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[04/03/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: April 3
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!

ANDY BARKER, P.I. (NBC) - Peter James Smith (Ed on "The West Wing") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about an accountant-turned-private detective (Andy Richter). He'll play Chang, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "20s-30. He is Lew's (Harve Presnell) Asian assistant, relegated to performing occasionally demeaning tasks. Chang doesn't seem to mind Lew's offhandedly racist remarks, but they disturb Andy." Amy Farrington, Marshall Manesh, Tony Hale and Ion Overman also star in the NBC Universal Television-based project, which comes from executive producers A.J. Morewitz, Conan O'Brien, David Kissinger, Jeff Ross and Jonathan Groff. Jason Ensler is directing from a script by O'Brien and Groff.

DOCTOR WHO (Sci Fi) - The U.S. premiere of the latest incarnation of the U.K. series averaged a 1.6 household rating on March 17, making it the network's top draw for the week of March 13-19. Said number fell just short of the respective season finales of "Battlestar Galactica" (1.9 household rating), "Stargate SG-1" (1.9 household rating) and "Stargate Atlantis" (1.8 household rating) the previous week and tied Sci Fi's recent original movie "Minotaur" on March 11.

FACELESS (FOX) - Paul Michael Glaser (Art Kirkland on USA's "Ladies Night") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a federal prosecutor (Sean Bean) who goes undercover as a criminal in order to take down a sprawling underworld organization. He'll play Bailey Hughes, the owner of a huge pornography empire, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which also stars Clifton Powell, Kevin Alejandro, Reed Diamond, Stana Katic and Yara Martinez. Dario Scardapane is behind the project, which Joe Carnahan is directing and executive producing alongside Flame Television's Daniel Rappaport, Evelyn O'Neill and Tony Krantz.

THE GUYS (ABC) - Sean Astin (Lynn McGill on "24") is in talks to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about five guys who become friends when their kids have a playdate at the home of one of them (Astin). He'd join the previously cast Bumper Robinson, David Anthony Higgins and Stephen Tobolowsky in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which comes from creator Craig Doyle. Rob Schiller is directing the project while Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum also serve as executive producers.

HBO ORIGINAL SERIES (HBO) - The pay channel's recently released May schedule indicates "The Sopranos" and "Big Love" will likely wrap their current runs on Sunday, June 4. (The pair won't air first-run episodes on Sunday, May 28 due to the holiday weekend.) Meanwhile, "Real Time With Bill Maher" will close the first half of its fourth season on Friday, May 12. New episodes are expected to resume in August.

MORE, PATIENCE (FOX) - Jennifer Esposito (Ginnie Sorelli on "Related") has been tapped for the lead role in the comedy pilot, about a New York psychiatrist (Esposito) who neurotically mishandles her own life. She'll play Patience More in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which has also added Bianca Kajlich (Beth Cox on "Rock Me Baby") as Mia. Esposito's involvement is in second position to her duties on the WB dramedy. Arlene Sanford is directing the project from a script by creator Jed Seidel with Gavin Polone and Jamie Tarses also serving as executive producers.

MY EX-LIFE (CBS) - Roger Bart (George Williams on "Desperate Housewives") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the lives of two divorced couples. He's believed to be playing Johnny in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "Mid 30s. He is the good looking co-owner and chef at an upscale cafe. (His ex-wife is his business partner). Terrific in the kitchen, Johnny's cooking certainly brings in the crowds, much to the begrudging irritation of ex-wife, Samantha. Now Nick's roommate, Johnny and his ex share joint custody of their two beautiful Labradors, lavishing the dogs with affection and treats - all in an effort to outdo each other and win their pets' devotion. Sexually confident; needs a lot of attention, especially from the women in his life; hides his insecurities well, but they're there." Gillian Vigman and Thomas Cavanagh also star in the project, which comes from creator Richard Appel and director Kelsey Grammer.

SHE SAID, HE SAID (The CW) - Lindsay Sloane (Karly Stone on "The Stones") is set to star opposite Nick Lachey in the pilot, a romantic comedy told through male and female perspectives. Heidi Clements and Daniel Berendsen are behind the CBS Paramount Network Television/Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which is also executive produced by Garry Hart.

UNTITLED CHRIS SHERIDAN PROJECT (NBC) - Cloris Leachman (Pearl "Billie" Schwartz on HBO's "Mrs. Harris") is set to play mom to Eddie McClintock and Craig Bierko in the comedy pilot, about two brothers on opposite sides of the law who live next door to each other. Also joining the cast are Lyndon Smith and Oliver Davis. The former will play Aaron Malone, who's described in the casting notice as - "10-12. Tommy and Bridget's son. He's a bright and polite youth who has no idea that his father is living a double life. Aaron merely thinks that Tommy's job in real estate is boring, and he immediately takes a shine to his uncle Paul, an FBI agent. He also doesn't realize that Paul is using him to get back at Tommy. He just thinks that Paul is cool." - while the latter is set as Danny Malone - "10-12. Paul and Karen's son. He's a surly, rebellious kid who has been acting out ever since the death of his beloved grandpa two weeks ago. Danny really needs Paul to get more involved in his life, but for now, he's relatively alienated from his unconsciously insensitive dad - although that may be about to change." Jana Marie Hupp and Virginia Williams also star in the half-hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and creator Chris Sheridan. Gail Mancuso is directing.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 24 (FOX)
· AMERICAN MEN (ABC)
· ANDY BARKER, PI (NBC)
· BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SCI FI)
· BIG LOVE (HBO)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DOCTOR WHO (BBC AMERICA)
· FACELESS (FOX)
· GREAT MALONES, THE (NBC)
· LADIES' NIGHT (USA)
· MINOTAUR (SCI FI)
· MORE, PATIENCE (FOX)
· MRS. HARRIS (HBO)
· MY EX-LIFE (CBS)
· REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER (HBO)
· RELATED (WB)
· ROCK ME BABY (UPN)
· SHE SAID, HE SAID (CW)
· SOPRANOS, THE (HBO)
· STARGATE ATLANTIS (SCI FI)
· STARGATE: SG-1 (SCI FI)
· STONES, THE (CBS)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)





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