[01/18/08 - 06:11 PM] Development Update: Week of January 14-18 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CIRCUS OF THE STARS (ABC, New!) - ABC is in "serious negotiations" to land a potential revival of the 1980s series, which has also drawn interest from CBS and FOX. Michael Dempsey (MTV's "Video Music Awards") and original executive producer Bunny Stivers are behind the project, which is said to involve a new competitive aspect much like "Dancing With the Stars." Not surprisingly, exact format details have yet to be released as they are still being worked out.
DANCE MACHINE (ABC) - E! News correspondent Jason Kennedy has been named the host of the Alphabet's upcoming reality series, a weekly dance competition featuring non-professionals competing for a cash prize. The network has given the RDF USA-based project a five-episode order. Greg Goldman, Chris Coelen and Metro Entertainment's Brian A. Veskosky are the executive producers. No premiere date however has been announced.
FRINGE (FOX) - Kirk Acevedo ("The Black Donnellys") and Mark Valley ("Boston Legal") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a female FBI agent who ends up paired with a troubled scientist and his estranged son in a hunt for paranormal phenomena. Acevedo is believed to be playing Charlie Francis, a good-natured FBI agent, with Valley reportedly set as John Scott, another agent with whom the lead character is involved. J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk and Alex Graves are all behind the Warner Bros. Television/Bad Robot-based hour, which Graves is directing from a script by the former trio. Production then is set to begin next month in Toronto.
LAST OF THE NINTH (A.K.A. UNTITLED DAVID MILCH/BILL CLARK PROJECT) (HBO) - David Milch and Bill Clark's long-in-the-works drama script has been given a pilot commitment and a title. The project is described as a gritty drama set in the New York Police Department in 1972. As for specifics, Milch told Daily Variety: "It is about an older detective's mentoring of a young detective returned from Vietnam in a department fiscally crippled, under attack by revolutionaries, and which has been brought by allegations of systemic corruption into public disrepute." The pair co-wrote the pilot script and will executive produce. Filming then is expected to begin upon the conclusion of the WGA strike. Milch has an overall deal with HBO, which was extended back in August following the cancellation of "John From Cincinnati."
SPECIAL DELIVERY (LMN, New!) - Lisa Edelstein ("House") and Brenda Song ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody") are set to topline a new "Midnight Run"-esque movie for the Lifetime sibling, about a bonded courier working in the Pacific Rim who's assigned to deliver a bratty teen to her father in China to her mother in the U.S. Edelstein will play said courier, Maxine Carter, with Song as the teen Alice. Michael Scott is set to direct the project from a script by Matt Dearborn with MarVista Entertainment's Michael Jacobs serving as executive producer and Marc Lorber producing. Production is set to begin later this year for a December air date.
TV LAND MYTHS & LEGENDS (TV Land) - TV Land is moving forward with a second season of the series, which aims to find out the truth behind mysteries, scandals, rumors and urban legends revolving around celebrities, music, TV series and movies. Seven new episodes are set to roll out on Wednesdays at 10:00/9:00c starting August 27. Among the upcoming topics: was Arnold Schwarzenegger originally cast as TV's "Incredible Hulk," is Jennifer Lopez's derriere really insured for $1 billion and did Mars Inc., maker of M&M's, turn down product placement in "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial?" The show's first season drew an average of 819,000 viewers, a 54% improvement over the same time period a year earlier. Gay Rosenthal Productions' Paul Barrosse is the executive producer.