LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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13 SONGS (The CW, New!) - "American Dreams" creator Jonathan Prince is developing a new drama at the netlet about an all-girl rock group as they navigate love, friendship and family while pursuing their music career. Interscope Records is co-producing the project along with regular CW partners CBS Paramount Network Television and Warner Bros. Television. As for specifics, it's understood each episode will feature a new original single written and performed by the faux band (but actually done by a contributing real-life girl group) that will be available for download after said installment airs. Prince then is writing and executive producing the pilot along with Interscope's Polly Anthony and Jimmy Iovine while Alex Sabeti will serve as a co-executive producer.
24 (FOX) - Powers Boothe ("Deadwood") is the latest addition to the show's upcoming sixth season. He'll play Noah Daniels, the new vice president serving under D.B. Woodside's character, on the series, which returns on January 14.
BLUR (ABC, New!)/PRINCE (Showtime, New!) - "Farscape" creator Rockne S. O'Bannon is set to team with producer Warren Littlefield and reality house Magical Elves for a new drama at ABC that's likened to a 21st century version of "Fantasy Island." The project, which is set up at Touchstone Television, is based on Vascorp, a real-life company that specializes in creating elaborate fantasies for its clients. O'Bannon is writing and executive producing the hour along with Littlefield and Magical Elves' Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz. Separately, O'Bannon has sold the drama spec "Prince" to Showtime. Said hour revolves around a family with a brilliant but malevolent dog. The pay channel has committed to a second script for the project, which O'Bannon will write and executive produce.
BURN NOTICE (USA) - "Six Degrees" alum Jace Alexander has signed on to direct the drama pilot, which stars Jeffrey Donovan as a blacklisted Special Ops agent. He'll work from a script by Matt Nix. Fox Television Studios and Fuse Entertainment are behind the hour, which is also executive produced by Mikkel Bondesen.
BUSINESS CLASS (NBC, New!) - Writer/producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ("The Mullets") are re-teaming with Doug Liman's Dutch Oven Productions for a new single-camera comedy about two national sales reps who embark on a nonstop business trip. The pair will write the half-hour as well as executive produce with the NBC Universal Television-based Dutch Oven's Liman and Dave Bartis. In addition, the group is redeveloping their CBS dramedy "22 Birthdays," about Los Angeles-based power players that use the semi-regular birthday parties they attend for their elite private school children as a backdrop to do business.
CABLE RATINGS ROUND-UP (Week of October 16-22) - ESPN's "Monday Night Football" not surprisingly was the most-watched program on cable last week with the Bears/Cardinals match-up drawing 14.2 million viewers. Also finishing in the top 15: Bravo's "Project Runway," which saw 5.4 million viewers (#3) tune into its third season finale; and FX's "Nip/Tuck," which saw another 4.0 million viewers (#T7) catch its October 17 installment.
CHARMING, CA (FX, New!) - Feature producers Art and John Linson ("The Black Dahlia") have teamed with writer/producer Kurt Sutter ("The Shield") for a new potential multi-generational family drama at the cable channel, about a young man facing a turning point after a lifetime of crime within a motorcycle gang. Said title refers to the fictional suburban town where the central family lives. Sutter then will write the pilot script and executive produce alongside the Linsons.
DANE COOK'S TOURGASM (HBO) - Executive producers Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh have inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Warner Horizon Television. The pact sets up their Jay and Tony Show banner at the Warner Bros. Television sibling where they'll develop new series projects. Currently in the works: a revised version of their shelved ABC series "Welcome to the Neighborhood" in which an entire town is built from scratch with the viewers themselves deciding how to create the community.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) - Mark Deklin, who currently recurs on FOX's "Justice," has also booked a role on the ABC soap. He'll play Bill Pearce, a handsome widower who becomes involved with Eva Longoria's character after she becomes a consultant on a pageant his 11-year-old daughter is in. It's not clear when his first episode will air.
ER (NBC) - Kip Pardue ("Bobby") has scored a recurring role on the Peacock veteran. He'll play a male nurse who becomes involved with Linda Cardellini's character. No other specifics, such as when his first episode will air, were given.
