LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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1% (HBO) - Donal Logue, Marisa Ryan and W. Earl Brown have each joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the Carefree, Arizona chapter of one of the toughest motorcycle clubs in the country, the Death Rangers. Logue will play the lead role of Misfit, who's detailed via the casting notice as follows: "40-45, shaggy haired and maybe he's scrawny and maybe he's a slab of beef, but whatever the package, he's complicated. He's a biker, but don't let that fill you with preconceptions. Yes, he's dangerous (in the right situation), tough, uncompromising and proud, doesn't like to fight, not afraid to bleed, but he's smart, too, even if he tends to learn his lessons a little to late to apply them. By day, he's the mailroom guy for a Silicon Valley software company, and for the rich young techies, he's just a blur. But when he leaves work he gets on his Harley, puts on his jacket, and he's wearing the patch of the toughest motorcycle club in the country, the Death Rangers. And in that world, he's a knight of the realm. Threatened with expulsion from the club for sex with a brother member's Old Lady, (on a technicality) he's given the option to move to Arizona and bring order to the Carefree, Arizona, chapter, the F Troop of the Death Rangers, albeit an F Troop whose officers are all dead or in prison as a result of a meth lab explosion, Misfit proves resourceful, sometimes brutal, and in all ways a leader as he begins to bring the troubled Carefree chapter under control - though the initial respect he commands may be undermined by his instant attraction to Rhonda, the old lady/wife of fellow Death Ranger (and his host) Jacuzzi Dave."
Ryan then is set as Montana - "Around 32. LH's old lady. She's well versed in the ways of the Death Rangers, but is fed up with LH's commitment to them and wants him to quit so they can have a "normal" life, that is, just once, she'd like to finish an orgy without her husband being called away on club business. Montana makes trouble with Rhonda, Jacuzzi Dave's wife and the most respected "old lady," when she argues in favor of going to the authorities with 4 year old MacKenzie, a Death Ranger toddler orphaned by the meth explosion. Despite wanting LH out, Montana does her part as a good Death Ranger old lady, working with Candace to help clean up the clubhouse after the local cops trash it." - with Brown as Sailor - "30ish-50ish, a Carefree, Arizona, Death Ranger, good-hearted, devoted to his mentally unstable old lady Candace, concerned when she's off her meds, proud when she's functioning, Sailor knows Misfit slightly from before and fills him in on the situation in Carefree. Like the other brothers, he's loyal to his club, whom he considers his family, but within that circle he is also fiercely protective of Candace." They join the previously cast Lucy Punch and Timm Sharp on the project, which comes from director Alan Taylor and creator Michael Tolkin. Alex Hertzberg and Guymon Casady are executive producing alongside Tolkin.
THE BAD MOTHER'S HANDBOOK (ABC) - Richard Shepard ("Ugly Betty") is set to helm the comedy pilot, about a 32-year-old woman too busy taking care of her 16-year-old daughter and 48-year-old mother. Alexandra Rushfield and Jennifer Konner are behind the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which also comes from executive producer Stu Bloomberg.
COURTROOM K (FOX) - Joe and Anthony Russo ("Carpoolers") have come aboard to direct the pilot, a darkly comedic courtroom drama set in a Milwaukee Superior Court. They'll work from a script by creator Paul Attanasio. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the hour, which stars Jonathan Sadowski.
CREATURE COMFORTS (CBS) - Animal Planet has quietly purchased the off-network rights to the short-lived animated series, which ran on the Eye last summer. Back-to-back episodes are set to air on Thursday nights at 7:00/6:00c beginning April 24. Only three of the seven produced installments were aired on CBS. No financial details were released.
FLASHPOINT (CBS) - Amy Jo Johnson ("Wildfire") has joined the cast of the Eye's upcoming drama, about an elite tactical police team. She'll play Julianna, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "28-34. She�s an ex-RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), who holds her own in a testosterone-pumped team environment. The only girl in a family of farm boys, brought up by the tough love of a widowed dad, she now has a new band of brothers in the SRU (Strategic Response Unit) that counts on her for her excellent marksmanship and her drive to be the first in an incident. Jules relaxes by running and participating in extreme sports. She's bored by guys who watch TV, who don't get her sharp wit, who don't like to live on the edge - that's probably what ignites a dangerous attraction to teammate Ed Lane." Enrico Colantoni, Hugh Dillon and David Paetkau also stars in the series, which is set to roll out this summer.
THE TOWER (CBS) - Rosamund Pike ("Pride & Prejudice") and Marcia Gay Harden ("Into the Wild") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a group of Chicago reporters who treat breaking news as cases to be investigated and solved. Harden will play Zoe, a millionaire who buys the newspaper at the center of the series, while Pike is set as Olivia, the paper's political reporter. CCH Pounder and Cole Hauser also star in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based project, which comes from executive producers Davis Guggenheim and Meredith Stiehm.
UNTITLED DAVID HEMINGSON PROJECT (ABC) - Dean Parisot ("Fun with Dick and Jane") has been tapped to direct the pilot, a legal ensemble dramedy about a newly minted law school grad from a blue-collar background who joins an outrageous Los Angeles boutique law firm. David Hemingson created the hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
VIRTUALITY (FOX, New!) - "Battlestar Galactica" executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor have set up a new two-hour drama pilot at FOX about Earth's first space mission to a distant solar system. The project, which is set up at Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun, is set to begin production in July for midseason consideration on the network. As for specifics, said starship, the Phaeton, features a crew of 12 astronauts who, in order to endure the long trip and keep their minds occupied, are plugged into advanced virtual-reality modules that allow the crew members to assume adventurous identities and go to any place they want - that is until a mysterious "bug" is found in the system. Moore and Taylor co-wrote the pilot script and will executive produce alongside BermanBraun's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters