[04/04/08 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: Friday, April 4
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) - Eion Bailey ("ER") is the latest addition to the drama pilot presentation, about a brain surgeon (Lauren Lee Smith) who fights to survive in the competitive boys club that is the seven-year neurosurgical residency. He's set as Dr. Pete Anderson, a chief resident at the end of his seven-year neurosurgical residency. Sony Pictures Television and Apostle Productions are behind the project, which comes from creator Elle Johnson and fellow executive producers Denis Leary and Jim Serpico. Production is set to begin shortly in New York City.

DOLLHOUSE (FOX) - Olivia Williams ("X-Men: The Last Stand") is the latest addition to Joss Whedon's upcoming drama series, about a group of young men and women, known as "Dolls," who are imprinted with different personalities for different assignments. She'll play Adelle DeWitt, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "40 something, any ethnicity, beautiful, sophisticated, cold as an alp. Runs the Dollhouse with an efficiency that is both ruthless and protective. Would die before she showed anyone how lonely she is." There she'll join the previously cast Dichen Lachman, Eliza Dushku, Enver Gjokaj, Fran Kranz and Tahmoh Penikett. Whedon wrote the pilot and is directing for 20th Century Fox Television.

EXIT 19 (CBS) - Matthew Lillard ("Scooby-Doo") is set to star opposite Geena Davis in the drama pilot presentation, about Gloria (Davis), a quirky Manhattan homicide detective who also is a single mom to two kids in the suburbs on Long Island. He'll play Gloria's younger brother who lives with her. Jeffrey Bell is behind the ABC Studios/CBS Paramount Network Television-based project, which also comes from fellow executive producers Gene Stein and Nina Wass.

NY-LON (CBS) - Will Kemp ("Step Up 2: The Streets") has been tapped as the male lead in the drama pilot, about a New York store clerk (Elisha Cuthbert) and a London stock broker (Kemp) who embark on a cross-continental romance. His character, Michael Antonioni, is further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "30-34, British, rakishly handsome, charming, and confident. He's a successful, ambitious broker. He has plenty of casual relationships with women but has avoided intimacy. Mostly because he has extensive responsibilities; he supports his younger sister in college, his nephew and sister-in-law, and is about to take on his newly pregnant on-again/off-again sex partner. He won't be an irresponsible father like his own dad and his deadbeat brother. He's deeply emotional but that's masked with wit, charm, and cockiness. Until he falls hard for Edie, even though he's from a different world. Then he's hooked. He likes Edie's independence; she's different from the women he knows." Stephen Moyer played said role in the U.K. original. Caterina Scorsone and Johnny Whitworth also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which comes from creators Lara Runnels and Patti Carr. Armyan Bernstein, Chris Coelen, Laurie Zaks and Rob Pursey also serve as executive producers while Larry Shaw is directing.

SMALLVILLE (The CW) - Co-creators/executive producers Al Gough and Miles Millar are departing the veteran drama after seven seasons. "As the creators of 'Smallville' we look back at 7 amazing years. We look back at 152 episodes. We look back knowing that the show will continue into Season 8 without us. After much heartache and debate we have decided it is time for us to move on," began an open letter to the show's fans on Kryptonsite.com. In their absence, fellow executive producers Darren Swimmer, Todd Slavkin, Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson will now serve as showrunners beginning next season.

SONY PICTURES TELEVISION (New!) - Graham Yost ("Raines"), Kevin Falls ("Journeyman"), David Guarascio & Moses Port ("Aliens in America"), Josh Berman ("Vanished"), Jenny Bicks ("Men in Trees"), Bill Martin & Mike Schiff ("Cavemen") and Will Gluck ("The Loop") have all inked development deals with the studio. The pacts, ranging from blind, two-script commitments to multi-year overall deals, come after said parties were force majeured out of their previous studio pacts during the recent WGA strike. Yost, Guarascio and Port were previously based at Universal Media Studios while Bicks was at Warner Bros. Television, Martin and Schiff at ABC Studios, Gluck at CBS Paramount Network Television and Berman and Falls at 20th Century Fox Television.

SPACED (FOX) - Yara Martinez ("The Unit") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about two strangers (Sara Rue, Josh Lawson) who pose as a married couple in order to rent an apartment. She'll play Marsha Klein, the woman's best friend. Julia Deakin originated said role in the original U.K. version. Federico Dordei also stars in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which Charles Stone is directing from a script by Adam Barr. Barr then is executive producing alongside Granada International's Robert Green and Wonderland Sound and Vision's McG and Peter Johnson.

STYLEDOME (The CW, New!) - BermanBraun ("Duel") and Super Delicious Productions ("Amne$ia") have scored a pilot commitment from the network for a new reality project which combines the traditional beauty makeover series with a race-against-the-clock competition show. The former's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are executive producing the hour alongside the latter's Joanna Vernetti, Cara Tapper and Adam Cohen. As for specifics, each week well-known stylists will head up a team of makeover artists as they attempt to give new looks to three worthy contestants. A live audience vote following the reveal then determines the winner. No prize however was mentioned.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2008]  

· ER (NBC)
· EXIT 19 (CBS)

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