[02/02/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 2
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!

BASH (FOX, New!) - Fox 21 is developing a new half-hour alternative series at FOX in which regular people are subjected to celebrity-style roasts. Jeffrey Ross, best known for his appearances on the various Comedy Central roasts, is attached to host the project, a pilot presentation of which was shot at the Avalon Theater in Los Angeles this week. Said installment, which featured appearances by Bob Saget, Jeff Garlin and Anthony Michael Hall, revolved around a social worker who's leaving behind his job at a homeless charity in order to pursue his screenwriting dreams. Ross is also executive producing along with director Joel Gallen with K.P. Anderson, Michael Binkow and Joe Rovello serving as co-executive producers.

BEYOND (A.K.A. UNTITLED DAVID SELF PROJECT) (FOX) - Feature writer David Self's ("Road to Perdition") drama project - about the scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and their efforts to win the next space race, following an unspecified global crisis - has been given the green light to produce a pilot. Self wrote the pilot script and will executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour along with Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and David Nevins.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC) - The freshman drama reportedly will only film 19 episodes this season due to its previous production delays under its inaugural showrunner Rod Lurie. Episode 15 of the series airs on Tuesday, February 28 after which it will return for its final four installments this season on April 18. No other details were given.

DESIRE (Syndication) - Twentieth Television is in talks with Argentina's Telefe to acquire the remake rights to "Resistire" ("Forever Julia") a hit telenovela that aired on the network in 2003. Said project, about the love between a struggling tailor and the fiance of a crooked businessman, would be the third of three planned entries for the new "Desire" franchise set to launch this summer. Previously announced were English adaptations of "Table for Three" from Colombia's Caracol and "Fashion House" from Miami's Xystus. To date "Desire" has been cleared in 70% of the U.S., including the Fox owned-and-operated television stations.

FOX TALENT DEALS (FOX, New!) - Actors Anthony Anderson ("The Shield"), Jay Baruchel ("Just Legal"), Ben Feldman ("Living With Fran") and Kristin Lehman ("Killer Instinct") have all signed talent holding deals with the network. The respective pacts call for the network to cast each actor in one of its projects in development. It's not clear if Feldman's deal is in second position to his duties on "Fran." Fellow "Fran" cast member Ryan McPartlin likewise also appears to have moved on, as he's joined the cast of the USA pilot "Underfunded" (read the story).

'TIL DEATH (FOX, New!) - Writer/producers Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith have booked their second pilot order this season, this time for a new comedy at FOX about newlyweds who move in next door to a couple who has been married for 25 years. "'Til Death" joins ABC's "A Day in the Life" on the duo's development plate, both of which come from Sony Pictures Television. Yuspa and Goldsmith wrote the pilot script and will executive produce the half-hour.

VANISHED (FOX) - Mimi Leder, who's directed the pilots to "John Doe," "Jonny Zero" and "Related" in recent years, has signed on to helm the Josh Berman-produced project, which chronicles the disappearance of a senator's wife over the course of the season. She'll take over for Antoine Fuqua, who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Leder will also serve as an executive producer on the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour along with Berman.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2006]  


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