[04/27/07 - 05:04 PM] Development Update: Week of April 23-27 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ANDY BARKER, P.I. (NBC) - Jonathan Groff, the co-creator of the short-lived comedy, has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact, which has an option for a third year, calls for the writer/producer to create new series projects for the studio.
BROTHERHOOD (Showtime) - Tony winner Brian F. O'Byrne ("Frozen") has joined the cast of the pay channel drama, which returns for its second season this fall. He'll play Colin Carr, a charming but ruthless cousin of Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke's characters who comes from Ireland to Providence and gets involved in the former's criminal world.
FAMILY GUY (FOX) - Twentieth Television has upped the show's off-network clearance to local stations covering 90% of the country. KBCW/KPIX San Francisco-Oakland, WMOR Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, KSAZ/KUTP Phoenix, KMSP/WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul, WUAB/WOIO Cleveland, WOFL/WFTC Orlando-Daytona Beach, WPGH/WCWB Pittsburgh and KMCI/KSHB Kansas City, Missouri were among the latest stations to sign on to carry the series, which begins its syndicated run this fall. In total, "Guy" was been cleared in 150 markets, including 24 of the top 25.
GREY'S ANATOMY/PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC) - Krista Vernoff and Marti Noxon has been tapped as the day-to-day showrunners of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" respectively next season. Said appointments come as creator Shonda Rhimes preps for the expected series order for the latter series, the backdoor pilot of which airs next week.
LAW & ORDER (NBC) - Chris Levinson, a co-executive producer on the flagship series, has inked a two-year overall deal with NBC Universal Television. The pact calls for the writer/producer to develop new series projects for the studio, regardless of "Law & Order's" fate.
LEVEL NINE (UPN) - Sci Fi's off-network run of the short-lived UPN drama is set to begin Friday, June 1 at 7:00/6:00c. The cable channel purchased the broadcast rights to the series last year (read the story) as part of its deal with CBS Paramount Domestic Television for "Star Trek: Enterprise."
LIFETIME ORIGINAL SERIES (Lifetime) - The cable channel has detailed its full 2007-08 season development slate (read the story), which includes a half-dozen scripted series as well as a handful of unscripted projects and original movies. The scripted efforts are: "Burnt Toast," an adaptation of Teri Hatcher's memoir of the same name from "Reba" creator Allison Gibson and the ABC Television Studio; "Chambermaid," about a law school grad who clerks for a power-hungry judge from Paula Weinstein ("Blood Diamond") and Jeffrey Levine ("Monster-in-Law"); "Bailey Weggins," a small screen take on the series of mystery novels about a recently divorced investigative reporter by Cosmo editor-in-chief Kate White from Lionsgate Television and executive producers Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and Rick Copp ("The Brady Bunch Movie"); "Lovely and Talented," about a woman who opens an adult-education class for women trying to attain stardom from executive producer Denise Di Novi and creator/co-executive producer Eileen Walls; and "Mile High," an adaptation of a British series about an airline crew of the same name from executive producer Jill Condon ("Friends") and original series creator Jane Hewland for the ABC Television Studio. The quintet joins the previously announced "The Madness of Jane" (previously "Ava"), starring Ever Carradine, the pilot of which is close to wrapping post-production.
On the unscripted front, pilot orders have been issued to "Judgment Day," a popularity contest from Fox Television Studios, and "America's Psychic Challenge," which pits psychics against each other, from Bunim-Murray Productions ("The Real World"). Also in the works are "Going for Broke," from Reveille ("The Biggest Loser") and Super Delicious ("MTV's '70s House"), a competition series where women in financial trouble battle to have their debt forgiven, as well as the previously announced "How to Look Good Naked," hosted by "Queer Eye" alum Carson Kressley from RDF Media. As for its signature - original movies - Lifetime is developing everything from "House of Hilton," a biopic of the Hilton family's rise from poverty to immense wealth; to "Victoria Woodhull," about the story of the woman who in 1872 ran for president even though women didn't have the right to vote; to "Custody of the Heart," a movie about a custody battle between the stepfather and birth father of a 13-year-old girl. Telefilm gurus Howard Braunstein and Michael Jaffe are behind both "Hilton" and "Heart," the former of which will use Jerry Oppenheimer's book as a basis. Barbara Lieberman ("Murder in the Hamptons") and Robert Greenwald ("Beach Girls") then are shepherding "Woodhull" alongside Agatha Dominik, John Crutchfield, Arlene and Irving Sorkin ("Something the Lord Made").
THE O.C. (FOX) - Writer/producer John Stephens has signed a six-figure, two-script deal with the show's producer Warner Bros. Television. The pact calls for Stephens to pen two original scripts for the studio.
OCTOBER ROAD (ABC) - Co-stars Lindy Booth and Rebecca Field are set to be upped to series regulars should "Road" return for a second season. It's understood said decision was made to keep the actors from testing for other pilots this season, a solid sign the show is on track to return in the fall.