[03/01/07 - 12:27 AM]
Development Update: Thursday, March 1
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!

ALL FALL DOWN (ABC) - Newcomer Anna Camp and Ian Kahn ("Dawson's Creek") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, which centers on a successful female attorney (Alyssa Milano) who leaves her high-powered big-city law firm to move home to Savannah, Georgia, where her crazy relatives live, and winds up joining her father's family law practice. They'll play Meg Wheeler, the younger sister of Milano's character, and Peter Hudgins, Meg's boyfriend, respectively.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Alyssa Milano (Annie Stevens), Anna Camp (Meg Wheeler), Ian Kahn (Peter Hudgins), James Brolin (Tom Wheeler), Mary Steenburgen (Claire Wheeler), Misha Collins (Joey Wheeler)
Writer: Rina Mimoun
Director: Lawrence Trilling
Executive Producers: Rina Mimoun
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

AREA 52 (NBC) - Paul Reubens ("Dirt") is set as "The Alien" in the comedy pilot, about a group of government employees who keep watch over said creature. His character is further detailed in the casting notice as: "Age and appearance TBD. It is vain, condescending, judgmental, overly-sensitive, insulting, stubborn, demanding and passive-aggressive. It likes to pontificate. It needs special food and exercise facilities. It is incapable of forgetting any detail, however insignificant. Every conversation is recalled with 100% accuracy. In other words, it is the most annoying life form ever known to mankind."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bruce McGill (General Keller), Jane Lynch (Irene Maloof), Kelvin Yu, Matthew Lillard (Colonel Steven Isaac), Paul Reubens (The Alien)
Writer: Mike Armstrong
Director: Dean Parisot
Executive Producers: David Latt, Dean Parisot, Mike Armstrong
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

ATLANTA (CBS) - Filmmaker Harold Ramis ("The Ice Harvest") has signed on to direct the comedy pilot, about a man (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and woman who meet at a funeral and can't stay away from each other.

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

BUSINESS CLASS (NBC) - "SNL" alum Horatio Sanz has scored a lead role on the comedy pilot, about the absurd and surreal adventures of two high-powered soda salesmen (Sanz, Mark Valley). He'll play Terry O'Hara, who's described in the casting notice as: 25-35, any ethnicity. A family man with an honest face and trusting nature, he's the perfect mark for any salesman; unfortunately, he IS the salesman, in this case, the newly promoted (and clueless) partner of piranha salesman Chuck Haverchuck. Though Terry is embarrassed at his own lack of travel savvy compared to Chuck, he soon becomes horrified at Chuck's utter lack of morals regarding his job. His frustration with Chuck leads to an outburst that shocks both and ultimately ends up clinching their first deal together."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Horatio Sanz (Terry O'Hara), Jae W. Suh (Amy Lee), Mark Valley (Chuck Haverchuck), Peter Keleghan (The Narrator)
Writers: Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein
Director: Adam Bernstein
Executive Producers: Bill Oakley, Dave Bartis (Dutch Oven Productions), Doug Liman (Dutch Oven Productions), Josh Weinstein
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

CARPOOLERS (ABC) - Faith Ford ("Hope & Faith") has been cast in the comedy pilot, about four guys who carpool to work together. She'll play Leila in the half-hour, the wife of one of them.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Allison Munn (Cindy), Faith Ford (Leila), T.J. Miller (Marmaduke)
Writer: Bruce McCulloch
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Executive Producers: Bruce McCulloch, Darryl Frank (DreamWorks Television), David Miner (3 Arts Entertainment), Justin Falvey (DreamWorks Television)
Studio: ABC Television Studio

CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC) - Bonnie Sommerville ("Kitchen Confidential") is set to join Lucy Liu, Miranda Otto and Frances O'Connor in the drama pilot, about four successful female executives in New York. She'll play Caitlin Dowd, a senior VP for a cosmetic giant. Otto was originally cast in the role and has since moved to a different part, Juliet Draper, the COO of a hotel chain. Sommerville's casting is believed to be tied to a talent holding deal she signed with the network last year (read the story).

