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[05/09/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: May 9
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 (HBO) - Comedian Louis C.K.'s sitcom pilot has been given a series order of 12 episodes by the pay channel. The project, the network's first multi-camera sitcom, revolves around a middle-class couple raising their daughter. Dave Becky, Mike Royce, Gary Halvorson and C.K. himself are the executive producers of the comedy, which is set up at HBO Independent Productions.

CELEBRITY FIT CLUB (VH1) - The second season of the popular reality series will reportedly premiere on Thursday, July 14 at 10:00/9:00c. The eight participants in the new installment are: Wendy Kaufman (the "Snapple Lady"), Willie Aames ("Charles In Charge"), Jani Lane (frontman of rock group Warrant), Phil Margera ("Viva La Bam"), Victoria Jackson ("Saturday Night Live"), Tocarra ("America's Next Top Model"), Gary Busey and Jack´┐Że Harry ("227").

ER (NBC) - Writer/producer Dee Johnson has signed a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Touchstone Television. The pact calls for Johnson to develop original drama projects for the studio as well as possibly join one of its existing properties.

LAW & ORDER (NBC) - Nicholas Wootton ("Blind Justice") has been tapped to replace Eric Overmyer as showrunner of the veteran drama when it returns for its 16th season this fall. In addition to Overmyer, Roz Weinman has also exited the series leaving Wootton to serve alongside remaining executive producers Matthew Penn, Dick Wolf and Peter Jankowski. No reason for the shuffle was given however both Overmyer and Weinman will maintain an association with Dick Wolf's Wolf Films in an unspecified capacity.

THE MIND OF MENCIA (A.K.A. UNTITLED CARLOS MENCIA PROJECT) (Comedy Central) - Comedian Carlos Mencia's half-hour series has been scheduled to premiere on Thursday, July 7 at 10:30/9:30c. Here's how the network's press materials describe the project: "Shot in studio and on location, Mencia's new series will be based on his unique point of view on the world as he comments on current events, does man-in-the-street films, commercial parodies and interacts with the audience."

MODERN MEN (A.K.A. THE EVOLUTION OF MAN) (The WB) - Writer/producer Marsh McCall has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. The pact covers McCall's duties on his two pilots this development season - the WB comedy pilot "Modern Men" and an untitled pilot for CBS - should either go forward to series. Should neither get picked up, it's expected McCall will continue to develop new projects for the studio.

MTV SUMMER ORIGINAL SERIES (MTV) - The landmark 16th season of "The Real World" is currently scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, June 21 at 10:00/9:00c. This time around the series will set up shop in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, the network has confirmed "Trippin'," "Meet the Barkers" and "The Real World/Road Rules Challenge" will wrap their current seasons on Monday, May 30; Wednesday, June 8; and Monday, June 27 respectively.

MURDER IN THE HAMPTONS (Lifetime, New!) - Poppy Montgomery ("Without a Trace"), David Sutcliffe ("Gilmore Girls") and Shawn Christian ("Summerland") are all set to star in a new telefilm for the cable channel. The "ripped from the headlines" project, which is currently in production for a July 11 premiere date, revolves around the 2001 murder of multimillionaire investment banker Ted Ammon (Sutcliffe). Montgomery plays his estranged wife Generosa while Christian plays Danny Pelosi, Generosa's construction worker lover who was later convicted for Ammon's murder. Jerry Ciccoritti ("Lives of the Saints") is directing the telefilm from a script by Robert L. Freedman ("Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows") with Barbara Lieberman and Bernard Zukerman executive producing.

ROMY AND MICHELE: IN THE BEGINNING (ABC Family) - The Alphabet's long-delayed small screen prequel to the 1997 feature film "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" will finally premiere on Monday, May 30 at 8:00/7:00c on cable sibling ABC Family. Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy") and Alex Breckinridge ("D.E.B.S.") star in the project, playing younger versions of "Reunion" stars Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow.

SUCKERS (HBO, New!) - "Carnivale" supervising producer William Schmidt has scored a pilot commitment from the pay channel for a new one-hour dramedy about a newly single mother trying to raise her children, all of whom happen to be vampires. No other details were available about the project. Schmidt is no stranger to genre television, having created the short-lived ABC drama "Prey" as well as worked on both the WB's "Charmed" and UPN's "Special Unit 2."

YOU'RE NOT THE MAN I MARRIED (Lifetime) - Lifetime's latest reality entry has been slated to premiere on Monday, June 6 at 8:30/7:30c. "Married" features neglected wives who have their husbands compete in comedic challenges - such as approaching complete strangers at the boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., to tell them why they love their wife - to prove they really are the men their wives married.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (VH1)
· BLIND JUSTICE (ABC)
· CARNIVALE (HBO)
· CELEBRITY FIT CLUB (VH1)
· CHALLENGE, THE (MTV)
· CHARMED (WB)
· ER (NBC)
· GILMORE GIRLS (NETFLIX)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LIFE WITH JUDY GARLAND: ME AND MY SHADOWS (ABC)
· LUCKY LOUIE (HBO)
· MEET THE BARKERS (MTV)
· MIND OF MENCIA (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· MODERN MEN (WB)
· MURDER IN THE HAMPTONS (LIFETIME)
· REAL WORLD, THE (FACEBOOK)
· ROMY AND MICHELE: IN THE BEGINNING (ABC FAMILY)
· SPECIAL UNIT 2 (UPN)
· SUCKERS (HBO)
· SUMMERLAND (WB)
· TRIPPIN' (MTV)
· VIVA LA BAM (MTV)
· WITHOUT A TRACE (CBS)
· YOU'RE NOT THE MAN I MARRIED (LIFETIME)





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