LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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DIARY OF A MANHATTAN CALL GIRL (HBO) - The pay channel has commissioned a pilot for the Darren Star-produced project, an ensemble comedy that takes a look at how power, sex and money collide through the eyes of a group of Manhattan's highest-paid escorts. Star penned the pilot script based on Tracy Quan's memoir of the same name and is executive producing via his Sony Pictures Television-based Darren Star Productions alongside Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. He's also expected to direct should his schedule permit.
HOW TO TEACH FILTHY RICH GIRLS (The CW) - Michael Cassidy ("Hidden Palms") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a Yale-educated young woman who is hired to be the tutor to two rich heiresses in Palm Beach. He'll play the woman's boyfriend in the project, which comes from creator Rina Mimoun, Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.
MEANT TO BE'S (CBS) - Amy Smart ("Smith") has been cast in the lead role of the drama pilot, about a wealthy young gallery owner in New York who becomes a pseudo-angel after her death in order to earn her spot in heaven. Said role, Janine Sebring, is further described in the casting notice as: "30, beautiful, extremely wealthy, sleek and stylish. Janine is a quintessential, high-powered, uppercrust New Yorker, complete with art gallery ownership, an on-call driver, and a gorgeous fiance. Despite her classy trappings, she's an endearingly bad dancer with no rhythm. Witty, erudite and elitist, she can be sharp-tongued and high-maintenance, and her underlings at work don't always know when she's being sarcastic. She's the type who gives money to homeless people so they'll move out of her way, not because she feels compassionate toward them. When Steven, her fiance, decides they should make their union official immediately and worry about the celebration later, she believes he's being romantic and allows herself to be swept up in the plan. While grabbing items for the subsequent honeymoon, she is attacked in her apartment and thrown from her 40th floor balcony for reasons unknown to her. When she wakes up, she's neither in Heaven nor Hell, but a dream-like world in which people belonging to different metaphysical departments make choices for those still on earth that will change the course of their lives. Her tour guide and mentor is a handsome Man who explains she has become a "Meant To Be," like him. This means she has a ways to go before Heaven will admit her, and must spend her time giving people on earth a nudging, helping hand in the "meant to be" direction." Glenn Gordon Caron is behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which he wrote and is directing.
NY-LON (CBS) - Larry Shaw ("Desperate Housewives") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, 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. He'll work from a script by co-creators Lara Runnels and Patti Carr. ABC Studios is behind the hour, which is being executive produced by Armyan Bernstein, Chris Coelen, Laurie Zaks and Rob Pursey.
PRISON BREAK (FOX) - Nick Santora, a co-executive producer on the series, has posted to his MySpace.com page that season four is officially a go. The posting reads: "So we got word on Wednesday that we are officially picked up by the network for Season 4. This is great news. We are all very excited. We are moving offices onto the Fox Studio Lot next week and we had to say goodbye to the offices that were our home for the past 3 years ... not really that sad because, well, c�mon, it�s just a frickin� building. But my new office is about half the size with just a tiny window which normally would suck except for one thing ... I get to go to work everyday with people I love and respect and I get to be creative. So I don�t really give a rat�s ass what our new offices look like! For those of you who celebrate Easter, have a great one. I will be at my home having Easter dinner with family (visiting cousins) and friends (including Prison Break writer Kalinda Vazquez) -- it should be a nice weekend leading into an even better week of diving head-first into Season 4!" A network spokesperson however has told us the network has yet to officially announce any pickup.
SINGLE WHITE MILLIONAIRE (CBS) - Fred Savage ("Crumbs") has been tapped as the title role in the comedy pilot, about an unassuming millionaire (Savage) in his 30s who is ready to settle down. Savage's involvement lifts the casting contingency off the multi-camera pilot's production. Ricky Blitt created the half-hour, which is based at Warner Bros. Television.
SPACED (FOX) - Will Sasso ("Mad TV") and Federico Dordei ("Without a Trace") have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two strangers (one played by Josh Lawson) who pose as a married couple in order to rent an apartment and become intimately involved with the other misfits in the building. Sasso will play Mike Watt, the guy's best friend who believes in government conspiracies, while Dordei is set as Brian Topp, a neighbor who is a struggling artist. Nick Frost and Mark Heap respectively originated the roles in the U.K. version. Charles Stone is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour from a script by Adam Barr. Granada International and Wonderland Sound and Vision are also co-producing.
SUBURBAN SHOOTOUT (HBO) - Barry Sonnenfeld ("Pushing Daisies") has been tapped to direct Michelle Ashford's comedy pilot, which received the firm go ahead this week. The project, which is based on the U.K. series of the same name, is a dark comedy about a woman who escapes the city for suburban bliss only to find herself caught between two rival gangs of homicidal housewives as they vie for control of their idyllic town. Ashford penned the adaptation and is executive producing (via her Round Two Productions) alongside Sonnenfeld (via his Right Coast Film Company) and Feelgood Fiction's Laurence Bowen and Philip Clarke.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters