[02/14/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 14
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!

BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC) - Balthazar Getty ("Alias") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, which is described as a family soap revolving around adult siblings. He'll play Charlie March in the Touchstone Television-based hour, who's described in the casting notice as: "Mid 30's, with the athleticism and easy smile of a golden boy, Charlie is the eldest of the March children. Married to Jennifer and, like all the March kids, devoted to his parents, Charlie has been working at the family company, Golden Bear Foods, since he was a teenager, when he started at the very bottom. Charlie's not happy when his dad asks his sister Nora, a corporate wiz kid, to come in and give a modern overhaul to Golden Bear, and he's resentful and jealous that he's worked his butt off for the company his whole life and Nora breezes in and in a month starts making changes. Accused by Nora of "gliding" through life and through his job, Charlie is devastated by the loss of his father and his realization that life as they all knew it is going to change." Getty joins the previously cast Ron Rifkin and Dave Annable. Ken Olin is directing the project from a script by creator Jon Robin Baitz.

DRIFT (ABC) - Chazz Palminteri ("Kojak") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a New York detective who suffers a major emotional trauma, leaving him with insomnia and little long-term memory, and hallucinates that his deceased daughter is with him at the crime scenes he's investigating. Palminteri will play Det. Joseph DiCaro, the boss of the yet-to-be-cast lead. Paul W.S. Anderson is directing the Touchstone Television-based hour from a script by creator John Glenn with the pair serving as executive producers along with Chris Brancato and Bert Salke.

THE GAME (The CW) - Aldis Hodge ("Numbers"), Coby Bell ("Third Watch"), Cynthia Addai Robinson ("The Education of Max Bickford") and Hosea Chanchez ("The Guardian") have all joined the cast of the potential "Girlfriends" spin-off, about a group of women in various stages of relationships with pro football players. The quartet, who play Derwin, Jason, Melanie and Malik respectively, join the previously cast Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha. Mara Brock Akil is behind the CBS Paramount Network Television/Grammnet Productions-based half-hour, which Salim Akil is directing. Mara Brock Akil, Kelsey Grammer, Steve Stark and Dan Dugan are the executive producers.

GENERATIONS (CBS, New!) - Cheryl Holliday ("King of the Hill") has booked a cast-contingent pilot order from the Eye for a new comedy about a grandfather and grandson who become unlikely roommates at a retirement community. NBC Universal Television and DreamWorks Television are behind the sitcom, which Holliday is writing and executive producing along with Dreamworks Television toppers Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.

TRAVELER (ABC) - Viola Davis ("Century City") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about two friends (Matt Bomer, Logan Marshall-Green) who are framed as terrorists by someone they both thought was their friend (Aaron Stanford). No details however were given about her character in the Warner Bros. Television/Jinks-Cohen Co.-based hour, which comes from executive producers David Digilio, Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks. David Nutter is directing the pilot from a script by creator Digilio.

ULTRA (CBS) - Lena Headey ("The Brothers Grimm") has been tapped for the lead role in the drama pilot, about a single city-girl superhero balancing the demands of greatness with her love life and social calendar. She'll play Penny in the CBS Paramount Network Television/Circle of Confusion Productions-based hour, which comes from Barbara Hall and co-executive producers David Alpert and David Engel.

UNDER PRESSURE (CBS) - Simon West ("Keen Eddie") has signed on to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about a group of deep sea divers who solve past and present-day mysteries. He'll serve alongside creators/co-executive producers J.P. Donahue and Kevin Polay on the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, casting of which has yet to be announced.

UNION JACKASS (FOX, New!) - British comedian Al Murray is set to topline a new comedy at FOX about an opinionated, outspoken man (Murray) who moves to Santa Monica, California to be near his young son and ex-wife. The network has given a pilot order to the 20th Century Fox Television/Avalon Television-based half-hour, which is based on Murray's comedic persona "The Pub Landlord." Dan O'Keefe ("The Drew Carey Show") is writing and executive producing the project along with Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner and David Martin. Murray himself will also get a producer credit.

WORST WEEK OF MY LIFE (FOX) - David Ogden Stiers ("The Dead Zone"), Zachary Levi ("Less Than Perfect"), Anna Galvin ("Stargate SG-1") and Stephanie Lemelin ("Anonymous Rex") have all been cast in the single-camera comedy pilot, about a young engaged couple's hellacious week leading up to their wedding. Levi will play the lead role of Nick Ellis, whose character is described in the casting notice as: "27-32. A really good, big-hearted guy's guy with a sweetness about him. A handsome young book editor, he's got a dry sense of humor, an up-and-coming career, and the world on a string - or so he thinks. Nick is about to be married to Paige, the love of his life, but a mere week away from their nuptials, Nick is plagued by a stunning run of bad luck, misadventures, erroneous perceptions and just plain mischigas that put his nuptials - and his sanity - in immediate peril. Not only has Nick lost Paige's heirloom wedding ring, he's being stalked by his star writer, and his wealthy in-laws think he's a hopeless pervert. But, as bad as things are, we suspect that they are going to get a whole lot worse for our hapless hero before they get better."

Stiers then is set as Jensen Stratton - "50s. Paige's father, he's an imposing captain of industry. He's a pharmaceutical tycoon who considers Nick an upstart social climber who is only interested in Paige's money. Nick's visit to the Stratton estate doesn't help matters much, especially after Jensen catches Nick in one apparently compromising situation after another." - with Lemelin as Caroline Stratton - "Early 20s. Paige's younger sister, she's overtly sexy, and just as overtly bratty. Disgusted with her wedding attire, she strips naked in front of her family, including the shocked groom. Later, she gives the nervous Nick ample opportunity to view her assets once again - but he's trying his best to steer clear of this dangerous mantrap before scandal erupts."

Finally, Galvin's character is believed to be Vanessa Thompson: "Mid-late 30s. One of the wealthiest women in the world, she's a famous author who may be a few years older than Nick, but is still "uber-glamorous" and sexy as hell. Vanessa speaks with a breathy British accent and is treated with kid gloves by the minions at her current publishing company, including her editor, Nick. Voraciously smitten with Nick, Vanessa is miffed when he rejects her determined advances. In fact, she's ready to pull her business from the company and go elsewhere - unless Nick decides to knuckle under to her romantic demands, pronto." Adam Shankman is directing the Regency Television/Hat Trick Productions-based half-hour from a script by Ed Decter and John Strauss.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2006]  


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