[03/07/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 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!

20 QUESTIONS (ABC) - Kelly Overton ("The Ring Two") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about an idealistic young State Department employee (Jesse Bradford) who stumbles onto a conspiracy. She'll play the ex-girlfriend of Bradford's character in the Touchstone Television-based project, which comes from creator Thomas Hines, director Michael Engler and executive producers Matthew Gross and John Wirth. William Lee Scott, China Shavers and Ben Shenkman also star.

ANDY BARKER, P.I. (NBC, New!) - Andy Richter (Bob Chase on "Quintuplets") is set to topline a new single-camera comedy pilot at the network about an accountant who winds up becoming a private investigator. "Late Night with Conan O'Brien's" Jonathan Groff and Conan O'Brien are behind the project, which sees Richter's character setting up a business in an office formerly belonging to a P.I., only to begin taking their cases when his business begins to fail. Amy Farrington ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") is already on board to play Ruth Barker, the wife of Richter's character, in the NBC Universal Television-based half-hour, which is executive produced by Groff and O'Brien with Conaco Productions's Jeff Ross, David Kissinger and A.J. Morewitz serving as co-executive producers. Jason Ensler ("Scrubs") will direct from a script by Groff and O'Brien.

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC) - Dee Johnson has been tapped as the troubled drama's new showrunner following the exit of Steven Bochco from the show's day-to-day operations. Bochco, who's also working on the drama pilot "Hollis & Rae" for the Alphabet, will still remain an executive producer on the series, which returns next month. No reason was given for the change.

COMPANY TOWN (CBS) - Michael Michele (Jessie Grey on "Kevin Hill") and Sherry Stringfield (Dr. Susan Lewis on "ER") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about government agents who live in the same Washington neighborhood. The former will play Bridget Wilson, who's described as follows in the casting notice: "Mid 30's. Very attractive, Bridget is Tom Wilson's (Blair Underwood) wife and the mother of two young children. No stranger to Pilates and yoga, she is definitely fit with a palpable sensuality. She has been sleeping with Rush Bower and is incensed to discover that he's also been sleeping with her friend, Maggie."

Stringfield then is set as Angie Amberson: "Late 30's-Early 40's. She is beautiful and radiates confidence, warmth and intelligence. The wife of Martin, she is the mother of two teenagers as well as being an executive within an investment firm. Angie has recently made a decision to go undercover and be a whistle-blower on her current firm which has been involved in money laundering and racketeering along with other serious crimes. Although she is self-possessed and knows she is doing the right thing she naively doesn't take into account the repercussions her whistle-blowing could have on her husband and family." Thomas Carter is directing the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour from a script by creator Elwood Reid with Larry Sanitsky also serving as an executive producer.

HELP ME HELP YOU (ABC) - Suzy Nakamura (Tina on "Half & Half") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a disparate group of people connected through therapy. It's understood she'll be playing Inger in the project, who's described in the casting notice as: "20s, Caucasian or Asian-American. Inger is a sweet-faced, nervous woman with acute social anxiety disorder. Inger spent five years in her room inventing a piece of software. Those years made her a lot of money, but kept her from having any kind of normal social life. She is in her 20s, rich and retired, ready to get out there, but manages to sabotage any romantic connections. However, thanks to Bill's boozy advice, she winds up actually connecting - both physically and emotionally - with her latest internet prospect." Ted Danson, Charlie Finn, Darlene Hunt and Jim Rash also star in the Regency Television-based half-hour, which comes from creators Jenni Konner and Ali Rushfield. Brian Dannelly directs.

HEROES (NBC) - Adrian Pasdar (David Bradley on "Desperate Housewives"), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Noah Gray-Cabey (Franklin Aloysius Mumford on "My Wife and Kids") have all joined the cast of the two-hour drama pilot, about a group of seemingly everyday people who discover that they have superpowers. They'll join the previously cast Greg Grunberg, Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Hayden Panetierre, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Milo Ventimiglia in the NBC Universal Television-based project, which comes from creator Tim Kring and director David Semel.

RESCUE ME (FX) - Susan Sarandon ("Elizabethtown") has booked a three-episode arc on the cable drama as Alicia, a rich, successful woman who becomes the latest flame of Daniel Sunjata's character. She'll make her first appearance in the show's second episode this season, which launches this summer (exact date TBA). No other details were given.

SMITH (CBS) - Simon Baker (Nick Fallin on "The Guardian") is the latest to join the cast of the John Wells-created project, a drama told from the criminals' point of view. He'll join the previously cast Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Chris Bauer, Frankie G., Michelle Hurd, Jonny Lee Miller and Amy Smart in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which Christopher Chulak is directing from a script by Wells.

SOUTHERN COMFORT (FOX) - Travis Fimmel (John Clayton on "Tarzan") and Eric Roberts (Will Butler on "Less Than Perfect") have both scored roles in the drama pilot, about the wife (Madeleine Stowe) of a Southern mobster who takes over the business when her husband goes to prison. Roberts will play the show's patriarch, a man who - unknown to his family - ran a crime syndicate. Fimmel then will play a young man who works for the father and serves as a potential love interest to Lindy (Jessica Strop, the daughter of Roberts's character). Reiley McClendon also stars in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Greg Yaitanes is directing a script by creators Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton.

UNTITLED BUNIM/MURRAY PRODUCTIONS PROJECT (TNT, New!) - Bunim/Murray Productions ("Starting Over") is developing a new docu-reality series for the cable channel about real-life private eyes. Said project, which would follow an actual private eye conducting an investigation, is under consideration for a pilot order this summer. No other details were given.

UNTITLED SAM SEDER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Sam Seder (Trio's "Pilot Season") is set to write and star in a new comedy project for the network and NBC Universal Television. The project, which comes from Conan O'Brien's Conaco Productions, revolves around two single dads raising kids, one of whom will be played by Seder. The Peacock has given a pilot presentation order to the comedy, which Seder will executive produce along with O'Brien, Jeff Ross, David Kissinger and A.J. Morewitz.

WATERFRONT (CBS) - Mary Stuart Masterson (Dr. Rebecca Hendrix on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the wildly charismatic and ethically challenged mayor of Providence, R.I. (Joe Pantoliano). She'll play the wife of said character in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which also stars William Baldwin. In addition, R.J. Lewis ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") has been tapped to direct the pilot from a script by creator/executive producer Jack Orman.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2006]  

· ER (NBC)

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