[01/24/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: January 23-24
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 branded "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

THE 12TH MAN (A.K.A. UNTITLED TIM STORY COMEDY PROJECT) (FOX) - FOX has given a pilot order to director Tim Story ("Fantastic Four") and writer Dan Fogelman's ("Like Family") comedy project for the network. The single-camera half-hour revolves around a pro basketball player who's not quite good enough to get much court time and feels marginalized as a result. Fogelman is writing the pilot script to the project, which is based on former pro basketball player Paul Shirley's blog "My So-Called NBA Career" on ESPN.com. Story then will direct and executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour along with Fogelman. Shirley himself will also serve as a producer.

ENEMIES (ABC) - Sean Bailey's ("Push, Nevada") long-in-the-works drama project for the Alphabet has been given the green light to produce a pilot. Said hour revolves around two Chicago-based best friends who grow up to become mortal enemies - one's a top player at the F.B.I. while the other's a mob boss. Bailey wrote the pilot and will executive produce the project for Touchstone Television along with Ken Olin ("Alias").

LOST (ABC) - The show's 11 remaining original cast members - Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, Terry O�Quinn and Harold Perrineau - will all reportedly receive a pay bump next season, with each raking in almost $80,000 an episode. The news marks a significant jump from their current salaries, which are said to range from $20,000-$40,000 per installment. In addition, each actor is expected to agree to a one-year extension on their standard five-year contracts as part of the deal with Touchstone Television however there are no guarantees about the length of their tenure on the show. Finally, recent Golden Globe nominee Fox is also understood to have earned an extra bonus of at least $250,000. To date this season, "Lost" has averaged a whopping 16.76 million viewers as well as finished 2005 as the second-best-selling TV-DVD with 1.04 million units sold and helped drive the 1.5 million video downloads off of Apple's iTunes music store.

MY NAME IS EARL (NBC) - Production on the hit NBC comedy has been suspended as series star Jason Lee recovers from the chicken pox. The break, which is expected to last a few weeks, won't affect the show's air schedule as the Peacock is preparing to launch its 17-day coverage of the Winter Olympics starting February 10.

OCTOBER ROAD (ABC, New!) - Feature writer Scott Rosenberg ("High Fidelity") is set to team with Andre Nemec ("Fastlane") and Josh Appelbaum ("Alias") for a new drama at the Alphabet and Touchstone Television about a Manhattan-based screenwriter who moves back home to his small New England hometown, where he becomes a teacher and must readjust to life with his family and old friends. Gary Fleder ("Don't Say a Word") is also on board to direct and executive produce the project (via his Mojo Films banner), which ABC has given a pilot order.

PRIMARY (A.K.A. UNTITLED TIM STORY DRAMA PROJECT) (FOX) - Writer/producer Craig Silverstein ("The Dead Zone") has scored a pilot order for "Primary," a new drama which centers on a man and a woman who dance around their budding relationship while focusing on their jobs as hostage negotiators. Feature director Tim Story ("Fantastic Four") is on board to direct and executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour along with Silverstein.

SIX DEGREES (ABC) - Rodrigo Garcia, who's helmed the pilots to both "Big Love" and "Carnivale" at HBO, has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about a group of six young college grads whose lives intertwine in various ways. Raven Metzner, Stu Zicherman, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Thom Sherman are behind the hour, which is set up at Touchstone Television and Bad Robot. (Note: A previous version of this report indicated Garcia would direct both "Nine Lives" and "Six Degress." Said information, taken from The Hollywood Reporter, turned out to be incorrect. We apologize for the error.)

UNTITLED SHONDA RHIMES PROJECT (ABC, New!) - "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes is developing a new drama at ABC and producers Touchstone Television and the Mark Gordon Co. about four female journalists from different media who travel the country. The project, which is being targeted for midseason next year, is said to be derived from a script Rhimes penned during the 2002-03 development season. Rhimes and Gordon then will executive produce the hour along with Betsy Beers and Julie Lynn.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [january 2006]  


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