chris is intent on finding a man; her biological clock is ticking, she's on her career track, now she needs a decent sperm donor to make her life complete." In addition, James Burrows ("Will & Grace") is attached to direct the Touchstone Television-based project, which will tape on Tuesday, May 3 at the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles. Fred Barron created the series, which is based on his BBC comedy "According to Bex." Brady Smith also stars.

FILMORE MIDDLE (NBC) - Sarah Alexander (BBC's "Coupling") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about disillusioned teachers at a rundown public junior high school. No details were available about her character in the NBC Universal Television-based project, which also stars Justin Bartha. Matt Tarses created the pilot, with Marc Buckland attached to direct.

GROWN MEN (The WB) - The Dean Cain-led comedy pilot, about five former fraternity brothers who reunite 13 years after graduating from college, has been slated to tape on Friday, April 22 at Sony Pictures Studios. Dan Cortese, Mitch Rouse, John Ducey and John DiMaggio also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based project, which comes from creator Mike Sikowitz.

HALLMARK CHANNEL MYSTERY MOVIES (Hallmark) - The cable channel is moving forward with two additional movies each of its three original franchises John Larroquette's "McBride," Lea Thompson's "Jane Doe" and Kellie Martin's "Mystery Woman." Three of the four completed editions of each aired earlier this year as part of its Friday night "Mystery Movies." No details however were given about the new movies.

HARD SCIENCE (Showtime, New!) - Mark Gordon ("Grey's Anatomy") is developing a new telefilm at the pay channel that aims to tell the true story of how Viagra became a mainstream product and a pop-culture phenomenon. No other details were available about the project, which Gordon will executive produce through his Mark Gordon Co. banner.

INFIDELITY (A.K.A. UNTITLED INFIDELITY PROJECT) (Showtime) - Peter Horton and Mark Gordon's limited-run series is understood to still be in development at the pay channel. The project opens with three strangers riding the same elevator and then follows each (all of whom, coincidentally, are all caught up in affairs) as they go their separate ways with a different writer and director responsible for each storyline. Already attached to direct are Horton, Rodrigo Garcia ("Six Feet Under") and Charles Dutton ("Against the Ropes") with Douglas Carter Beane ("To Wong Foo"), Jill and Karen Sprecher ("Clockwatchers") and Eric Byler ("Charlotte Sometimes") writing the scripts. Horton and Gordon then executive produce through the latter's Mark Gordon Co.

KACHINGA (HBO, New!) - Actor/writer Chuck Sklar ("Raising Dad") is developing a new half-hour comedy pilot for the pay channel about a Native American family living on a reservation that strikes it rich in the casino business. The single-camera project, additional details of which weren't available, is set up at Mark Gordon's self-titled banner.

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX) - Jaime King ("Pearl Harbor") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the life of New York bad boy chef Anthony Bourdain (played by Bradley Cooper as Jack Bourdain). She'll play Tanya in the project, which also stars Nicholas Brendon, Owain Yeoman and John Francis Daley. Her character is described in the casting notice as: "Mid-late 20�s. Hostess at the restaurant wears impossibly tight dresses. Sweet and stylish, but not very bright, she fails to seat the restaurant critic in a timely fashion, or at the correct table." Darren Star is directing the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television, New Line Television and Darren Star Productions, from a script by David Hemingson. Star, Hemingson, David Knoller and Jim Rosenthal then executive produce.

NOTORIOUS (NBC) - Danielle Nicolet ("The Bernie Mac Show") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the fictionalized life of actress Tori Spelling. She'll play Janey, the best friend of Spelling's character in the project, which also stars Loni Anderson. In addition, Peter Lauer ("Lucky") is attached to direct the NBC Universal Television-based project from a script by executive producers Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler. Spelling herself also serves as a co-executive producer.

QUANTICO (CBS) - Richard Shepard ("The Matador") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, a suspense thriller set inside the F.B.I.'s Behavioral Analysis Unit. He'll direct the project, which stars Mandy Patinkin, Shemar Moore, Lola Glaudini, Matthew Gubler and Thomas Gibson, from a script by creator Jeff Davis. Mark Gordon, through the Mark Gordon Co., executive produces the project, which is set up at Touchstone Television.

RUN'S HOUSE (MTV, New!) - Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is developing a new reality series at the cable channel, about the suburban home life of rapper Run DMC. The project is set up as a result of a first-look production deal Combs recently signed with MTV, the first of its kind by the network. Said pact calls for Combs, through his Bad Boys Entertainment banner, to develop and executive produce series projects for the cable channel. In addition to "House," Combs is also shepherding "Borrow My Crew," which features a celebrity who loans out his or her entourage to a fan for a day of pampering. "Crew" has already aired as a backdoor pilot special on MTV while production has already been completed on a presentation for "House."

TALK SHOW DIARIES (UPN) - The Nancy Davis-led comedy pilot, about the brutally honest, fiercely loyal and incredibly complex on- and off-camera exploits of the three female hosts of a morning talk show, is scheduled to tape on Tuesday, April 19 at the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles. Allison Gibson is behind the project, which is set up at Touchstone Television and Coquette Productions.

