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[03/27/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: March 27
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) - Omar Metwally (a guest star on "Grey's Anatomy") is the latest to book a role on the drama pilot, about a State Department mid-level staffer (Jesse Bradford) who gets caught up in a government conspiracy. Metwally will play the mysterious Mr. Assad in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which also stars Ben Shenkman, China Shavers, John Heard, Kelly Overton and William Lee Scott. Michael Engler is directing from a script by creator Thomas Hines with John Wirth and Matthew Gross serving as executive producers.

ALPHA MOM (NBC) - Robert Wu (Scooby on "The Shield") and newcomer Preston Bailey have both scored roles in the comedy pilot, about a successful lawyer (Alexondra Lee) who struggles to balance her work and home life. Details on Wu and Bailey's roles of Morris and Will respectively weren't mentioned. Johnny Sneed, Justina Machado, Kevin Rahm, Michael Mosley and Scott Holroyd also star in the NBC Universal Television-based project, which Bill Lawrence is directing from a script by creator Kerry Ehrin.

THE ANGRIEST MAN IN SUBURBIA (CBS) - Newcomer Kiernan Shipka, Maria Pitillo (Tina Calcatera on "Providence") and Ty Panitz (Parker Booth on "Bones") are set to join Mitch Rouse in the comedy pilot, about a married stay-at-home father (Rouse) dealing with the pesky problems of everyday life. They'll play Lola, Allison and Mikey in the project, details of which weren't specified. Ajay Sahgal is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which also comes from director Barnet Kellman and executive producers Gavin Polone and Jamie Tarses.

COMMUNITY SERVICE (NBC) - Marion Ross (a recent guest star on "Out of Practice") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an arrogant New Yorker (Jay Mohr) who goes to a small town to look for his ex-girlfriend (Brittany Daniel) and ends up doing community service there. She'll play Helen, a loopy woman who lives in the small town. Christopher Wiehl and Todd Stashwick also star in the NBC Universal Television-based half-hour, which comes from creators David Israel and Jim O'Doherty. Victor Nelli, Jr. is directing.

DAMAGES (FOX) - Sarah Shahi (Tina on "Teachers") has signed onto the drama pilot, about "the pathology and personal hazards" lawyers face in juggling their career and personal lives. She'll play Jennifer Carillo in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, a role which is in second position to her duties on the NBC comedy. Adam Rothenberg, Cole Hauser and Kristin Lehman also star in the project, which Jon Amiel is directing from a script by creator Jonathan Lisco.

DRIVE (FOX) - Emma Stone (a recent guest on "Malcolm in the Middle") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about an illegal cross-country road race. She'll play Violet Ashton, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "15. A feisty, opinionated but vulnerable girl. She's puzzled when her father, John, pulls her out of school for an impulsive "road trip." As sharp as they come, Violet realizes that John is hiding something from her, and she soon wheedles the information out of him about the strange, secret race that they are embarked on. The product of a broken home, Violet is angry and hurt to learn that John really considers her an impediment rather than a help, and she runs away in a huff, hitching a ride with a couple of other young racers. Must Be Legal To Play 15." Ben Queen and Tim Minear are behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Greg Yaitanes is directing.

EDISON (CBS) - Jake T. Austin (Diego on "Go, Diego! Go!") reportedly has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about an L.A. detective (John Leguizamo) who relies on impersonations and disguises to solve crimes. He'll play C.J. in the CBS Paramount Network Television/Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from creators Ron Milbauer and Terri Hughes. Arija Bareikis, Currie Graham, Deidrie Henry and Joe Manganiello also star in the project while Kevin Rodney Sullivan is directing. David Hoberman of Mandeville Films and Leguizamo himself also serve as executive producers.

FACELESS (FOX) - Newcomer Yara Martinez has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a federal prosecutor (Sean Bean) who goes undercover as a criminal. She'll play Mari Reynosa in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "Early 20s, a college student, beautiful, wary, street smart, intelligent. She's Lucas' sister. Very much aware of her brother's criminal career and unintimdated by his weasely threats, Mari is fascinated by Eddie Pray, and seems to see something beneath his calculating surface."