FAMILY GUY (FOX) - 20th Century Fox Television reportedly has delayed the start of production on the show's sixth cycle until a new overall deal with creator/executive producer Seth MacFarlane is signed. "Guy," like all animated comedies, works well ahead of its broadcast schedule as its fifth cycle has yet to even premiere. The planned sixth cycle then would start airing during the second half of the 2007-08 season and carry over into first half of the 2008-09 season. As for MacFarlane, the new overall deal will also cover his future duties on "American Dad" and the midseason comedy "The Winner."
FAT LIKE ME (Lifetime, New!) - Kaley Cuoco ("Charmed") and Caroline Rhea ("The Biggest Loser") are set to topline a new docudrama at the cable channel about the true story of New York teen Ali Schmidt, who went undercover for a 2003 network news special on obesity. Doug Barr ("For the Love of a Child") is directing the project from a script by Michelle Lovretta ("Instant Star"). As for specifics, Cuoco will play an attractive, athletic high school junior who experiences firsthand the prejudice and heartbreak overweight teens face when she dons a fat suit as part of a documentary film project. Rhea then is set as the mother of Cuoco's character. Ardmore Productions' Allan Krasnick, Michael Jacobs Jr. and Michael Givens are serving as executive producers with Alexander/Enright and Associates' Paul Rayman and Michael Shepard producing. Production is currently underway in Victoria, British Columbia, for a January premiere.
HEROES (NBC) - Jack Coleman, who currently recurs as the mysterious "Horn Rimmed Glasses," has been upped to series regular as of its 11th episode. Said addition makes him the 12th regular on the series, which also stars Adrian Pasdar, Ali Larter, Greg Grunberg, Hayden Panettiere, Leonard Roberts, Masi Oka, Milo Ventimiglia, Noah Gray-Cabey, Santiago Cabrera, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Tawny Cypress.
I'M WITH STUPID (NBC, New!) - BBC Worldwide Productions is developing the recently premiered BBC3 comedy as a single-camera half-hour for the Peacock by filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly and NBC Universal Television-based Reveille's Ben Silverman. The project, which has a put pilot commitment, revolves around a down-and-out guy who befriends a wheelchair-bound young man and winds up moving into his group home for the disabled. Wil Calhoun ("Sons & Daughters") is penning the pilot script with Peter Farrelly himself on board to direct. The Farrellys then will executive produce alongside Bradley Thomas via their Conundrum Entertainment banner with Calhoun, Silverman and Kenton Allen (an executive producer on the U.K. version) also executive producing.
INSATIABLE (Showtime) - Peter Facinelli ("Touch the Top of the World") and Beth Riesgraf ("Undressed") are the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about a small town in which everyone has some sort of addiction. They'll play a husband and wife, both named Sandy, who run the local skating rink. He's a handsome jock, a former pairs ice skater, now confined to a wheelchair who continues to be active in sports and constantly cheats on his wife while she likewise is a former professional ice skater and a recovering alcoholic who is oblivious to her husband's philandering. Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius are behind the half-hour.
INTURN (CBS) - The network's Innertube series is getting an on-air boost as a complication episode, featuring highlights from its 24 streamed episodes, is set to air on Friday, November 24 (time TBA). The series featured the struggles of eight wannabe actors competing for the chance to be cast as a character on CBS' daytime drama "As the World Turns." 18-year-old Alex Charak of Roslyn Heights, New York was crowned the winner.
JOHN FROM CINCINNATI (HBO) - The pay channel is moving forward with David Milch's surfing drama, ordering 11 episodes of the series in addition to its pilot. The project tracks the dysfunctional Yost family of Imperial Beach as they find their lives disrupted by the arrival of the dim but wealthy John (Austin Nichols) from Cincinnati, a savant who has come to take surfing lessons. Brian Van Holt, Bruce Greenwood, Ed O'Neill, Greyson Fletcher, Luis Guzman, Matt Winston and Rebecca DeMornay also star. Milch created and co-wrote the pilot along with surfer novelist Kem Nunn. He'll also executive produce alongside Mark Tinker (who directed the pilot), Gregg Fienberg and Howard Rosenman with Nunn, Peter Spears and Scott Stephens serving as co-executive producers. Also on board are writer/producer Bill Clark and surf legend (and grandfather to co-star Greyson) Herbie Fletcher and his wife, Dibi, as consulting producers.
