LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DANNY FRICKE (A&E) - Connie Nielsen ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") has scored the title role on the crime drama, about a detective who gets a big promotion and on her first case investigates a high-profile murder while dealing with the old-school detectives who work for her. "Cane" creator Cynthia Cidre is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based project, which she's executive producing alongside Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly of 25C Productions. Said development means all four of the network's cast-contingent pilots are heading into production, including the Benjamin Bratt-led "The Cleaner" (directed by David Semel), the Patrick Swayze-led "The Beast" (directed by Michael Dinner) and the Henry Thomas-led in "Under" (directed by Charles S. Dutton).
THE LIFE & TIMES OF MARCUS "FELONY" BROWN (VH1, New!) - The cable channel has commissioned a pilot to a new single-camera comedy from executive producers Keenen Ivory, Marlon and Shawn Wayans. Darius McCrary ("Committed") stars as the title character, an up-and-coming hard-core East Coast rapper who, after his debut album goes platinum, is forced to relocate to Los Angeles to record his follow-up. Filling out his entourage are Vince Green as self-hyping hype man E-Z, Jon Abrahams as jet-setting manager Cash, Marcello Thedford as hard-partying bodyguard Tiny, Affion Crockett as Marcus' personal barber Seville and Toni Trucks as Marcus' assistant Tia. Principal photography was recently completed on the project with Marcus Raboy ("Friday After Next") directing from a script by Xavier Cook ("White Chicks"). Wayans Bros. Productions' Rick Alvarez and Modus Entertainment's Lisa Suzanne Blum also serve as executive producers.
UNTITLED THOM BEERS PROJECTS (NBC, New!) - "Deadliest Catch" creator Thom Beers and producers Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun have inked a blockbuster three-series/30-episode deal with the Peacock. The pact calls for the group to produce a trio of action-adventure reality series (of at least 10 episodes each) that will air as part of a themed programming block on the network. In addition, BermanBraun and Original Productions will retain the international rights to said projects. And if that wasn't enough - they've also received three blind pilot commitments for future unscripted projects.
WIPEOUT (ABC, New!) - Endemol USA is developing a new game show at the Alphabet in which 50 contestants compete for the chance to win $50,000 while trying to make it through an enormous obstacle course. The project, which has a pilot commitment, is further detailed in the casting notice as "all the fun of 'Fear Factor' with none of the gross." Exact format details however weren't released.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters