[02/26/07 - 12:52 AM]
Development Update: Monday, February 26
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!

ATLANTA (CBS) - Freddie Prinze Jr. ("Freddie") has signed on for a lead role in the comedy pilot, about a man (Prinze) and a woman who meet at a funeral and can't stay away from each other. He'll play said man, a funny and charming ad executive. In addition, while not specified, Prinze's involvement likely lifts the cast-contingency off the pilot's production.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Writer: Paul Reiser
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Craig Knizek (Nuance Productions), Paul Reiser (Nuance Productions)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC) - Julian Ovenden ("Charmed") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, 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. He'll play Eric, an unspecified character in the project.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Frances O'Connor (Zoe), Julian Ovenden (Eric), Miranda Otto (Caitlin)
Writer: Kevin Wade
Director: Peyton Reed
Executive Producers: Darren Star (Darren Star Productions), Gail Katz, Kevin Wade
Co-Executive Producer: Susie Fitzgerald (Darren Star Productions)
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

FOOTBALL WIVES (ABC) - Eddie Cibrian ("Vanished") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about the wives of professional football players. He'll play the husband of Lucy Lawless' character, a quarterback who isn't faithful to her.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brian White (Kyle), Eddie Cibrian, Gabrielle Union (Chardonnay Lane), Kiele Sanchez, Lucy Lawless (Tanya), Ving Rhames
Writer: Marco Pennette
Director: Bryan Singer
Executive Producers: Ann McManus (Shed Productions), Bert Salke (Brancato-Salke Productions), Bryan Singer (Bad Hat Harry Productions), Chris Brancato (Brancato-Salke Productions), Eileen Gallagher (Shed Productions), Marco Pennette, Maureen Chadwicke (Shed Productions)
Studio: ABC Television Studio

FORT PIT (NBC) - Cornell Womack ("Conviction") has joined the cast of the pilot, a cop drama based on a real N.Y.P.D. precinct in which "bad cops go to finish off their careers and young rookie cops with no pull go to start their careers." He'll play Paul Hagen, a role which is billed as recurring on the project. His character is further detailed in the casting notice as: "35, African-American. He's Cade's police partner, a savvy vet with a "red face and an impressive gut that indicate a fondness for beer and spirits." Hagen takes Cade's ribbing in good stead, and is accustomed to letting his partner call all the shots -- even if that means bending police procedure to the breaking point."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Cornell Womack (Paul Hagen), Dania Ramirez (Angela Hardwick), David Call (Don Van Ness), Elias Koteas (Jack Cade), James Badge Dale (Bobby Bonelli), Michael Rispoli (Sgt. Jim Wesson), Viola Davis (Captain Gloria Lefkowitz)
Writers: Michael Chernuchin, Peter Tolan
Director: Peter Tolan
Executive Producers: Denis Leary (Apostle Productions), Jim Serpico (Apostle Productions), Michael Chernuchin, Peter Tolan
Producers: Lou DiGiamo, Robert Cea
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - Leighton Meester ("Surface") and Blake Lively ("Accepted") have scored the lead roles in the drama pilot, about the rivalry between two rich Manhattan girls at a private school in New York. They'll play said girls, Blair and Serena, respectively.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Blake Lively (Serena), Leighton Meester (Blair)
Writers: Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage
Director: Mark Piznarski
Executive Producers: Bob Levy (Alloy Entertainment), Josh Schwartz (College Hill Productions), Leslie Morgenstein (Alloy Entertainment), Stephanie Savage
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

HACKETT (FOX) - Jim Rash ("Help Me Help You") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, which centers on a bad-boy luminary who finds himself among the ultra-PC ranks of teachers at an Ohio public high school. He'll play the school's vice principal, Eugene Wolgenmoth, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Early 30s-Early 40s. Very capable, good at his job, he is "the new breed of public education bureaucrat; exudes strength, lives for his job, and is Hackett's number one nemesis. Hopelessly P.C., super-sensitized, a perfectly put together metrosexual. And thoroughly threatened by Hackett." At the school, he strives to create a warm, inclusive, non-judgmental environment."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Jim Rash (Eugene Wolgenmoth)
Writer: Denise Moss
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Executive Producers: Carl Beverly (25C Productions), Denise Moss, Sarah Timberman (25C Productions)
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

THE MASTERSONS OF MANHATTAN (NBC) - Amanda Walsh ("Sons & Daughters") is the latest to join the cast of the comedy pilot, about two socialite sisters (Molly Shannon, Natasha Richardson) in New York. She'll play the pair's younger sister.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Amanda Walsh, Jonathan Cake (Roger/Marshall), Molly Shannon (Amanda Masterson), Natasha Richardson (Victoria Masterson)
Writer: Gary Janetti
Director: James Burrows
Executive Producers: Gary Janetti
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

PUSHING DAISIES (ABC) - Kristin Chenoweth ("The West Wing") and Anna Friel ("Timeline") have both been casting in the drama pilot, about the owner of a pie shop (Lee Pace) who can touch dead people and bring them back to life. Chenoweth is set as Olive, who's described in the casting notice as: "Mid 20s-Early 30s. She is waitress at Ned's shop, desperate to be seduced by Ned and puzzled by his apparent inability to touch either his dog or her, Olive is a somewhat spiritual young woman who feels that if she concentrates all her love on one pie, she'll have sold more of that particular type of pie than any other by the end of the day. Olive will be let in on the mystery of this world. She will play an integral role in the series, and become the third member of a love triangle with herself, Chuck and Ned; Olive has an advantage because (unlike Chuck) Ned can touch her."

