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[01/10/07 - 12:22 AM]
Development Update: Wednesday, January 10
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!


CABLE RATINGS ROUND-UP (Week of January 1-7) - A half-dozen premieres highlighted the first week of 2007 on cable. Leading the charge was FX's "Dirt" with 3.7 million viewers (#9 overall for the week). Not faring as well was the return of ABC Family's "Wildfire" (1.9 million, a season opening low) and Showtime's "The L Word" (359,000 viewers). Also stumbling out of the gate: MTV's "I'm With Rolling Stone" (369,000) and VH1's "Shooting Sizemore" (718,000). As for the current week, Lifetime's original movie "To Be Fat Like Me" opened to 3.7 million viewers on Monday while the premiere of "Gay, Straight or Taken?" drew 1.3 million and 1.6 million respectively for its first two episodes that same night.


I'M WITH STUPID (NBC) - The Peacock has greenlit production on the single-camera comedy pilot, about a down-and-out guy who befriends a wheelchair-bound young man and winds up moving into his group home for the disabled. The project, which is based on the BBC 3 comedy of the same name, is set to be directed by Peter Farrelly from a script by Wil Calhoun.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Wil Calhoun
Director: Peter Farrelly
Executive Producers: Ben Silverman (Reveille), Bobby Farrelly (Conundrum Entertainment), Bradley Thomas, Kenton Allen (BBC Worldwide Productions), Peter Farrelly (Conundrum Entertainment), Wil Calhoun
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


THE I.T. CROWD (NBC) - NBC has given the green light to the U.S. version of Graham Lineman's Channel 4 series about three misfits who work in the I.T. department of a large corporation. The hybrid single- and multi-camera half-hour comes from David Guarascio, Moses Port, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. Lineman himself will also serve as a consultant on the U.S. version.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: TBA
Writers: David Guarascio, Joe Port, Joe Wiseman, Moses Port
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: David Guarascio, Joe Port, Joe Wiseman, Moses Port
Consultant: Graham Lineman
Studio: FremantleMedia North America, NBC Universal Television Studio


JOURNEYMAN (A.K.A. UNTITLED KEVIN FALLS PROJECT) (NBC) - Kevin Falls' drama script - about a man who travels back in time to alter and fix the lives of people in trouble, but by recalibrating the past, he sometimes affects the future - has been given a cast-contingent pilot order from the network. Falls wrote and will executive produce the hour, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television.

Commitment: Cast-contingent (previously put pilot)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Kevin Falls
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Kevin Falls
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television


KATH & KIM (NBC) - The Peacock has given Nancy Pimental's single-camera comedy project a firm pilot commitment. The project, which comes from NBC Universal Television, is based on the hit Australian sitcom about a divorced mother and her miserable daughter who live together in the suburbs. Pimental penned the pilot script and is executive producing alongside Reveille's Ben Silverman.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: TBA
Writer: Nancy Pimental
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Ben Silverman (Reveille), Nancy Pimental
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio


LACKAWANNA BLUES (HBO) - Ruben Santiago-Hudson's autobiographical one-man play turned HBO movie - about his experience growing up in the early 1960s in Lackawanna, New York, amid a thriving black community in that Great Lakes city under the care of a large, maternal woman everyone calls Nanny (S. Epatha Merkerson) - is being developed as a potential weekly drama series at the cable channel. Santiago-Hudson, who also penned the film, is writing the pilot script and is executive producing with his manager Vincent Cirrincione. It's not clear if any of the original cast or fellow executive producer Halle Berry will return for the series version, which is still in the early stages of development.

Commitment: Script
Cast: TBA
Writer: Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Vincent Cirrincione
Studio: TBA


TEMPTATION (Syndication, New!) - Twentieth Television and FremantleMedia North America are reviving the game show format "Sale of the Century" for the 2007-08 season. The series, which aired in the U.S. on NBC from 1983-89, features three contestants competing against one another to earn cash by answering questions about pop culture and current events. The twist then is that throughout the program, contestants are tempted to spend their money on high-end prizes at bargain prices - all while trying to finish with the most prize money. In addition, Twentieth plans to make said prizes available for discounted purchase via phone or at the program's official Web site. The pair have cleared the series for a fall 2007 launch on the 10 MyNetworkTV affiliates that are owned and operated by Fox Television Stations (covering about 24% of the country): WWOR New York, KCOP Los Angeles, WPWR Chicago, KDFI Dallas, WDCA Washington, KTXH Houston, WFTC Minneapolis, KUTP Phoenix, WRBW Orlando and WUTB Baltimore. Participating stations will pay cash and keep five minutes within each half-hour for local ad sales with the other two going to Twentieth for national sales.

Commitment: Cleared in 24% of the country for a fall 2007 launch
Cast: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: TBA
Studios: FremantleMedia North America, Twentieth Television


UNTITLED KANYE WEST PROEJCT (HBO, New!) - Grammy-winning artist Kanye West is being eyed as the focus of a potential unscripted series at the pay channel. "Borat" director Larry Charles is reportedly developing the project, which would track the crazy, hectic life of West. Record producer/label executive Rick Rubin and West's manager G Roberson are also understood to be on board to executive produce with Charles.

Commitment: Unspecified
Cast: Kanye West
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: G Roberson, Larry Charles, Rick Rubin
Studio: TBA


THE WATCH (NBC, New!) - "There's Something About Mary" writers Ed Decter and John J. Strauss have landed a director-contingent pilot order for a new drama about a suburban neighborhood watch group gone awry. The pair wrote and will executive produce the Sony Pictures Television-based hour alongside Pariah's Gavin Polone and Jamie Tarses.

Commitment: Director-contingent pilot order
Cast: TBA
Writers: Ed Decter, John J. Strauss
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Ed Decter, Gavin Polone (Pariah), Jamie Tarses (Pariah), John J. Strauss
Studio: Sony Pictures Television


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





  [january 2007]  
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· BACKYARDS & BULLETS (NBC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIRT (FX)
· GAY, STRAIGHT OR TAKEN? (LIFETIME)
· I'M WITH ROLLING STONE (MTV)
· I'M WITH STUPID (NBC)
· IT CROWD, THE (NBC)
· JOURNEYMAN (NBC)
· KATH & KIM (NBC)
· L WORD, THE (SHOWTIME)
· LACKAWANNA BLUES (HBO)
· SHOOTING SIZEMORE (VH1)
· TEMPTATION (SYNDICATION)
· TO BE FAT LIKE ME (LIFETIME)
· UNTITLED KANYE WEST PROJECT (HBO)
· WILDFIRE (ABC FAMILY)









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