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[04/20/07 - 05:59 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday-Friday, April 18-20
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!


DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) - "Frasier" alums Anne Flett-Giordano and Chuck Ranberg ("The Game") as well as Lori Kirkland Baker ("Freddie") are all set to join the writing staff of the dramedy next season. The trio will also serve as co-executive producers. Said additions are understood to fill the void left by exiting executive producer/co-showrunner (and fellow "Frasier" alum) Joe Keenan.


DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (NBC, New!) - Christian Slater ("Alone in the Dark") is set to topline a potential new drama at the Peacock from writer/producers Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen ("Las Vegas"). Slater's official web site details the project as follows: "It's all about America and the things that get swept under the carpet. Im playing a charecter named 'John Manners', a journalistic investigator who pushes the envelope." Dee Johnson ("Commander-In-Chief") penned the original pilot script, which the Cullens are set to polish. The trio then will executive produce alongside Armyan Bernstein ("Children of Men") and Laurie Zaks for the ABC Television Studio and Bernstein's Beacon banner.


GHOST WHISPERER (CBS) - P.K. Simonds ("Point Pleasant") has come aboard as an executive producer of the Eye's supernatural drama. He'll serve alongside fellow executive producers John Gray, Kim Moses and Ian Sander should the series return for a third season this fall.


MICHAEL IAN BLACK DOESN'T UNDERSTAND (Comedy Central, New!) - "Stella" co-creator Michael Ian Black has booked a pilot order for a new pop culture-themed variety series which will incorporate everything from sketch comedy, field segments and studio bits. Black will host and executive produce the potential half-hour alongside Jim Biederman ("Kids in the Hall") with Michael Showalter ("Reno 911!: Miami") serving as a co-executive producer and Black's manager Ted Schachter as a producer.


SIDE ORDER OF LIFE (Lifetime) - Michael Pavone ("Prison Break") has been tapped as an executive producer on the upcoming drama series, about a young magazine photographer (Marisa Coughlan) who suddenly re-evaluates her life and impending nuptials after learning some life-altering news. He'll serve alongside executive producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen as well as creator/co-executive producer Margaret Nagle.


SLACKER CATS (ABC Family) - The cable channel reportedly will announce next week it has given a series order to a redeveloped version of the 2001 WB animated pilot of the same name, about two - you guessed it - slacker cats. Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley are still behind the half-hour, which was directed by Seth Kearsley ("Family Guy"). Paul Harrod ("The PJs") helmed the original five minute presentation, which was also executive produced by Jeffrey Auerbach ("Corpse Bride"), Tom Turpin ("The PJs") and Will Vinton ("The PJs") via the latter's Will Vinton Studios. IDT Entertainment and Film Roman are co-producing the ABC Family series.


TRAP TEAM (NBC, New!) - John McLaughlin ("Point Pleasant") and Dario Scardapane ("The Darkling") are developing a new drama at the network about a cop's careerlong pursuit of an elusive serial killer. Joe Carnahan ("Narc") reportedly is in talks to direct the hour, which is set up at Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey's NBC Universal Television-based Film 44 banner. McLaughlin, Scardapane, Berg and Aubrey then will executive produce with Film 44's John Cameron serving as a co-executive producer.


UNTITLED ERIK BORK PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Erik Bork ("Just Legal") has landed a script commitment from the Peacock for a new drama about an alpha female boss who shakes up a male-dominated workplace. The untitled hour is based at Dave Bartis and Doug Liman's ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith") NBC Universal Television-based Dutch Oven banner. All three then will serve as executive producers.


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (ABC)
· DARKLING, THE (USA)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS (NBC)
· FAMILY GUY (FOX)
· FRASIER (NBC)
· FREDDIE (ABC)
· GAME, THE (BET)
· GHOST WHISPERER (CBS)
· JUST LEGAL (WB)
· LAS VEGAS (NBC)
· MICHAEL IAN BLACK DOESN'T UNDERSTAND (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC)
· PJS, THE (WB)
· POINT PLEASANT (FOX)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· RENO 911 (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· SIDE ORDER OF LIFE (LIFETIME)
· SLACKER CATS (ABC FAMILY)
· STELLA (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· TRAP TEAM (NBC)
· UNTITLED ERIK BORK PROJECT (NBC)





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