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[02/16/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 16
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!

20 QUESTIONS (ABC) - Ben Shenkman ("Angels in America") has been cast in the drama pilot, about an idealistic young State Department employee who inadvertently stumbles onto a deadline conspiracy to undermine the United States. He'll play Brian in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from executive producers Matthew Gross, Thomas Hines and John Wirth. Michael Engler is directing the pilot from a script by Hines.

BOY'S LIFE (TBS) - Daryl Sabara ("Spy Kids") and Nancy Travis ("Almost Perfect") have been tapped for the lead roles in the comedy pilot, about the relationship between an eighth grader (Sabara) and his slightly eccentric single mom (Travis), as told from the perspective of the middle-schooler, who loves his mom but winces when she starts dating his gym teacher, the father of his class rival. Rob Ulin is behind the single-camera half-hour, which comes from TBS Superstation Productions.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC) - Connie Britton ("24") is set to reprise her feature role in the drama pilot, about a small-town high school football team in Texas. She'll play the wife of Kyle Chandler's character, who's taking over for Billy Bob Thornton from the movie. Gaius Charles and Scott Porter also star in the NBC Universal/Imagine Television/Film 44-based hour, which comes from executive producers Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey, John Cameron, Brian Grazer and David Nevins.

THE GUYS (ABC, New!) - Writer/producers Craig Doyle ("The Andy Dick Show") and Al Higgins ("Malcolm in the Middle") have booked a pilot order for a new comedy about five men who become pals after their kids become friends. The pair will write and executive produce the half-hour project, which is set up at Eric and Kim Tannenbaum's Warner Bros. Television-based Tannenbaum Co. banner.

LOST (ABC) - "Alias" alums Drew Goddard, Monica Breen and Alison Schapker are all set to join the writing staff of fellow Bad Robot-produced "Lost" next season as part of two-year, seven-figure overall deals each has signed with Touchstone Television. Breen and Schapker, who write as a team, will also serve as supervising producers with the option to be upped to co-executive producers in the second half of next season. As for Goddard, he'll likewise join the "Lost" crew as a supervising producer. Last season, he penned the episode "Outlaws" on a freelance basis.

OUR THIRTIES (ABC) - Rachel Blanchard ("7th Heaven") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a group of San Francisco-based thirtysomethings dealing with adulthood. No details about her character, Jessica, were released. Touchstone Television is behind the half-hour project, which comes from creator Dave Walpert and executive producer Warren Littlefield.

THE WAY (CBS) - Riley Smith ("24") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a New England family that copes with the death of the powerful clan's matriarch by using witchcraft to hurt their rivals and build a successful business empire. He'll play Karl in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which comes from creator Adam Kulakow and executive producer Michael de Luca.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE GYM (CBS) - Teri Polo ("The West Wing") has been tapped for the lead role in the comedy pilot, about three best friends with young kids - all with very different attitudes toward marriage, motherhood and their careers. She'll play a working mom in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which comes from creator Gabrielle Allan. Polo's involvement lifts the cast-contingency off the pilot's production.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 20 QUESTIONS (ABC)
· 24 (FOX)
· ALIAS (ABC)
· AMERICAN MEN (ABC)
· ANDY DICK SHOW, THE (MTV)
· ANGELS IN AMERICA (HBO)
· BOY'S LIFE (TBS)
· FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (DIRECTV)
· LOST (ABC)
· MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (FOX)
· OUR THIRTIES (ABC)
· SEVENTH HEAVEN (CW)
· WAY, THE (CBS)
· WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE GYM (CBS)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)





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