[06/10/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: June 8-10
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!

THE AMAZING RACE (CBS) - GSN's off-network acquisition of the veteran reality series (read the story) is reportedly valued in the $6 million dollar range. The four-year deal, which includes the rights to the first eight editions of the series (as well as the option to purchase the ninth and tenth installments), means the cable channel will pay an estimated $55,000 per episode. Said numbers put the GSN deal on par with VH1's recent off-network acquisition of "America's Next Top Model" but behind OLN's $10 million pact for the repeats rights to "Survivor." "The Amazing Race" will begin airing daily on GSN at 9:00/8:00c beginning Monday, July 11. Meanwhile in other "Race"-related news, executive producer Hayma "Screech" Washington has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with CBS. The pact calls for Washington to continue in his duties on "Race" as well as develop new scripted comedies and dramas for the network. Prior to joining "Race," Washington was an executive producer on Disney Channel's "Phil of the Future."

THE BERNIE MAC SHOW (FOX) - Warren Hutcherson ("Moesha") and Steve Tompkins ("Entourage") are reportedly close to signing on as the new showrunners of the FOX comedy, which returns for its fifth season this fall. The pair would take over for Pete Aronson, who is leaving the series after two seasons at the helm. Hutcherson already serves as an executive producer on "Mac," which he joined during its first season. No reason was given for Aronson's exit from the Regency Television/20th Century Fox Television-produced series.

BOUND (FOX, New!) - Fox 21-based Benderspink ("Free Birds," "Beauty and the Geek") are developing a new horror-themed drama at FOX about a family that moves into their dream house only to slowly discover that it's their worst nightmare. Mark Kruger ("Revelations") has been tapped to write the script to the project with Gary Auerbach ("Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County") attached to direct should it go forward. Both will also serve as executive producers along with Chris Bender, JC Spink and Benderspink president Julie Plec. FOX has given a script order to the project for the 2006-07 season. Benderspink also continues to work on an untitled animated comedy pilot presentation from Chuck Swenson ("Rugrats") and Brian Lynch for the network.

GHOST WHISPERER (CBS) - Non-writing producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses have inked a new two-year overall deal at Touchstone Television. The pact will keep the pair's Sander/Moses Productions set up at Touchstone where they're executive producing the CBS fall entry "Ghost Whisperer." In addition, the duo will develop new projects for the studio as well as produce "Confessions of a Desperate Housewife," a series of webisodes on ABC.com tied to the Alphabet's monster hit "Despereate Housewives."

THE GRAHAM NORTON EFFECT (Comedy Central) - Logo, MTV Networks' gay-themed network which launches on June 30, has purchased the repeat rights to the short-lived Comedy Central talk show. In addition, Logo has also scored the rights to Graham Norton imports "Graham Norton in New York" (10 episodes) and "V Graham Norton" (5 episodes). No financial details were given about the deal.

HBO ORIGINAL SERIES (HBO) - 1.59 million viewers tuned into "Entourage's" second season bow on Sunday (including a 0.9 rating/2 share among adults 18-49), down 17.89% from its launch last summer (1.9 million on 7/18/04). The premiere of lead-out "The Comeback" fared even worse that same night, earning just 1.51 million viewers with a 0.8/2 among adults 18-49. Meanwhile on Monday, the fifth and final season bow of "Six Feet Under" drew 2.62 million viewers, off a whopping 37.62% from its fourth season debut (4.2 million on 6/13/04). Said numbers however were when "Six Feet Under" aired on Sunday nights.

KICKED OUT (ABC Family, New!) - The cable channel has given a series order of eight half-hour episodes to a new reality project from High Noon Entertainment (Food Network's "Unwrapped"). Each installment of the series, which begins production next week for an August launch, tracks a family as they kick their unmotivated, jobless twentysomething into gear by booting them out of the house. Said slackers will then experience some tough love via challenges (all devised by their parents) designed to teach them responsibilities such as keeping a job, managing a budget and furnishing their own apartment. High Noon CEO Jim Berger will executive produce "Kicked Out" with James Flint ("My Life Is a Sitcom") serving as a co-executive producer.

THE REAL GILLIGAN'S ISLAND (TBS) - A disappointing 1.9 million viewers tuned into the two-hour second season bow of the series on Wednesday, including a 3 share among adults 18-49. Said numbers were literally half of those from its debut last year (4.0 million on 11/30/04).

REBA (The WB) - Writer/producer Matt Berry has inked a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, financial terms of which weren't specified, calls for Berry to continue in his duties as an executive producer on the veteran WB comedy as well as develop new projects for the studio.

WILD CARD (Lifetime) - The six remaining unaired installments of the defunct drama series will begin Saturdays at 11:00/10:00c starting tomorrow night on Lifetime. Repeats will also continue to run on Sunday nights in the 12:00/11:00c slot.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [june 2005]  


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