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[01/09/07 - 12:02 AM]
Development Update: Tuesday, January 9
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 signature "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!


CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC, New!) - "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star is heading back to New York as he's booked a pilot order for a new dramedy about four successful female executives, friends since college, who rely on each other as they juggle the demands of career, family, hard choices and high ambitions in New York City. Feature writer Kevin Wade ("Maid in Manhattan") penned the pilot script to the Sony Pictures Television-based hour and will executive produce alongside Star, Gail Katz and Star's producing partner Suzie Fitzgerald.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Kevin Wade
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Darren Star (Darren Star Productions), Gail Katz, Kevin Wade
Co-Executive Producer: Suzie Fitzgerald (Darren Star Productions)
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


HOLIDAYS IN HANDCUFFS (ABC Family, New!) - Melissa Joan Hart ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") and Mario Lopez ("Dancing With the Stars") are set to topline a new original movie for the cable channel about a would-be painter stuck working as a waitress. Hart will play said role of Trudie, who after suffering a nervous breakdown, kidnaps a customer, Clay Martin (Lopez), whom she plans to bring home for Christmas and introduce him to the family as "the One." Ron Underwood ("Boston Legal") is directing the project from a script by Craig McNeil and Jody Brockway. Production is set to begin this month in Calgary, Alberta for a December air date during the network's annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming event.

Commitment: In production
Cast: Mario Lopez, Melissa Joan Hart
Writers: Craig McNeil and Jody Brockway
Director: Ron Underwood
Executive Producers: TBA
Studio: TBA


LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC) - After nearly a year of ups and downs, the Peacock is once again moving forward with its small screen adapation of Candace Bushnell's best-selling novel. NBC Universal Television is still behind the hour, which revolves around three powerful New York businesswomen who will do anything to get ahead. DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler penned the latest version of the script, following an initial pass by Robin Schiff and Bushnell and a second effort by Jill Gordon. It's not clear if the previously cast Gina Gershon, Matthew Morrison, Melissa George and Scott Cohen are still attached to the new version or if Nigel Cole is still on board to direct. Nevertheless, Heline and Heisler will executive produce alongside Bushnell.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Gina Gershon (?), Matthew Morrison (?), Melissa George (?), Scott Cohen (?)
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Director: Nigel Cole (?)
Executive Producers: Candace Bushnell, DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


SKIP TRACER (CBS, New!) - The Eye has given a pilot order to a new drama about a charming rogue with a heart of gold who works as a skip tracer - a go-to guy for locating missing persons - among the colorful characters in Los Angeles' underbelly. Stephen Dorff ("World Trade Center") has already been tapped to star in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which will be written and executive produced by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess ("The Sopranos"). Dorff himself and his producing partner Tucker Tooley of Media Talent Group, who developed the project via Dorff's talent deal with the network, will also serve as executive producers.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Stephen Dorff
Writer: Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green, Stephen Dorff, Tucker Tooley (Media Talent Group)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


UNTITLED DAVID SHORE/PETER BLAKE PROJECT (NBC) - "House" creator David Shore and "House" writer Peter Blake's drama script, about an ensemble of police officers with a female cop at the center, has been given a pilot order by the Peacock. The pair wrote and will executive produce the hour, which is based at NBC Universal Television.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously script)
Cast: TBA
Writers: David Shore, Peter Blake
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: David Shore (Shore Z Productions), Peter Blake
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


VIVA LAUGHLIN! (A.K.A. VIVA BLACKPOOL!) (CBS) - Bob Lowry and Hugh Jackman's U.S. import of Peter Bowker's BBC miniseries "Viva Blackpool!" is moving forward as the Eye has given a pilot order to the project. The U.S. take is described as a rollicking musical about Ripley Holden and his family as they attempt to run a casino in Laughlin, Nevada.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously put pilot)
Cast: Hugh Jackman (Guest Star)
Writers: Bob Lowry, Peter Bowker
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Bob Lowry, Hugh Jackman (Seed Productions), John Palermo (Seed Productions), Paul Telegdy (BBC Worldwide Productions), Peter Bowker
Studios: CBS Paramount Network Television, Sony Pictures Television


WILD AT HEART (The CW, New!) - The British series of the same name is set to be the focus of a potential new drama series at the netlet. "Beautiful People" creator Michael Rauch is behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, about a New York veterinarian who moves his second wife and their two sets of children to a South African game reserve run by his father-in-law. The project has a pilot order from the CW. Company Pictures, the company behind the original series, will also co-produce with Charlie Pattinson and George Faber executive producing alongside Rauch.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writer: Michael Rauch
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Charlie Pattinson (Company Pictures), George Faber (Company Pictures), Michael Rauch
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television


WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC) - James Patterson's series of mystery books is on track to become a drama series at the Alphabet. The network has given a pilot order to the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, with Brett Ratner ("Prison Break") on board to direct from a script by Liz Craft and Sarah Fain ("The Shield"). The trio will then executive produce alongside Patterson and Joe Simpson.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously script plus penalty)
Cast: TBA
Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain
Director: Brett Ratner
Executive Producers: Brett Ratner (Rat Television), Elizabeth Craft, James Patterson, Joe Simpson, Sarah Fain
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [january 2007]  
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· BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (ABC FAMILY)
· BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
· CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC)
· DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· HOLIDAY IN HANDCUFFS (ABC FAMILY)
· HOUSE (FOX)
· LIFE IS WILD (CW)
· LIPSTICK JUNGLE (NBC)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (WB)
· SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· SKIP TRACER (CBS)
· SOPRANOS, THE (HBO)
· VIVA LAUGHLIN (CBS)
· WINTERS (NBC)
· WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC)









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