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[02/28/08 - 03:58 PM]
Development Update: February 26-28
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!


CAN OPENERS (CBS, New!) - The Eye has commissioned a pilot presentation for a new drama about a twentysomething woman and her fellow residents who fight to survive the intensely competitive boys club that is the seven-year neurosurgical residency. Elle Johnson ("Ghost Whisperer") is behind the project, which is set up at Denis Leary and Jim Serpico's Sony Pictures Television-based Apostle Productions. She'll serve as a co-executive producer with the Apostle gang executive producing.


CRASH (Starz) - Glen Mazzara ("Life") has signed on as the showrunner of the upcoming drama series, based on the Oscar-winning feature of the same name. He'll also pen a new pilot script based on Caleb Kane's original draft as well as executive produce alongside Paul Haggis, Bobby Moresco and Tom Nunan. Bob Yari, Don Cheadle and Mark R. Harris are also on board as producers. Lionsgate Television is co-producing the hour, which has a 13-episode commitment from the pay channel.


DAY BREAK (ABC) - TV One has quietly acquired the off-network rights to the Alphabet's short-lived drama. All 13 episodes, seven of which were never broadcast, will premiere on Sundays at 10:00/9:00c starting March 16. No financial details were released about the deal.


DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC) - Daniel Cerone ("Dexter") has been tapped as the new showrunner/executive producer of the series, which will return for its second season this fall. He'll take over for Josh Reims, who had planned to exit the show after its first season to focus on development. As for Cerone, it's understood his involvement is the result of an overall deal he inked with producer ABC Studios prior to the WGA strike. "I don't think there is any desire to significantly change the show at all," he told the trade publications. "It's more about keeping all the best elements and adding as much intrigue, drama and danger as we possibly can." Cerone will serve alongside creator Craig Wright and fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti, Matthew Gross and Bryan Singer.


DOLLHOUSE (FOX) - "Women's Murder Club" alums Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain have reportedly joined the staff of Joss Whedon's upcoming drama, which follows a top-secret world of people programmed with different personalities, abilities and memories depending on their mission. Their exact titles however are still being worked out. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the hour, which stars Eliza Dushku.


INSEPARABLE (FOX) - British actor Toby Stephens ("Die Another Day") has scored the lead role on the Jekyll and Hyde-esque drama pilot, about a partially paralyzed forensic psychiatrist (Stephens) with a split personality whose alter ego is a charismatic criminal. The project, the production of which is contingent on creator Shaun Cassidy's script, is based at ABC Studios. Casting had begun in anticipation of Cassidy's revised draft.


THE MENTALIST (CBS, New!) - Bruno Heller ("Rome") has landed a pilot order from the Eye for a new drama about a mentalist who uses his skills of observation to solve crimes as an independent detective working with the police. Pilot wunderkind David Nutter ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") is in talks to direct and executive produce the hour. The project is set up at Warner Bros. Television, where Nutter has an overall deal.


MYTHOLOGICAL X (CBS, New!) - Diane Ruggiero ("Veronica Mars") is set to team with Jonathan Levin for a new drama at the Eye about a woman who, after learning from a psychic that she already has dated the man she's supposed to marry, revisits all her past relationships in the hopes of finding him. The project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television, is based on the Israeli series of the same name. Ruggiero will pen the pilot script and executive produce alongside Levin. Casting is set to begin while Ruggiero works on the script.


NY-LON (CBS, New!) - The Eye is looking to import the Channel 4 series for U.S. audiences. To that end the network has ordered a pilot to the project, about a New York record store clerk and a London stock broker who, after a fateful encounter in London, embark on a cross-continental romance. Rashida Jones and Stephen Moyer originated the roles in the seven-episode U.K. version, which was filmed on-location in both London and New York's Lower East Side and East Village. Patti Carr and Lara Runnels are penning the U.S. take, which is set up at ABC Studios and RDF USA sibling Pangea. Carr and Runnels then will serve as co-executive producers with Touchpaper's Rob Pursey, Pangea's Chris Coelen and Beacon Television's Armyan Bernstein and Laurie Zaks executive producing alongside a Pandemonium executive to be named later.

Here's how BBC America, which aired the series in the U.S., described the original version: "Can a New Yorker and a Londoner sustain a romance with the mighty Atlantic Ocean between them? Throw into the mix that the New Yorker is an East Village bohemian and the Londoner, well, he's a banker. Fire and ice? Uptown vs. Downtown? Clove cigarettes and coffee vs. tea and scones? Record store clerk, Edie is dedicated to the life she has created for herself in New York. Her friends are especially important to her because they also serve as a surrogate family. London banker, Michael has become a breadwinner and is a father figure to a young boy. Ten years ago this relationship could have been written off as just a fun vacation fling. But now they're at different points in their lives - straddling the crossroads between youth and adulthood, and it looks like adulthood is going to win out. Neither feels they can justify abandoning the lives they have carved out on a whim, yet they can't seem to forget about each other, either."


THE REAL WEDDING CRASHERS (NBC) - E! sibling the Style Network has snagged the off-network rights to the Peacock's hidden-camera series for an unspecified figure. Only four of the six produced installments actually aired on NBC. Episodes will begin airing on the cable channel on Tuesday nights at 9:00/8:00c starting March 4. Katalyst Films and New Line Television co-produced the project.


UNTITLED ASHTON KUTCHER/TYRA BANKS PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Tyra Banks ("America's Next Top Model") has landed her second series order this month, this time for a new reality competition series said to revolve around women who compete in a beauty contest. The Alphabet has given an eight episode order to the project, which she'll co-produce alongside Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst Films ("Beauty and the Geek") for Warner Horizon Television. Banks, via her Bankable Productions, and Kutcher then will executive produce alongside Katalyst's Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke. As for specifics, said contest will feature a twist which is being kept under wraps for obvious reasons. No launch date was specified.


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (CW)
· BEAUTY AND THE GEEK (CW)
· CAN OPENERS (CBS)
· CRASH (STARZ)
· DAY BREAK (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DEXTER (SHOWTIME)
· DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC)
· DOLLHOUSE (FOX)
· EX LIST, THE (CBS)
· GHOST WHISPERER (CBS)
· INSEPARABLE (FOX)
· LIFE (NBC)
· MENTALIST, THE (CBS)
· NY-LON (CBS)
· REAL WEDDING CRASHERS, THE (NBC)
· ROME (HBO)
· TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (FOX)
· TRUE BEAUTY (ABC)
· VERONICA MARS (CW)
· WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC)









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