UNTITLED CAMRYN MANHEIM PROJECT (The WB) - The Camryn Manheim-led comedy pilot, about an eccentric hippie-type single mother with three kids who moves into a new neighborhood filled with trendy soccer moms, is on target to tape Tuesday, April 26 at the Warner Bros. Studios. The project, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and the Tannenbaum Co., is executive produced by Anne Flett Giordano, Chuck Ranberg, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.

UNTITLED DAVE FLEBOTTE PROJECT (NBC) - Michael Weaver ("The Mullets") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an Italian-American family running a deli/coffee shop in Boston's North End. He'll play Tommy in the NBC Universal Television/Wolf Films-based project, which also stars Vincent Pastore. James Burrows is directing the pilot from a script by creator/executive producer Dave Flebotte with Dick Wolf and Nena Rodrigue also executive producing.

UNTITLED FREDDIE PRINZE JR. PROJECT (ABC) - Brian Austin Green ("Beverly Hills, 90210") is set to play the best friend of Freddie Prinze Jr. in the actor's comedy pilot for the Alphabet, about a successful, single guy (Prinze) raised in a house full of women who has his life turned upside down when the women move back in with him. Prinze and Conrad Jackson are also helping write and executive produce the Warner Bros. Television/Mohawk Productions-based pilot along with Mohawk's Bruce Helford, Bruce Rasmussen and Deborah Oppenheimer. John Pasquin directs.

UNTITLED JERRY BRUCKHEIMER/MARSH MCCALL PROJECT (CBS) - The comedy pilot - about three adult siblings (two brothers, one sister) doing their best to deal with their eccentric, newly single father when their mother leaves him - is set to tape on Friday, April 22 at Warner Bros. Studios. Marsh McCall is behind the project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television and Jerry Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman's Bruckheimer Television. No casting has been announced.

UNTITLED SUSIE ESSMAN PROJECT (CBS) - Stacy Keach ("Titus") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a woman (Susie Essman) who becomes a surrogate stepmom of her boyfriend's four kids in the suburbs. Keach, who also appears in the FOX drama pilot "Prison Break," will play the woman's father in the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television, Brad Johnson's Watson Pond banner and Brillstein-Grey Management's Lee Kernis. Essman herself is writing the pilot script along with Tom Leopold.

WILL & GRACE (NBC) - Seth Green ("Greg the Bunny"), Alec Baldwin ("Las Vegas"), Eric Stoltz ("Out of Order") and Danny Pintauro ("Who's the Boss?") are all set to guest star in the show's two-part season finale. Green will play Randall Finn, a paranoid, hotheaded former child star who steals Jack's (Sean Hayes) Out TV talk show idea. Baldwin then will play Malcom, a man who offers Will (Eric McCormack) a lucrative new job while Stoltz is set as Grace's (Debra Messing) ex-fling Tom and Pintauro will play himself. NBC has yet to announce a firm air date for the episodes.

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





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· ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (NETFLIX)
· BERNIE MAC SHOW, THE (FOX)
· BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (FOX)
· BORROW MY CREW (MTV)
· BOW (WB)
· CATCH, THE (ABC)
· COURTING ALEX (CBS)
· CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
· CURRENT AFFAIR, A (SYNDICATION)
· FREDDIE (ABC)
· GOODY'S (NBC)
· GREG THE BUNNY (FOX)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· GROWN MEN (WB)
· HARD SCIENCE (HBO)
· I'M WITH HER (ABC)
· INFIDELITY (SHOWTIME)
· JANE DOE (HALLMARK)
· JANE DOE (HALLMARK)
· JANE DOE (HALLMARK)
· JANE DOE (HALLMARK)
· JEREMIAH (SHOWTIME)
· KACHINGA (HBO)
· KELSEY GRAMMER PRESENTS: THE SKETCH SHOW (FOX)
· KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX)
· LAS VEGAS (NBC)
· LUCKY (FX)
· MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (FOX)
· MCBRIDE (HALLMARK)
· MCBRIDE (HALLMARK)
· MCBRIDE (HALLMARK)
· MCBRIDE (HALLMARK)
· MULLETS, THE (UPN)
· MYSTERY WOMAN (HALLMARK)
· MYSTERY WOMAN (HALLMARK)
· MYSTERY WOMAN (HALLMARK)
· MYSTERY WOMAN (HALLMARK)
· MYSTERY WOMAN (HALLMARK)
· OUT OF ORDER (SHOWTIME)
· PLAYMAKERS (ESPN)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· RAISING DAD (WB)
· RUN'S HOUSE (MTV)
· SIX FEET UNDER (HBO)
· SO NOTORIOUS (VH1)
· SOUTH PARK (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· TALK SHOW DIARIES (UPN)
· TEACHERS (NBC)
· TITUS (FOX)
· UNTITLED BRUCKHEIMER & MCCALL PROJECT (CBS)
· UNTITLED CAMRYN MANHEIM PROJECT (WB)
· UNTITLED SUSIE ESSMAN PROJECT (CBS)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)





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