[04/12/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: April 12
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) - Elaine Hendrix ("Joan of Arcadia") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, a fictionalized look at the life of actor/rapper Bow. No details however were given about her character. Alan Dale, Joseph Lawrence, Kim Fields and Charles Duckworth also star in the Touchstone Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Erica Montolfo, Dan Cross, David Hoge, Teresa Caldwell and Michael Mauldin.

THE COMMUTERS (CBS) - Rosemarie DeWitt ("Cinderella Man") has been revealed as a cast member of the drama pilot, about the lives of three couples - the husbands of which all commute together each day on the train to Manhattan. DeWitt will join Jeri Ryan and Christine Taylor as one of the three wives with Jason Wiles, David Arquette and Johnathon Schaech playing their husbands. Dan Bucatinsky and Michael Taylor are behind the project, which is set up at Paramount Network Television.

COPS (FOX) - The network has picked up the veteran Saturday series - which celebrates its 600th episode on April 30 - through the 2005-06 season, its 18th on the network. Despite its low profile, "Cops" remains one of the network's most consistent performers, averaging 7.03 million viewers for its back-to-back weekly installments.

THE DENNIS (NBC) - Jeremy Howard ("Men in Black II") has been cast in the lead role of the comedy pilot, which also stars Donal Logue and Christine Dunford. According to the casting notice, he'll play Dennis Park: "20. This gawky character has a deadpan expression, an inherent vulnerability, and a clueless manner. A real character who takes everything literally - a problem at times - he is content working at his doting dad's [Logue] hot dog stand. And indeed, his proudest accomplishment to date is creating "The Dennis," a popular hot dog combo. But when his concerned dad, who wants him to go out and start living life to the fullest, fires him from his job and kicks him out of the house, Dennis is initially at a loss. Soon, however, he has teamed up with former high school "legend" Cooter Kincaid, an equally clueless character whom Dennis immediately embraces as his "professional life coach" and guru." Marty Adelstein, Dawn Parouse and Emily Kapnek are the executive producers of the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, with Alex Maggioni co-executive producing.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) - Alfre Woodard ("The Practice") is set to join the cast of the popular drama as a seemingly normal woman who moves into the cul-de-sac with her son in tow. She'll make her first appearance on the show's final episode this season, after which she'll become a series regular during its second season. No other details were specified about her character. Woodard had previously signed on to guest star on the NBC drama pilot "Inconceivable," with the option to make subsequent appearances. It's not clear how her duties on "Housewives" will affect said commitment if NBC moves forward with the project.

THE LARRY ELDER SHOW (Syndication) - Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has reportedly pulled the plug on the freshman talk show. The news marks the sixth syndicated offering to get the hook this season, the others being "The Jane Pauley Show," "Home Delivery," "Life & Style," "Pat Croce: Moving In" and "Good Day Live." "Elder," which will continue to air through the end of the 2004-05 season, has averaged a far from solid 0.9 household rating to date this season.

MTV PRESENTS: THE NEXT GENERATION XBOX REVEALED (MTV, New!) - Microsoft will unveil its next generation video game system during a half-hour special on the cable channel on Thursday, May 12 at 9:30/8:30c, less than a week before the industry's annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Actor Elijah Wood will host the special, which will showcase the new system, its games and the Xbox Live online gaming network.

POOL GUYS (FOX) - Rachelle Lefevre ("Life on a Stick") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two twentysomething friends (Jake Sandvig, Jonathan Sadowski) who run a pool cleaning service and share the fantasy of one day cleaning the pool at the Playboy Mansion. It's believed Lefevre's role is that of Amy, who's described in the casting notice as: "Cute, tough, Amy lives in the apartment next door to Jason [Sandvig] and Sam [Sadowski]. She works in Starbucks ("the cut-throat, back-stabbing corporate nightmare I work in") and is good-naturedly sick and tired of Sam breaking into her apartment and raiding her fridge. Somewhat depressed about her dateless status, Amy seems to have no clue that Jason "likes" her and is thrilled to take his advice on how to talk to guys - which nets her a date with two guys on the same night. A good friend to Jason, whom she admires for his decisiveness - Amy thinks she can't make a decision to save her life - Amy's two-dates-on-one-night winds up a disaster, but she's happy to go out with Jason when he finally gets the courage to ask her." Lefevre's involvement is likely in second position to "Stick," should FOX renew that series for a second season. Jennifer Konner, Alexandra Rushfield and Al Higgins are the executive producers of the project, which is set up at Regency Television.

UNTITLED BILL OAKLEY/JOSH WEINSTEIN PROJECT (FOX) - John Marshall Jones ("Still Standing," "John Doe") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a police precinct in New York's Times Square. No details were given about his role in the NBC Universal Television/Broadway Video-based project, which comes from executive producers Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, Lorne Michaels and Joann Alfano. Diedrich Bader also stars.

WINGWOMAN (UPN) - Shannen Doherty ("North Shore," "Charmed") is in talks while Reagan Gomez-Preston ("Love Don't Cost a Thing") and Ion Overman ("Port Charles") are set to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about a single woman who helps her male clients find their soul mates. Doherty is on target to play the lead role, while Gomez-Preston will play the woman's longtime friend, co-worker and roommate. No details however were given about Overman's role in the project, which comes from the Littlefield Co., Evolution Entertainment and Paramount Network Television. Adam Chase, Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Warren Littlefield are the executive producers.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2005]  

· BOW (WB)

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