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[02/21/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 21
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!

DAMAGES (FOX) - Kristin Lehman ("Killer Instinct") is set to star opposite Cole Hauser in the drama pilot, about "the pathology and personal hazards" a group of Chicago-based lawyers face in juggling their careers and personal lives. Lehman, who signed a talent holding deal with the network earlier this season, will play Susan Keever in the hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and creator Jonathan Lisco. Jon Amiel is directing the pilot form a script by Lisco.

DAY BREAK (ABC) - Ramon Rodriguez and Moon Bloodgood are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about an L.A.-based cop (Taye Diggs) who's trying to stop the murder of a loved one while trying to find the person who framed him for murder. They'll play Rita and Damien respectively in the Touchstone Television-based hour. Rob Bowman is directing the pilot from a script by creator Paul Zbyszewski. Matthew Gross also serves as an executive producer along with Zbyszewski.

INSEPARABLE (CBS) - Rachel Boston ("American Dreams") has been cast in the comedy pilot, about a young couple who moves to the woman's hometown in Michigan and has to deal with her complicated extended family. Boston is set as Steph, said woman in the NBC Universal Television-based half-hour, which comes from creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. Moses Port and David Guarascio also serve as executive producers.

JULIE RENO, BOUNTY HUNTER (A.K.A. BUST) (FOX) - Michael Ross's ("Andy Richter Controls the Universe") comedy project at the network has been given the green light to produce a pilot. The single-camera half-hour centers on a single mom in Reno, Nevada, who decides to apply her anger issues to the profitable field of bounty hunting. Ross penned the pilot and is executive producing along with 20th Century Fox Television-based Phase Two's Sandy Grushow and Paul Shapiro.

LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC) - Gina Gershon is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about three powerful New York businesswomen who will do anything to get ahead and stay on top. She'll play one of the lead roles in the project, however which character wasn't specified. Candace Bushnell and Robin Schiff are behind the NBC Universal Television-based hour.

OCTOBER ROAD (ABC) - Geoff Stults ("The Break Up"), Brad William Henke ("North Country") and Evan Jones ("Jarhead") have all been cast in the drama pilot, 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. They'll play an unspecified character, Owen and Ikey respectively in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from executive producers Scott Rosenberg, Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum and Gary Fleder.

OUR THIRTIES (ABC) - Heather Stephens ("Desperate Housewives") has joined Rachel Blanchard in the Touchstone Television-based comedy pilot, about a group of thirtysomethings in San Francisco dealing with adulthood. She'll play Alice in the project, which comes from creator Dave Walpert and executive producer Warren Littlefield.

PLAY NICE (CBS) - Sara Rue ("Less Than Perfect") and Timm Sharp ("Undeclared") have both booked roles in the comedy pilot, about a responsible sister and irresponsible brother who run the family toy factory together. The pair will play said lead roles, (unspecified) and Scott MacCaffrey respectively, in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based half-hour, which comes from creators Lew Schneider and Tucker Cawley. Rue's involvement is understood to be in second position to her duties on "Perfect." Fred Willard also stars. Schneider and Cawley penned the pilot script and are executive producing with Phil Rosenthal.

SEX, POWER, LOVE & POLITICS (CBS) - Amy Sloan ("The Aviator") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about four underachieving staffers in their mid-30s who work on Capitol Hill and live next to each other. She'll play Charlotte in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which also stars Jay Harrington and Jane Krakowski. Pamela Fryman is directing from a script by creator Greg Malins.

SIX DEGREES (ABC) - Erika Christensen has joined the ensemble cast of the drama pilot, about a group of six post-college young adults whose lives intertwine in various ways. She joins the previously cast Jay Hernandez and Dorian Missick in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from creators Raven Metzner and Stu Zicherman. The pair are also serving as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Thom Sherman of Bad Robot Productions. Rodrigo Garcia directs.

UNTITLED AQUAMAN PROJECT (The CW) - Ving Rhames ("Kojak") and Denise Quinones have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, a contemporary reinterpretation of the DC Comics character Aquaman (Will Toale). Rhames will play McCaffery, who's described in the casting notice as: "It's difficult to say how old McCaffery is. If you were to look at him, you'd probably guess 60ish. But you'd be way off. That's because McCaffery is from Atlantis. Since coming to the surface world, McCaffery has led a largely reclusive life as the lighthouse keeper at Atlas Point. He has watched A.C. grow up from afar, but always knew that one day their lives would intersect. This encounter leads to a long lasting friendship. McCaffery takes A.C. under his wing and explains not only his true origin but also his destiny. He is Obi Wan to A.C.'s Luke Skywalker. He is the voice of wisdom and experience who acts as a guide and mentor to the often hotheaded A.C. McCaffery is always bailing A.C. out of trouble and is someone A.C. can turn to when it comes to all things nautical. Having grown up underwater, McCaffery knows all the myths and legends of the ocean. He's also familiar with the creatures, both known and unknown to man, that inhabit the ocean's dark waters. Highly intelligent and fiercely loyal, McCaffery possesses an acerbic wit and doesn't suffer fools lightly. Star Name preferred."

Quinones then is set as Rachel Starling: "18-24 years old. Rachel is a natural beauty with a radiant face and the perfectly toned body of an athlete. She has a sharp mind and a killer sense of humor. But if you look beyond her warm smile, you'll find something haunted about her. A drowning accident as a teenager has scarred her. While enjoying a "Semester at Sea", the boat capsized and she was stuck below deck. Although she blacked out, that last thing she remembers is being pulled free by a mysterious young boy wearing a seahorse necklace. Rachel comes from a well-heeled New York family. Her father was a successful newspaper editor but he died when she was 14. She took his death very hard and decided to embark on the "Semester at Sea" as a way of getting over her grief. Her relationship with her mother, an award winning Broadway playwright, has remained strained. Her mother is an ultra liberal and doesn't approve of her joining the military. When she was selected to train at the Liberty Key West Naval Air Station, she achieved her dream of becoming a Top Gun, but she also has to face the fear of returning to the same area as her boating accident. Although there is a mutual attraction between Rachel and A.C., their relationship is complicated by the fact that Rachel is secretly engaged to another naval trainee, JESSE HICKS. Rachel finds herself torn between the safety and security that Jesse offers and the danger and mystery that seem to define A.C." Greg Beeman is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based hour from a script by executive producers Miles Millar and Alfred Gough.

VANISHED (FOX) - Joanne Kelly ("Jeremiah"), Chris Egan ("Empire") and Margarita Levieva ("The Invisible") are the latest additions to the pilot, a serialized drama about the search for a missing senator's wife. Kelly will play said wife, Sara Collins, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which comes from creator Josh Berman. Egan then is set as Ben Wilson with Levieva as Marcy Collins. Mimi Leder is directing the pilot from a script by Berman. Gale Harold also stars.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE (FOX)
· AQUAMAN (CW)
· DAMAGES (FOX)
· DAY BREAK (ABC)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· EMPIRE (ABC)
· INSEPARABLE (CBS)
· JEREMIAH (SHOWTIME)
· JULIE RENO: BOUNTY HUNTER (FOX)
· KILLER INSTINCT (FOX)
· KOJAK (USA)
· LESS THAN PERFECT (ABC)
· LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC)
· OCTOBER ROAD (ABC)
· OUR THIRTIES (ABC)
· PLAY NICE (CBS)
· SEX, POWER, LOVE & POLITICS (CBS)
· SIX DEGREES (ABC)
· UNDECLARED (FOX)
· VANISHED (FOX)





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