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[04/20/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: April 20
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!

AIRLINE (A&E) - The cable channel has quietly confirmed its signature reality series "Airline" will return for its third season on Monday, May 2 at 8:00/7:00c with back-to-back half-hour episodes.

FEAR FACTOR (NBC) - Executive producer/showrunner Matt Kunitz has signed a seven-figure overall deal with NBC Universal Television. The two-year pact calls for Kunitz to develop new alternative series for the studio, NBC and its cable siblings as well as continue in his duties on "Fear Factor," which is widely considered a lock to return next season.

FILMORE MIDDLE (NBC)/RED & BLUE (ABC) - ABC's "Red & Blue" and NBC's "Filmore Middle," both pilots under consideration for next season, have had their respective film dates postponed for the time being. "Red & Blue," about a liberal dad and conservative grandfather vying to win the hearts and minds of their kids and grandkids, had previously been slated to shoot on Thursday, April 28 at Walt Disney Studios while "Filmore," about disillusioned teachers at a rundown public junior high school, was targeted for Thursday, April 21 at Sony Pictures Studios. No reason was given for the delays and it appears neither will complete production in time to be considered for their respective network's fall schedule. (Note: "Filmore Middle" eventually filmed a pilot on an unspecified date.)

KOJAK (USA)/THE SHIELD (FX) - 3.26 million viewers watched "Kojak's" most recent installment on Sunday, including a solid 1.2 rating/3 share in adults 18-49. Meanwhile, "The Shield" served up 2.95 million viewers for its Tuesday, April 12 airing with a 1.4 rating/4 share among adults 18-49.

STRIP SEARCH/KEPT (VH1) - "Strip Search" and "Kept," two of VH1's latest entries into its "Celebreality" genre, have reportedly been scheduled to premiere on Sunday, May 29 at 9:00/8:00c and 10:00/9:00c respectively. The former tracks Australian Billy Cross as he forms an American male dance revue using regular guys from across the country while the latter follows former supermodel (and ex-Mrs. Mick Jagger) Jerry Hall as she whittles through 15 eligible bachelors hoping to win a six figure "allowance" while living in the lap of luxury for a year.

THIRD WATCH (NBC) - Co-creator/executive producer Edward Allen Bernero has inked a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Paramount Network Television. The pact, which kicks off in June, calls for Bernero to develop new projects for the studio as well as potentially join an existing Paramount show. Prior to the deal, Bernero had been developing two original projects for 20th Century Fox Television - one at CBS and another at FOX, the latter of which had a put pilot commitment. With Bernero now at Paramount, it's highly unlikely either will move forward.

WILDFIRE (ABC Family) - The cable channel's first scripted drama has been slated to premiere on Monday, June 20 at 8:00/7:00c with encores on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 (both also at at 8:00/7:00c). The series, about a troubled girl serving time at a teen detention center (Genevieve Cortese) who is given the opportunity to start a new life when her talent with horses is recognized by a volunteer and local trainer (Greg Serano), will launch with its two-hour pilot followed by 11 weekly one-hour episodes. Micah Alberti, Ryan Sypek, Nicole Tubiola, Nana Visitor and Dennis Weaver also star.

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





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· AIRLINE (A AND E)
· AREA, THE (CBS)
· FEAR FACTOR (MTV)
· KEPT (VH1)
· KOJAK (USA)
· RED & BLUE (ABC)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· STRIP SEARCH (VH1)
· TEACHERS (NBC)
· THIRD WATCH (NBC)
· UNTITLED ED BERNERO PROJECT (FOX)
· WILDFIRE (ABC FAMILY)





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