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[10/05/05 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: October 3-5
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!

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT/KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX) - Notes on the official web sites for both series indicate "Arrested Development" and "Kitchen Confidential" will resume their respective runs on Monday, November 7. The night's anchor, "Prison Break," returns with new episodes on October 24 at 9:00/8:00c with an encore of the October 3 installment (its last before the baseball playoffs) expected to serve as its lead-in at 8:00/7:00c. (Note: The original item said "Arrested" would return October 31. That date was changed hours later on the site to November 7.)

BONES (FOX) - Non-writing executive producer Barry Josephson has inked a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact will cover Josephson's duties on the freshman drama "Bones" as well as any potential projects he develops over the period. Among those currently in the works: a U.S. version of the British drama "New Tricks" from Barry Fanaro ("Kingpin") at NBC, about a young female detective and her three older colleagues; and a small screen version of the book "White House Nannies," which is being described as a workplace comedy about a woman who places help into the homes of D.C.'s powerful families.

THE CURSE OF KING TUT'S TOMB (Hallmark, New!) - Production has completed in India on a new four-hour mini-series for the cable channel, a fact-based fantasy adventure about the discovery of King Tut's tomb. Malcolm McDowell and Casper Van Dien star in the project, which was directed by Russell Mulcahy ("Mysterious Island") from a script by David N. Titcher ("The Librarian: Quest for the Spear") with Larry Levinson Productions and Hallmark Entertainment producing. Van Dien plays Danny Freemont, an archaeologist in the 1920s while McDowell portrays his nemesis, the head of an organization named Hellfire Club.

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (The WB, New!) - "Beauty and the Geek" producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg have scored an eight-episode order from the netlet for a new reality series in which eight college seniors team up with eight active senior citizens on a race across the United States. The project, which is set up at the pair's Fox 21-based Katalyst banner, would like "Geek" feature a positive take on the often negatively-spirited reality genre. Multiple networks were said to be in the hunt for the series, with the WB's series order leading the bunch. Chris Potocki and Eric Evangelista are behind "Youth," which Kutcher and Goldberg will executive produce. Production on the series is set to begin early next year for a potential mid-2006 bow.

HBO ORIGINAL SERIES (HBO) - The pay channel's recently released November schedule confirms the freshman drama "Rome" will wrap its run on Sunday, November 20 at 9:00/8:00c. As for lead-outs "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Extras," the latter will close its brief six-episode stint on November 6 at 10:30/9:30c with "Crub" likely finishing up on the first Sunday of December. Sunday's most recent installments of the series drew 1.4 million and 779,000 viewers respectively. Compared with their bows on September 25, "Curb" was down 9.68% (1.55 million) while "Extras" was off 21.15% (988,000).

HEIST (NBC, New!) - Robb and Mark Cullen ("Lucky") are set to team with Doug Liman ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith") for a new serialized drama at the Peacock about about a group of thieves who aim to simultaneously rob three jewelry stores on Beverly Hills' famed Rodeo Drive during Oscar week. Casting is currently underway on the project, which is set up at Liman's NBC Universal Television-based Hypnotic banner and Sony Pictures Television. NBC is targeting "Heist" for a potential midseason bow, having ordered five additional scripts in addition to the pilot. Liman will direct from a script by the Cullens with the trio executive producing along with Liman's producing partner, Dave Bartis, as well as Brillstein-Grey's Bernie Brillstein and Peter Safran. No other details were given, other than any subsequent seasons would involve a different heist, likely in a different city.

INTERVENTION (A&E) - The second season of the reality series is set to begin on Sunday, October 23 at 10:00/9:00c. Here's how A&E's web materials describe the premiere installment: "Corinne is a pretty 18 year-old blonde girl who was an honor roll student, star athlete and played the clarinet and saxophone. She grew up in a normal middle class family. Corinne started using drugs at 14 after being sexually abused by a neighborhood boy who babysat her. Still striving to move forward while battling her addictions, she completed her GED and began college, finishing two semesters before dropping out. Now, Corinne has become addicted to a deadly combination of heroin and crystal meth. Corinne likes the "speedball effect" -- the dangerous result of overlapping meth and heroin usage. Corinne is also a diabetic who requires insulin, but she often skips her doses because she is so high. After repeated trips to the emergency room, her family is expecting, any minute, to hear that they've lost her for good."

ILLEANA-RAMA (E!) - The Illeana Douglas-led comedy pilot is said to be under consideration at E! after being passed on by the Oxygen network. The project tracks Douglas as a fictionalized version of herself as she quits the showbiz rat race and opts for a simpler life working in a Hollywood grocery store only to find the two worlds are more similar than she'd thought. Jeff Goldblum, Justine Bateman, Ed Begley Jr., Jane Lynch, Elisa Bocanegra and Jerry Mathers are among the celebrities that made cameos in the pilot, which Douglas co-wrote and executive produced with Teresa O'Neill.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC) - Co-executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Touchstone Television. The pact, which kicks in after the current season of "S.V.U.," calls for the duo to develop new projects for the studio as well as work on some of its existing projects.

MADE IN THE U.S.A. (USA) - The troubled reality series has been shuffled again, this time to Fridays at 10:00 a.m. eastern starting October 7. The news marks the show's third time period in only four weeks. It originally aired Wednesdays at 10:00/9:00c before being dumped to Thursdays at 6:00/5:00c last week.