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Bonnie Somerville (Caitlin Dowd), Frances O'Connor (Zoe Burden), Julian Ovenden (Eric Burden), Lucy Liu (Dylan Mason), Miranda Otto (Juliet Draper)
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

DEEPLY IRRESPONSIBLE (FOX) - Andrea Parker ("Less Than Perfect") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about a middle-class family and the unique relationship that forms between an outrageous grandpa who moves in with his overworked, overscheduled grandson. She'll play Susan, an unspecified character.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Andrea Parker (Susan)
Writer: Victor Fresco
Director: Marc Buckland
Executive Producers: Victor Fresco
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC) - Donald Sutherland ("Commander-In-Chief") has signed on for the final principal role in the drama pilot, about an idealistic lawyer (Peter Krause) who gets to represent the Darlings, a rich and powerful family. He's set as Tripp Darling, who's described in the casting notice as follows: "60s. He is the Darling family patriarch, a super-wealthy, powerful, persuasive man of charm and determination who has vineyards and homes around the world, including the upper East Side in NYC. He has spawned five grown, troubled children with his life Letitia. Tripp and his family embody the charm and all-Americanism of the Kennedys. They also embody the scandal; rumor has it Tripp was close to being implicated in at least three murders. When Nick's father Devlin dies under mysterious circumstances, Tripp tries to hire Bill Clinton as his new lawyer, and eventually persuades Nick to take the job."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Donald Sutherland (Tripp Darling), Glenn Fitzgerald (Brian Darling), Jill Clayburgh (Letitia Darling), Natalie Zea (Karen Darling), Peter Krause (Nick George), Samaire Armstrong (Juliet Darling), Seth Gabel (Jeremy Darling), William Baldwin (Senator Patrick Darling), Zoe McLellan (Lisa George)
Writer: Craig Wright
Director: Peter Horton
Executive Producers: Craig Wright, Greg Berlanti (Berlanti Television)
Studio: ABC Television Studio

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK (The CW, New!) - Newcomers Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin have booked a pilot order from the netlet for a new comedy about four twentysomethings who work for the top movers and shakers in New York. The project is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television and Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills Productions. Hayes and Milliner then will executive produce alongside Lavender and Ulin..

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: TBA
Writers: Marcie Ulin, Meredith Lavender
Director: TBA
Executive Producers: Marcie Ulin, Meredith Lavender, Sean Hayes (Hazy Mills Productions), Todd Milliner (Hazy Mills Productions)
Studio: CBS Paramount Network Television

FOOTBALL WIVES (ABC) - Arielle Kebbel ("John Tucker Must Die") is set as Nicole in the drama pilot, the younger sister of Kiele Sanchez's character. Said hour revolves around the wives of professional football players.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Arielle Kebbel (Nicole), Brian White (Kyle), Eddie Cibrian, Gabrielle Union (Chardonnay), Kiele Sanchez (Donna), Lucy Lawless (Tanya), Ving Rhames (Frank)
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

GREEK (ABC Family) - The drama pilot, about college life and the Greek system as told from the point of view of freshman (Jacob Zachar), has been given a series order of nine episodes. Sean Smith ("Summerland") created the hour, which is set to roll out this summer alongside the second season of "Kyle XY." Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan also serve as executive producers via their Segan Co. and Piller 2 banners. Gil Junger directed the pilot.

Commitment: Ordered to series (nine episodes)
Cast: Amber Stevens (Ashleigh), Clark Duke (Dale), Dilshad Vadsaria (Rebecca Logan), Jacob Zachar (Rusty Cartwright), Jake McDorman (Evan Chambers), Paul James (Calvin), Scott M. Foster (Cappie), Spencer Grammer (Casey Cartwright)
Writer: Sean Smith
Director: Gil Junger
Executive Producers: Lloyd Segan (The Segan Company), Shawn Piller (Piller 2)
Supervising Produer: Sean Smith
Studios: Blueprint Entertainment, Lionsgate Television

THE HILL (ABC) - Wendie Malick ("Big Day") has signed onto the pilot, a comedic soap about legislative aides on Capitol Hill. She'll play a Democratic senator in the half-hour.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Eric Christian Olsen, Wendie Malick
Writer: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Director: Andy Ackerman
Executive Producers: Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

LINCOLN HEIGHTS (ABC Family) - The cable channel has renewed the series for a second season with 10 new episodes set to roll out during the 2007-08 season. To date this season, "Heights" is the second most-watched program on basic cable among women 12-34 (422,000) and female teens (223,000) as well as in the top five among adults 12-34 (548,000), women 18-34 (199,000) and women 18-49 (375,000). Kathleen McGhee Anderson will return as showrunner for the show's second go around as will its entire cast.

