[02/07/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 7
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!

13 GRAVES (FOX) - Norman Reedus ("Blade II") has joined the cast of the Matthew Lillard-led drama pilot, about an ex-treasure hunter (Lillard) whose search for his missing brother puts him in the hunt for Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro's fabled Incan gold. Reedus is believed to be playing Norman, who's described in the casting notice as: "Late 20s-early 30s, Caucasian. Goes by his first name only. He is cautious with people, the less they know, the better. He and his girlfriend Karen, are in Florida to search for the treasure. He brooding and guarded. Not a slick, pretty boy - he has a dark past." Dominic Sena is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour from a script by creator Joel Wyman. Production is set to begin early next month in Los Angeles and Florida.

THE CUTTING EDGE 2: GOING FOR THE GOLD (ABC Family, New!) - A small-screen sequel to the 1990 D.B. Sweeney/Moira Kelly-led feature is set to premiere on the cable channel on Sunday, March 12 at 7:00/6:00c following a rebroadcast of the original film. Here's how the network's press materials describe the project: "In the sequel to the hit movie �The Cutting Edge,� Christy Carlson Romano stars as Jackie, the daughter of Doug Dorsey, a fallen hockey player, and Kate Moseley, a tough-talking ice princess, who fell in love despite their differences on the ice rink. Following in the footsteps of her parents, Jackie has worked hard to make a name for herself on the ice but after she suffers from a potentially career-ending fall, Jackie must switch to pairs skating in order to make her dream of going to the Olympics a reality. Finding a partner in extreme in-line skater Alex Harrison, the two must put aside their love-hate feelings to push themselves harder than ever before to go for Olympic glory."

DAMAGES (FOX) - Cole Hauser ("2 Fast 2 Furious") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a group of Chicago-based lawyers juggling their personal lives and the ethical quandaries in their careers. He'll play one of the lead attorneys in the Jonathan Lisco-created hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television.

EDISON (CBS) - The long-in-the-works drama project, about a Los Angeles detective who relies on impersonations and disguises to solve crimes, has found a new home at CBS. Originally set up at USA last season, the David Hoberman-produced hour has since moved on to the Eye where it's received a pilot order from the network. In addition, John Leguizamo ("ER") has been cast in the lead role. Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer wrote the pilot script (where they'll take over for Howard Franklin, who penned the original incarnation) and will executive produce the CBS Paramount Network Television/Touchstone Television-based project along with Hoberman through his Mandeville Films banner.

HALLMARK CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIES (Hallmark) - The Hallmark Channel's recently released March schedule has provided premiere dates for four of the network's upcoming original projects. First up on Saturday, March 4 at 9:00/8:00c is "Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall," the sixth installment of the franchise. Saturday, March 11 at 9:00/8:00c sees the launch of "McBride: Fallen Idol," the seventh telefilm in the "McBride" franchise. On Saturday, March 18 at 9:00/8:00c look for "Mystery Woman: Wild West Mystery," the seventh "Mystery Woman" original movie. Finally on Saturday, March 25 at 9:00/8:00c there's the debut of the Doris Roberts/Judy Reyes-led original "Our House."

JERICHO (CBS) - Lennie James ("Sahara") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a small town in Kansas that's dealing with life after a series of nuclear attacks destroys most of America's big cities. He'll play Rod Hawkins in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which comes from creator Stephen Chbosky. Feature helmer Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure") is directing the pilot as well as executive producing with Chbosky through his Junction Entertainment banner.

LOOKS OF LOVE (ABC Family) - The cable channel has quietly scheduled the first four episodes of the reality series, about the staff of the Looks of Love hair salon in Los Angeles. All four installments are slated for this Saturday, February 11 beginning at 11:00/10:00c. It's not clear when the two remaining episodes of the series will air.

PLAY NICE (CBS, New!) - Fred Willard ("A Minute With Stan Hooper") is set to star in a new comedy project for the Eye and CBS Paramount Network Television, about a responsible sister and irresponsible brother who run the family toy factory together. Willard will play Roger, the toy company's owner, in the half-hour, which comes from "Everybody Loves Raymond" alums Lew Schneider, Tucker Cawley and Phil Rosenthal. Cawley and Schneider wrote the pilot script and will executive produce along with Rosenthal.

SEX, POWER, LOVE & POLITICS (CBS) - Jane Krakowski ("Ally McBeal") is the latest to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about four underachieving staffers in their mid-30s who work on Capitol Hill and live next to each other. She'll join the previously cast Jay Harrington in the Greg Malins-created project, which comes from Sony Pictures Television. No specifics about Krakowski's character were given. Pamela Fryman is directing the half-hour from a script by Malins.

THE SURREAL LIFE: FAME GAMES (VH1, New!) - The cable channel has greenlighted another spin-off of its popular "The Surreal Life" franchise in which "all-star" former housemates face off in challenges sending up the world of fame and showbiz for a $100,000 prize. Ron Jeremy, Vanilla Ice, Emmanuel Lewis, Brigitte Nielsen, Chyna Doll, Sandra "Pepa" Denton, C.C. DeVille and Traci Bingham have already signed onto the Las Vegas-based project, to be hosted by Robin Leach. The network has given a 10-episode order to "Games," which is targeting a late summer or early fourth quarter launch. "Surreal" creators Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego will executive produce the spin-off through their respective companies Mindless Entertainment and 51 Pictures.

THAT GUY (FOX) - Josh Lobis and Darin Moiselle's comedy project for FOX has been given the green light to produce a pilot. The Regency Television-based half-hour, about a 35-year-old man named Rob Fowler who decides to embrace a "second puberty" and start living his life like a 21-year-old. Lobis and Moiselle wrote the pilot script and will serve as co-executive producers. Ivan Reitman and Jackie Marcus then will executive produce through their Montecito Pictures banner.

UNTITLED DANNY COMDEN PROJECT (ABC) - Scott Caan ("Ocean's 12") has joined the cast of Danny Comden's single-camera comedy pilot for the Alphabet, about a man (Comden) who disavows his fast-paced real estate agent lifestyle to become a better person. Caan will play Dick in the Warner Bros. Television/Wonderland Sound & Vision-based half-hour, one of Danny's oldest friends, a free spirit who lives on a houseboat. Comden himself wrote the pilot script and is executive producing along with McG, Pete Aronson, Peter Johnson.

WORKING PILOT TITLES (Various) - A handful of working titles have been confirmed for several of the untitled pilots currently in development: Claudia Grazioso and Steven Banks's drama for ABC about a group of women who work together at the same law firm is now running under title "Women in Law"; The CW's "Girlfriends" spin-off about a group of women in various stages of relationships with pro football players has been branded "The Game"; Kevin Williamson's Palm Springs-based drama project for The CW is now simply titled "Palm Springs"; Joe Port and Joe Wiseman's comedy at CBS about a young couple who must deal with the wife's large extended family has been monikered "Inseparable"; and Paul Reiser's comedy (also at CBS) about an ambitious young man who takes over the family car dealership in Queens, New York is said to be using the title "Invincible."

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2006]  

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