In addition, character details have been confirmed for the other previously announced cast members. Reed Diamond is set as Supervising Special Agent Vincent Ambrose - "30s. An FBI agent, white collar with a steel spine, Ambrose is fed up with John Robson's apparently fruitless goose chase for the top of command of the crime chain, and is about to pull FBI aid to Robson's pet project. Attracted to Diana, Ambrose gives Robson one more chance and, in the aftermath of the attempted murder of Robson and the murder of his family, appears to have jumped on the bandwagon himself. Fully committed to following Diana's lead in Robson's pet project, Ambrose is worried about Diana's safety, and insists that she accept police protection."

Stana Katic then is playing Diana Palos - "28, her looks made even more appealing by her intelligence and tenacity, a workaholic, Diana is John Robson's Assistant Prosecutor, who likes and respects him but is growing nervous that his pet project - interconnecting the crime hierarchy of L.A. till he reaches the head honcho - is unrealistic and unachievable. Extremely capable, experienced, savvy, Diana is promoted to Federal Prosecutor after John Robson's near-murder and his subsequent disappearance. Working closely with FBI agent Ambrose, Diana has clearly taken on Robson's obsession, and is working the same suspects with the same frustrating results. Not given to paranoia, Diana reluctantly accepts Ambrose's insistence that she have police protection."

And finally, Clifton Powell's role of Langdon Fox is detailed as follows: "40s, feral, smart, wealthy, confident, with the messy haircut only serious money can buy, Langdon is a criminal attorney par excellence, specializing in working the system in favor of the criminal hierarchy of L.A. - in particular, Bailey Hughes, the owner of a huge pornography empire whose interests are well served by Langdon - who may not be working for Bailey but above him. Expert at pulling strings at all levels the criminal spectrum, Langdon handily gets both Lucas Reynosa and Bailey out of hot legal water." Kevin Alejandro also stars in the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which comes from creator Dario Scardapane, director Joe Carnahan and fellow executive producers Daniel Rappaport, Evelyn O'Neill and Tony Krantz.

GIRLS ON THE BUS (ABC) - Sarah Parish (TJ on "The Wedding Date") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a reporter (Kiele Sanchez) on the campaign trail. She'll play Cassidy Long, a seasoned, experienced on-air reporter whom Sanchez's character is hired as the segment producer. Dan Lauria, Edward Kerr, Maulik Pancholy and Sara Gilbert also star in the Touchstone Television-based half-hour, which comes from creator Donald Todd, director Julie Anne Robinson and executive producer Peter Traugott of Brillstein-Grey Television.

INSEPARABLE (CBS) - Rosa Blasi (Dr. Luisa 'Lu' Delgado on "Strong Medicine") reportedly has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a young couple who must deal with the wife's large extended family. She'll play Lois in the NBC Universal Television-based project, which also stars Chip Zien, Christine Baranski, Coby Ryan McLaughin, Ed O'Neill, Krysten Ritter and Rachel Boston. No details about her character were given. Joe Port and Joe Wiseman are behind the half-hour, which also comes from director Pamela Fryman and executive producers David Guarascio and Moses Port.

JERICHO (CBS) - Alicia Coppola (Lt. Cmdr Faith Coleman on "N.C.I.S.") has joined the cast of 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. No details were given about her character in the project, whose ensemble cast also includes Ashley Scott, Erik Knudsen, Gerald McRaney, Kenneth Mitchell, Lennie James, Michael Gaston, Pamela Reed, Skeet Ulrich and Sprague Grayden. Stephen Chbosky is behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which Jon Turteltaub is directing.