Anna Friel then is believed to be playing Charlotte "Chuck" Charles. She's further detailed in said notice as: "Late 20s-Mid 30s, a beautiful young woman, feisty, slightly quirky, open and warm, Chuck has lived a sheltered life with her aunts until she decided to take a trip on a cruise ship, where she met her death. Awakened from death by the touch of Ned, who was her neighbor (and first kiss) back when they were kids, Chuck accepts her delightful new circumstances and finds herself in the odd situation of not only having to go underground, so to speak, with her new life (since everyone she knows thinks she's dead and buried), but also unable to touch the man who rescued her. Perfectly willing to work with her strange new lease on life, Chuck has a pragmatic side, and enlists the help of Ned and his business partner, Emerson, to find the person who killed her and, incidentally, to collect the reward."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Anna Friel (Charlotte "Chuck" Charles), Chi McBride (Emerson Cod), Kristin Chenoweth (Olive), Lee Pace (Ned)
Writer: Bryan Fuller
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Executive Producers: Bruce Cohen (The Jinks-Cohen Company), Bryan Fuller, Dan Jinks (The Jinks-Cohen Company)
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

REAPER (The CW) - Tyler Labine ("Boston Legal") has signed onto the drama pilot, which centers on a 21-year-old (Bret Harrison) slacker who becomes the devil's bounty hunter. He'll play the best friend of Harrison's character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bret Harrisonm Tyler Labine
Writers: Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Director: Kevin Smith
Executive Producers: Deborah Spera (The Mark Gordon Company), Mark Gordon (The Mark Gordon Company), Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
Studio: ABC Television Studio

SLUTS (A.K.A. UNTITLED ELIZABETH MERIWETHER PROJECT) (FOX) - Dorian Brown ("The Game") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, which now appears to be running under the title "Sluts." She'll play Kate, one of three sorority sisters who try to clean up their act after graduating from college. Brown's casting apparently lifts a previously unreported contingency off the pilot's production.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot (previously cast-contingent)
Cast: Dorian Brown (Kate), Molly Stanton
Writer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Director: Jason Winer
Executive Producers: Dawn Parouse (Dawn Parouse Productions), Jeff Richman
Supervising Producer: Elizabeth Meriwether
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

SUPREME COURTSHIPS (FOX) - Bridget Regan ("The Babysitters") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about the lives of six Supreme Court clerks and the judges they work for. She'll play Holly, a hardworking clerk who is not ashamed of her alpha-girl personality.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bridget Regan (Holly), Kurtwood Smith (Justice Henry Greenberg), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Marcus Truman), Shane West (Tony Capressi), Zachary Knighton (Clyde Dupree)
Writer: Gary Tieche
Director: Ion Toynton
Executive Producers: Gary Tieche, John Eisendrath, Marty Adelstein (Adelstein Productions), Michael Thorn (Adelstein Productions)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

SUSPECTS - Kathleen Monroe ("Beautiful People") and Charles S. Dutton ("Sleeper Cell") have both landed roles in the pilot, a fast-paced procedural drama which uncovers the crime's perpetrator by tracing the suspects in a lineup. Dutton will play Joe Sampson, a detective who is concerned with his weight and is the most emotional among his colleagues. Monroe then is set as Grosz, an unspecified character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Charles S. Dutton (Det. Joe Sampson), Kathleen Monroe (Grosz), Michael Ealy (Det. Sawchuck)
Writer: Ed Zuckerman
Director: Guy Ritchie
Executive Producers: Carl Beverly (25C Productions), Ed Zuckerman, Guy Ritchie, Sarah Timberman (25C Productions)
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

THE THICK OF IT (ABC) - Feature helmer Christopher Guest ("For Your Consideration") has been tapped to direct the comedy pilot, which revolves around the workers in the office of a low-level congressman in Washington. He'll work from a script by co-creators Mitchell Hurwitz and Richard Day.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: Mitchell Hurwitz, Richard Day
Director: Christopher Guest
Executive Producers: Armando Iannucci, Mitchell Hurwitz, Paul Telegdy (BBC Worldwide Productions), Richard Day
Studio: Sony Pictures Television

TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - Anna Paquin ("X-Men: The Last Stand"), Ryan Kwanten ("Summerland") and Sam Trammell ("Judging Amy") are all the first to be cast in the vampire-themed drama pilot, about a world in which vampires can buy Japanese-made synthetic blood. Paquin will play Sookie Stackhouse - an innocent waitress in small Louisiana town who can read people's minds - who becomes involved with a vampire. Kwanten and Trammell then are set as her brother and the owner of the restaurant where she works, respectively.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell
Writer: Alan Ball
Director: Alan Ball
Executive Producers: Alan Ball
Studio: TBA

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [february 2007]  


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