NETWORK (CBS, New!) - Actor/director George Clooney ("Confessions of a Dangerous Mind") is reportedly developing a live TV version of Sidney Lumet's classic 1976 feature, which took home Oscars for best screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky), lead actor (Peter Finch), lead actress (Faye Dunaway) and supporting actress (Beatrice Straight). The classic film tracked a cynical network executive (Dunaway) who used the meltdown of an ex-TV anchorman (Finch) to score big ratings. It's understood the project is being developed in the mold of Clooney's live TV version of the 1964 Cold War drama "Fail Safe" with no significant changes to Chayefsky's script other than updating it for the present day.

NIP/TUCK (FX) - The second week of the show's third season drew 3.91 million viewers, a dip of 26.23% from last week's 92-minute premiere (5.3 million). Among adults 18-49, "Nip/Tuck" averaged a 2.0 rating/5 share. Overall, the series finished an impressive sixth among all cable programs for the week of September 26 through October 2.

PRISON BREAK (FOX) - Cable sibling FX has confirmed its marathon of the show's first seven episodes will air Sunday, October 23 from noon to 7:00 p.m. eastern time. New episodes will resume on FOX the following night at 9:00/8:00c.

THREE WISE GUYS (USA) - The original holiday movie, which was previously set to bow on Sunday, November 20, has been postponed until December. Tom Arnold, Judd Nelson, Katey Sagal and Nick Turturro star in the project, about gun-toting gangsters chasing a mother-to-be across the desert.

UNTITLED BOB SAGET PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Bob Saget ("How I Met Your Mother") has set up a new comedy at the pay channel about a divorced dad who works as a gynecologist in Phoenix and struggles to balance raising his 14-year-old son and his active a social life. Saget will star, co-write and executive produce the project, which has a script commitment at the network, through his Two Angels production company. HBO Independent Productions is producing the untitled comedy while Brillstein-Grey's Tim Sarkes and Danny Sussman will also serve as executive producers.

UNTITLED CONSTANTINE MAROULIS PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Former "American Idol" contestant Constantine Maroulis has inked a talent holding deal with ABC and Kelsey Grammer's Paramount Network Television-based Grammnet Productions to topline a potential comedy project for the network. No writer is currently attached to the project, details of which are still being worked out. The pact also gives ABC the option to cast Maroulis in one of its other projects in development.

UNTITLED DON REO PROJECTS (ABC, New!) - Writer/producer Don Reo ("My Wife and Kids") reportedly is close to lining up three comedy projects at ABC and Touchstone Television for the 2006-07 season. Among those in the works: a multigenerational, interracial adult comedy about a family of sisters; a Gil Junger-penned ("Hope & Faith") project about four single guys who, having made some money, now have to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives; and a starring vehicle for actor/comedian Lenny Clarke ("Rescue Me"). The former, which Reo is writing and executive producing, is based on the lives of Vidal sisters - Lisa ("The Division"), Christina ("Freaky Friday") and Tanya ("Odd Girl Out") - all of whom are expected to star. George Lopez ("The George Lopez Show") and his wife, Ann, will also executive produce through the pair's Encanto banner. As for the Junger project, the writer/director is expected to helm the pilot should it go forward. Finally, the Clarke project would feature the actor as a beat cop in Boston with Reo also writing and executive producing.

UNTITLED ERIQ LA SALLE PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Actor/director Eriq La Salle ("ER") has inked a one-year talent and production deal with CBS and Paramount Network Television. The pact, which is valued in the high six figures, calls for La Salle to co-create an original project for the network and studio which he'd star in and executive produce through his Humble Journey Films banner.

UNTITLED JONATHAN GROFF PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Writer/producer Jonathan Groff ("Father of the Pride") has snagged a script order from the network for a new comedy about the yearlong period leading up to a young couple's wedding. Josh Bycel and Jon Fener (also of "Pride" fame) are also on board to co-write the pilot, which is set up at NBC Universal Television.

UNTITLED WYCLEF JEAN PROJECT (HBO, New!) - The life of Fugees frontman Wyclef Jean is set to be the focus of a new comedy series at the network. Seth Rosenfeld and Danny Hoch ("Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground") are on board to pen the pilot script with Jean while Stu Smiley will serve as an executive producer. Haiti-born Jean emigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 9, where he eventually took up music, incorporating Creole and folk traditions into his hip-hop and world music recordings. It's understood Jean will also write and produce original music for the series should it go forward through his Platinum Sound studio.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (NETFLIX)
· BEAUTY AND THE GEEK (CW)
· BONES (FOX)
· CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
· CURSE OF KING TUT'S TOMB, THE (HALLMARK)
· DIVISION, THE (LIFETIME)
· ER (NBC)
· EXTRAS (HBO)
· FAIL SAFE (CBS)
· FATHER OF THE PRIDE (NBC)
· FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (WB)
· GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW, THE (ABC)
· HEIST (NBC)
· HOPE & FAITH (ABC)
· HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
· ILLEANA-RAMA (E)
· INTERVENTION (LMN)
· JULES VERNE'S THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (HALLMARK)
· KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL (FOX)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· LIBRARIAN, THE: QUEST FOR THE SPEAR (TNT)
· LUCKY (FX)
· MADE IN THE USA (USA)
· MY WIFE & KIDS (ABC)
· NETWORK (CBS)
· NEW TRICKS (NBC)
· NIP/TUCK (FX)
· ODD GIRL OUT (LIFETIME)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· RESCUE ME (FX)
· ROME (HBO)
· THREE WISE GUYS (USA)
· UNTITLED BOB SAGET PROJECT (HBO)
· UNTITLED BYCEL & FENER PROJECT (NBC)
· UNTITLED CONSTANTINE MAROULIS PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED ERIQ LA SALLE PROJECT (CBS)
· UNTITLED GIL JUNGER PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED LENNY CLARKE PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED VIDAL SISTERS PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED WYCLEF JEAN PROJECT (HBO)









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