SOUTHERN COMFORT (FOX) - Charlayne Woodard (Sister Peg on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") has booked the role of Althea in the drama pilot, about the wife (Madeleine Stowe) of a mob boss (Eric Roberts) who's thrust into running their Biloxi, Mississippi-based organized crime operation, which includes a region of night spots and resorts known to locals as the Redneck Riviera. Jessica Stroup, Lee Tergesen, Reiley McClendon, Sandy Martin and Travis Fimmel also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Greg Yaitanes is directing from a script by creators Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton.

THAT GUY (FOX) - Ricky Ullman (Phil Diffy on "Phil of the Future") is understood to have joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a 35-year-old man (Josh Meyers) who decides to embrace a "second puberty" and start living his life like a 21-year-old. He'll play Logan in the Regency Television-based half-hour, which also stars Eric Matheny, Lauren Stamile and Robyn Cohen. Josh Lobis and Darin Moiselle are behind the project, which Betty Thomas is directing. Ivan Reitman and Jackie Marcus also serve as executive producers via their Montecito Picture Co.

UNTITLED CHRIS SHERIDAN PROJECT (NBC) - Craig Bierko (Tom Ryan on "Scary Movie 4") has booked the remaining lead role in the comedy pilot, about brothers on opposite sides of the law (Bierko, Eddie McClintock) who happen to be neighbors. He'll play Tommy Malone, a charming thief, in the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and creator Chris Sheridan. Gail Mancuso is directing while Jana Marie Hupp and Virginia Williams also star.

UNTITLED JACE RICHDALE PROJECT (NBC) - Susan Ruttan (a guest star on "Boston Legal") is the latest to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about two brothers (Kevin Brennan, Nick Zano) who become roommates when the latter moves to New York to attend NYU. She'll play Rose Brennan in the HBO Independent Productions-based half-hour, which also stars Bobby Lee, Devin Ratray, Geoffrey Pierson and Sarah Rafferty. Jace Richdale and Brennan himself are behind the project, which Gary Halvorson is directing.

UNTITLED PATRICIA HEATON PROJECT (ABC) - Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (Kyle Duarte on "Jake 2.0") is the latest to join the cast of the Patricia Heaton-led comedy pilot, about a widow (Heaton) who finds solace in the PTA. He'll play Mr. Reid, one of the teachers at her kid's school. Justine Bateman, Lance Barber, Mo Collins and Rebecca Wisocky also star in the half-hour, which comes from Touchstone Television, creator Christine Zander and director Ted Wass. Heaton, Gene Stein and Nina Wass also serve as executive producers.

UNTITLED PAUL REISER PROJECT (CBS) - Omar Benson Miller (Coop on "Sex, Love & Secrets") has landed the final principal role in the comedy pilot, about an ambitious young man (Bobby Cannavale) who takes over the family car dealership in Queens, New York. He'll play Cliff in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based half-hour, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "Early-mid 30's, African-American, male. Top salesman at the dealership and Danny's best friend. Happily married and with 3 kids, Cliff is the "grounding" voice of reason for Danny, and can also call Danny on his crap when necessary." Hector Elizondo, Jennifer Cody and Mercedes Ruehl also star in the project, which comes from creator Paul Reiser and producer Craig Knizek.

UNTITLED SHANA GOLDBERG-MEEHAN PROJECT (ABC) - Kaley Cuoco (Billie Jenkins on "Charmed") is set to star opposite Marisa Coughlan in the comedy pilot, about two sisters who live together despite having grown up under different circumstances -- one rich, one poor. Cuoco will play Gabby, the one who was raised in the lap of luxury with not a care in the world. Shana Goldberg-Meehan is behind the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which Andy Ackerman is directing.

THE WEDDING ALBUM (FOX) - "America's Next Top Model" winner Eva Pigford, Jayce Bartok (Adam on Oxygen's "Tempting Adam") and Ptolemy Slocum (Ron on "Hitch") have all scored roles on the drama pilot, about a wedding photographer (Bruno Campos) and his assistant (Tara Summers) who attempt to find romance in their own lives while shooting the marriages of New York hotshots. Details on their characters - Gretchen, Bruno and Peter, respectively - weren't released. Ashlie Atkinson also stars in the Fox Television Studios-based project, which comes from creators Wink Mordaunt and Andy Tennant.