JUMPER (The CW, New!) - Newcomer Daniel Noah has landed a script order from the netlet for a new drama about a young male FBI agent who jumps into the body of someone who's about to be murdered and must work with his young female partner to prevent it before it happens. The hour is based at Eric and Kim Tannenbaum's Warner Bros. Television-based Tannenbaum Co. with Noah penning the pilot script.
LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (NBC) - Oscar and Emmy-award winner Rita Moreno ("Oz") is set to appear in three upcoming episodes of the series as the mother of Vincent D'Onofrio's character. It's not clear however when her first installment will air.
LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC)/THE MIDDLE (ABC, New!) - "Committed" creators DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler has been tapped to write a new script for Candace Bushnell's troubled "Lipstick Jungle" project for NBC. Robin Schiff, Rand Ravich and Jill Gordon were among the names previously attached the hour, which revolves around three powerful New York businesswomen. Heline and Heisler then will also serve as executive producers alongside Bushnell. Gina Gershon is still believed to be attached to the NBC Universal Television-based project, however the status of co-stars Matthew Morrison, Melissa George and Scott Cohen as well as director Nigel Cole are unclear. Separately, Heline and Heisler have booked a script order at the Alphabet for a new single-camera comedy about the life of an extended lower-middle-class family in the Midwest. Warner Bros. Television is behind said half-hour, which they'll write and executive produce.
MANCHILD (Showtime) - Paul Hipp ("Carnivale") has booked one of the four lead roles in the long-in-the-works comedy pilot, about four male friends who are rapidly approaching 50 and knee-deep in midlife crises. He'll play a married father of two who works at a hip ad agency in the project, which comes from Darren Star Productions and Sony Pictures Television.
OFF THE RECORD (A.K.A. UNTITLED DAVE STEWART PROJECT) (HBO) - The Dave Stewart-hosted talk show has been slated to premiere Friday, November 24 at 11:00/10:00c. The series, which will actually air as monthly installments (a la the network's "Costas Now"), features the Eurythmics alum interviewing top music stars about their work. His first guest will be Bono and The Edge of U2. Stewart also serves as an executive producer alongside Jimmy Iovine, Howard Klein, Gene Kirkwood and Jonathan Prince.
SIDE ORDER OF LIFE (Lifetime) - Jason Priestley ("Love Monkey"), Christopher Gartin ("The Bad Girl's Guide") and Diana-Maria Riva ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") have all joined the cast of the Marisa Coughlan-led drama pilot, about a female magazine photographer who re-evaluates her life and upcoming wedding after her best friend is diagnosed with cancer. Priestley will portray Ian, the self-conscious fiance of Coughlan's character Jenny, with Gartin as Rick, the magazine's West Coast bureau chief who gives her the chance at covering an important feature, and Riva as Collette, the magazine's deputy of operations and Jenny's friend, confidant and her voice of reason. Margaret Nagle is behind the Warner Horizon Television-based hour, which also comes from executive producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks.
UNTITLED KESSLERS & ZELMAN PROJECT (FX) - Emmy nominee Allen Coulter ("The Sopranos") has signed on to direct the untitled drama pilot, a character-driven legal thriller set in New York. Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman are behind the hour, which still has yet to be set up at a studio.
UNTITLED VINCE MCKEWIN PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Feature writer Vince McKewin ("The Replacements") is set to team with Sandy Grushow's 20th Century Fox Television-based Phase Two Productions for a new drama about a xenophobic bounty hunter who travels the globe working for something called the International Fugitive Recovery Project. McKewin then will write the script and executive produce along with Grushow.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters