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!
THE BIG MATCH (Lifetime, New!) - Paul Buccieri's Granada America has landed a pilot order from the cable channel for a new game show in which 100 single men compete for a dream date with one woman. Cat Deeley ("So You Think You Can Dance") is already on board to host the project, which was created by Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith ("Phenomenon"). Buccieri will presumably executive produce the pilot alongside Agbabian and Smith. No other specifics however were given.
FRINGE (FOX) - Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek") has scored the final principal role on the two-hour drama pilot, about an FBI agent Olivia Warren (Anna Torv) who teams with an institutionalized scientist (John Noble), to confront the spread of unexplained phenomena. Jackson will play Peter Bishop, the estranged son of Noble's character, a high-school dropout with an IQ of 190 and a misfit who is scrambling to erase a gambling debt. J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Alex Graves are all behind the Warner Bros. Television/Bad Robot-based project, which also stars Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Kirk Acevedo, Mark Valley and Jasika Nicole. Production is underway in Toronto with the quartet executive producing alongside Bad Robot's Bryan Burk.
THE GOODE FAMILY (ABC, New!) - "King of the Hill's" Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky are set to re-team for a new animated series at the Alphabet about a family obsessed with doing the "right" thing - environmentally, politically or socially - only to have their efforts result in unintended comedic consequences. The network has given a blind 13-episode commitment to the project, which is based at indie production company Media Rights Capital. Judge is expected to voice several characters on the show, including the family's father. He'll also executive produce alongside Altschuler, Krinsky and 3 Arts Entertainment's Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. The news marks ABC's first on-air animated commitment since 2000's short-lived "Clerks."
INSIDE THE NFL (HBO) - HBO has pulled the plug on the veteran NFL highlights show after 31 seasons with its final episode airing this past Wednesday. "It has been a terrific franchise," HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg said in a statement. "But the television landscape has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years, and we have to recognize the realities of the business." Among said realities - "a whopping $8 million per year for the rights to use the highlights of NFL games," according to Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio. "Add to that estimated annual production costs of $20 million, and that's a hefty price tag for any network to pay." The NFL nevertheless is in talks with "three or four other unnamed outlets" to find a new home for the franchise. It's not clear however if co-hosts Bob Costas, Dan Marino, Cris Collinsworth and Cris Carter will make the transition to any new incarnation.
KROD MANDOON (Comedy Central, New!) - Media Rights Capital has booked a six-episode commitment from the network for a new workplace comedy set in the Middle Ages. Peter Knight is behind the project, which is expected to roll out in early 2009. Additional specifics however weren't released.
THE LIFE & TIMES OF TIM (HBO) - The pay channel has given a 10-episode order to Steve Dilderian's animated comedy, about a single, offbeat guy (who he also voices) living in New York City whose instincts lead him down the wrong paths in life. The project was previously set up at FOX, who commissioned a pilot presentation last season. Media Rights Capital has subsequently taken over the distribution from Warner Bros. Television, who will still maintain a passive stake in the show. It's not clear if the original voice ensemble - Bob Morrow, Cheri Oteri, Kurtwood Smith, Matt Johnson, MJ Otto and Nick Kroll - is returning for the HBO incarnation. Production nevertheless is underway for a potential summer start with Dilderian, Tom Werner, Jimmy Miller and Mike Clements executive producing. The news likewise marks HBO's first animated effort since 1997-99's "Spawn."
THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS (NBC) - Constance Zimmer ("Entourage"), Christina Chang ("CSI: Miami"), RonReaco Lee ("Committed") and Justina Machado ("Six Feet Under") have all joined the cast of the multi-camera comedy pilot, about a womanizer named Larry (Michael Trucco) who uses his expertise to help romantically challenged women. Zimmer will play Liza, the brother of Trucco's character, a smart, hardworking divorcee who is single-handedly raising her teen daughter while running her own wedding-planning business. Chang then is set as Malinda, a hot, twice-divorced woman and a gold digger who "carries her shovel proudly" with Lee as Larry's protege Mitch, a "Star Wars" buff, and Machado as Sheryl, Liza's friend and business partner, an attractive but somewhat curvy divorced woman. Jay Lacopo is behind the Universal Media Studios/Conaco-based half-hour, which he's executive producing alongside Conan O'Brien, David Kissinger and Jeff Ross.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters