[04/16/08 - 05:55 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, April 16 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CIRCUS OF THE STARS (ABC) - The Alphabet has ultimately decided to pass on a revival of the 1980s stable, despite a fierce bidding war with at least one other network. The news comes as NBC is set to roll out its competing effort, "Celebrity Circus" this summer. Industry insiders suggest the project's demise was a result of the competing hour as well as a general overabundance of "celebreality" shows in today's marketplace.
THE INN (FOX) - Jerry O'Connell ("Carpoolers") has joined the cast of the multi-camera comedy pilot, described as "Upstairs/Downstairs" set at a hip New York hotel. He'll play the manager of said hotel. Brando Eaton, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jolene Purdy, Molly Stanton and Niecy Nash also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based project. Jason Bateman is directing from a script by Abraham Higginbotham.
MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL (CBS) - Kristin Booth ("The Company") has been tapped as the new female lead in the comedy pilot, about two best friends whose relationship becomes complicated when one (Tim Peper) starts dating the ex-wife of the other (Josh Cooke). She'll take over for Jennie Garth, leading to speculation that the actress will reprise her role on the CW's "Beverly Hills, 90210" revival. Nevertheless, Garth, who's exit was a mutual decision between her and the producers after Monday's table read, has been coping with the recent death of her father. Eric Ladin also stars in the Sony Pictures Television-based "Girl," which comes from creator Mike Sikowitz.
THE TOWER (CBS) - Tony winner Denis O'Hare is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about a group of Chicago newspaper reporters who treat breaking news as cases to be both investigated and solved. He'll play the group's editor. He joins the previously cast CCH Pounder, Cole Hauser, Marcia Gay Harden and Rosamund Pike. Davis Guggenheim is directing the CBS Paramount Network Television-based project from a script by Meredith Stiehm.
UNTITLED JENNIFER WEINER PROJECT (ABC Studios, New!) - "Chick lit" queen Jennifer Weiner ("In Her Shoes") has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with ABC Studios. The pact, which comes in spite of Weiner having no TV experience, calls for the prolific author to develop new series projects for the studio. It doesn't however include the rights to any of Weiner's existing properties. It's understood the deal was actually finalized before the strike. In addition to "Shoes," Weiner's novels "Little Earthquakes" and "The Guy Not Taken" are being developed as features by Universal and DreamWorks respectively.