[05/12/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: May 9-12
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!

BIG SHOT (Showtime, New!) - Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills Productions is developing a new unflinching drama at the pay channel about pop icon Billy Joel's early years. Paul Chart ("Children of Men") is on board to write the pilot script, which opens in the mid-1970s and follows Joel's first marriage to his then-business manager Elizabeth Weber. Hayes, Milliner and Andrew Harrison Leeds - along with Joel himself - then will serve as executive producers. No other details were given.

CABLE RATINGS ROUND-UP (Various) - HBO's "The Sopranos" continued its cable dominance for the week of May 1-7 with 8.5 million viewers tuning in. Lead-out "Big Love" drew 4.0 million viewers, taking seventh place overall for the week. Outside the top 15, Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Orange County" signed off with a series-high 923,000 viewers on May 2 while "Nashville Star" closed its fourth season to the tune of 3.0 million viewers that same night (down 11.76% from its season three finale).

CROSSING JORDAN (NBC) - Jon Cowan, Robert Rovner and Kathy McCormick have been tapped as co-showrunners of the Peacock drama. They'll take over for creator Tim Kring, who's moving on to his new NBC drama "Heroes." The trio will serve alongside fellow returning executive producers Alan Arkush and Dennis Hammer. As part of the promotions, Cowan and Rovner have each signed two-year overall deals with producer NBC Universal Television while McCormick has inked a one-year deal. The former pair then is expected to focus on development for the second year of the pact.

EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION (ABC) - Denise Cramsey ("House Wars") has been upped to executive producer/showrunner on Endemol USA's veteran alternative series. Cramsey, who had been a co-executive producer since 2004, will take over Tom Forman, who's leaving as part of a new overall deal at CBS Paramount Network Television.

FAST INC. (MTV) - Promos currently running on the cable channel indicate the series, about the company of the same name as they "utilize their connections, craftiness, and charisma to field vintage and muscle car requests from celebrities, models, and eccentric millionaires," will launch on Monday, June 5 at 10:30/9:30c.

GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - Writer/producer Debora Cahn ("The West Wing") has inked a two-year overall deal with Touchstone Television. The pact, financial details of which weren't specified, calls for Cahn to join "Grey's Anatomy" next season as a supervising producer as well as develop new projects for the studio.

HBO ORIGINAL PROJECTS (HBO, New!) - The pay channel is said to be close to issuing pilot orders to two projects - "12 Miles of Bad Road," a comedy series about a Dallas matriarchy, and an untitled hour from "Deadwood" creator David Milch and author Kem Nunn ("Tapping the Source") set in the world of surfing. The former project comes from creators/executive producers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason ("Emeril") while the latter will be co-written by Milch and Nunn with the pair also executive producing alongside Howard Rosenman. Surf legend Herb "Herbie" Fletcher and wife Dibi are also expected to serve as consultants. No specifics however were released about either project. Meanwhile, pre-production reportedly has begun on "In Treatment," a serialized drama told from the point of view of therapists and their patients. HBO is in talks to order five episodes of the series, which is based on the Israeli series "BeTipul." Hagai Levi and Steve Levinson are the executive producers.

KINGS OF SOUTH BEACH (A&E) - "Boomtown" alums Donnie Wahlberg and Jason Gedrick are set to topline the original movie, about the true story of nightclub impresario Chris Paciello, who revived the South Beach scene with aid of the mob. Tim Hunter ("Cold Case") is directing the project, which begins production this month in Puerto Rico, from a script by Nick Pileggi ("Goodfellas"). Sonny Grosso and Larry Jacobson's Grosso-Jacobson Communications is producing the movie in association with Sony Pictures Television. Delia Fine and Clay Kahler also serve as executive producers.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [may 2006]  


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