THE WEEKEND (CBS) - Oliver Hudson (David Carver, Jr. on "The Mountain") has been tapped for the lead role in the comedy pilot, about a group of male pals who focus their lives on the weekend. He'll play Julian, who's described in the casting notice as: "Late 20s. He's a tall, handsome, masculine, stoic fashion photographer. He is a California golden boy who is absolutely catnip to women, who follow him, fawn on him and just generally make themselves available to him in droves. Having come from a faded Hollywood family, Julian escapes to the solitude of the ocean and his friends. Undemonstrative and calm, Julian is more reserved than his antic buddies and roommates, Miles and Kevin. Beneath his kind, gentle exterior is a hanging sadness. When Kevin falls for a veterinarian, he soon learns that she's yet another of Julian's many conquests, and he decides to try a little experiment to make sure the woman is over Julian - not a wise move, as it turns out."

Meanwhile, previously cast Kevin Hart's role has been confirmed as Miles - "Late 20s, attractive. He's an attorney, who is intelligent, neurotic, asthmatic, and indecisive. He is also best friends and roommates with Kevin and Julian. Currently, Miles is in a bit of a quandary. He moved to LA for his "health", but the true reason was to escape the clutches of his girlfriend of 5 years, Debbie. She decides to follow Miles to LA and has issued the dread marriage ultimatum, and although Miles doesn't want to lose her, he also isn't ready to give up the bachelor lifestyle he enjoys with his buddies. So, he compromises and gets engaged - hoping to buy himself a bit more time before he has to face adult responsibilities."

The also previously cast Chris O'Dowd then is set as Kevin - "Late 20s. He's a waiter who is terrific with his customers. Cute, but not a lady killer (think Jack Black), he is a bit hapless where women are concerned. He lives for the weekends when he hits the town with his best friends and roommates, Miles and Julian. Having come from a bluecollar family, where he is a bit of a fish out of water in LA, he's trying to fit in the glamorous LA nightlife. He takes life in stride, and has an enormous appetite for adventure. He falls hard for Amanda, a veterinarian he meets at work, and he convinces Julian to lend him his pet cat so that he can "consult" with Amanda at her office. However, Kevin's interest in Amanda is somewhat sullied when he learns that she is yet another of Julian's many female conquests. Kevin insists that Julian ask Amanda out to prove that she's not still interested in him - an experiment that goes badly awry." Ed Roe is behind the half-hour, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [march 2006]  
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· 20 QUESTIONS (ABC)
· AKA (CBS)
· ALPHA MOM (NBC)
· AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (CW)
· ANGRIEST MAN IN SUBURBIA, THE (CBS)
· BONES (FOX)
· BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
· CHARMED (WB)
· COMMUNITY SERVICE (NBC)
· DAMAGES (FOX)
· DRIVE (FOX)
· FACELESS (FOX)
· GIRLS ON THE BUS (ABC)
· GREAT MALONES, THE (NBC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· INSEPARABLE (CBS)
· JAKE 2.0 (UPN)
· JERICHO (CBS)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (FOX)
· MOUNTAIN, THE (WB)
· NCIS (CBS)
· OUT OF PRACTICE (CBS)
· PROVIDENCE (NBC)
· SEPARATED AT WORTH (ABC)
· SEX, LOVE AND SECRETS (UPN)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· SOUTHERN COMFORT (FOX)
· STRONG MEDICINE (LIFETIME)
· TEACHERS (NBC)
· TEMPTING ADAM (OXYGEN)
· THAT GUY (FOX)
· UNTITLED JACE RICHDALE PROJECT (NBC)
· UNTITLED PATRICIA HEATON PROJECT (ABC)
· UNTITLED PAUL REISER PROJECT (CBS)
· WEDDING ALBUM, THE (FOX)
· WEEKEND, THE (CBS)





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