LOST (ABC) - Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, a pair of co-executive producers on the series, have inked a three-year, mid-seven figure overall deal with producer ABC Television Studio. The pact calls for the duo to be upped to executive producers next season as well as develop new series projects for the studio.

PLAYING CHICKEN (FOX) - Marianne Muellerleile has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two brothers who are forced to live together after one is in an accident. She'll play the guys' mother.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Marianne Muellerleile, Norbert Leo Butz (Jake)
Writers: John Morris, Sean Anders
Director: John Pasquin
Executive Producers: Eric Gold (Werner-Gold-Miller), Jimmy Miller (Werner-Gold-Miller), Tom Werner (Werner-Gold-Miller)
Co-Executive Producers: John Morris, Sean Anders
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

THE THICK OF IT (ABC) - Rhea Seehorn ("The Singles Table") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about the workers in the office of a low-level congressman. She's set as the congressman's speech writer and staffer. Seehorn's involvement is believed to be in second position to her duties on the yet-to-debut NBC comedy.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Rhea Seehorn
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

TOO BIG TO WALK? (ABC, New!) - "Supernanny" producer Ricochet is developing the British series - in which a group of eight overweight people are followed as they marched 500 miles over eight weeks, from the south coast of England to Edinburgh - for the U.S. Nick Emerson is shepherding the project, which will not only get a new title but be revamped to include various challenges and prize money. Emerson then will executive produce with Julie Laughlin ("Extreme Makeover") serving as a co-executive producer. Casting reportedly has been underway for several weeks now, with production expected to begin in April for a potential summer air date.

Commitment: Ordered to series
Cast: TBA
Writer: TBA
Director: TBA
Executive Producer: Nick Emerson
Co-Executive Producer: Julie Laughlin
Studio: Ricochet

TRAVELING IN PACKS (ABC) - Shawnee Smith ("Saw III") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about three thirtysomething women who find that living together has benefits. She'll play one of the trio, a health nut.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Shawnee Smith, Virginia Williams (Carol)
Writer: Jhoni Marchinko
Director: James Burrows
Executive Producers: Jhoni Marchinko
Studio: Warner Bros. Television

WILDLIFE (NBC) - Brooke D'Orsay ("Happy Hour") and Philip Baker Hall ("The Loop") have both been cast in the pilot, a workplace comedy set at an animal park. She'll play the new director of zoo operations while Hall is set as the zoo's director.

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Brooke D'Orsay, Christopher Sieber (Jim), Philip Baker Hall
Writers: David Israel, Jim O'Doherty
Director: Tucker Gates
Executive Producers: Conan O'Brien (Conaco Productions), David Israel, David Kissinger (Conaco Productions), Jeff Ross (Conaco Productions), Jim O'Doherty
Studio: NBC Universal Television Studio

WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC) - Scott Winant ("Huff") has come aboard to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about a homicide detective (Angie Harmon) and her three girlfriends, who solve murder cases. He'll take over for Brett Ratner, who's busy directing "Rush Hour 3." Ratner nevertheless will remain as an executive producer on the project. In addition, Tyrees Allen ("Alias") has been cast in the hour. He'll play Warren Jacobi, who's detailed in the casting notice as: "50s. A Homicide Inspector with twenty-odd hard years on the job. Jacobi is Lindsay's partner and a father figure to her as well. A smart ass, grouchy, and likeably misogynistic, he is passed over when Lindsay gets the promotion to Lieutenant."

Commitment: Ordered to pilot
Cast: Angie Harmon (Lindsay Boxer), Aubrey Dollar (Cindy Thomas), Paula Newsome (Claire Washburn), Tyrees Allen (Warren Jacobi)
Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain
Director: Scott Winant
Executive Producers: Brett Ratner (Rat Television), Elizabeth Craft, James Patterson, Joe Simpson, Sarah Fain, Scott Winant
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2007]  

· AREA 57 (NBC)

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