[04/17/08 - 05:47 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, April 17
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!

DOLLHOUSE (FOX) - Harry Lennix, Miracle Laurie and Amy Acker have booked the final principal roles on the upcoming drama, about a top-secret world of people programmed with different personalities, abilities and memories depending on their mission. The news was confirmed by creator Joss Whedon to Whedonesque.com today. Lennix will play Boyd Langton, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 40s-60, any ethnicity, gruff, about to make the descent from 'good-looking' to 'fatherly'. An ex-cop, Boyd is Echo's 'handler' - her guard/bodyguard. Hates himself for taking this job, but he'd lay down his life to protect the people he feels he's exploiting." Laurie then is set as the recurring role of November - "20's, any ethnicity, beautiful and heavy. Another Doll, a hopeful child in the house and everyone else you need her to be outside. A comforting, radiant presence, who tends to get fewer of the criminal gigs and more of the personal ones." - with Acker as Dr. Claire Saunders - "30-60, attractive, smart and a little sad. Looks after the physical well-being of the dolls. Has an acid wit that she usually reserves for Topher, who may only be kidding about being smitten with her. (Or he may not)." The trio joins the previously cast Dichen Lachman, Eliza Dushku, Enver Gjokaj, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams and Tahmoh Penikett. 20th Century Fox Television is producing.

STARTING UNDER (FOX) - Andrea Parker ("Less Than Perfect") and newcomer Silvana Arias have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, which stars Bernie Mac as a larger-than-life man who, after a divorce, has to live with and work for his twentysomething son, Bernard (Bert Belasco). Parker is set to play Jada, a single, hard-working, blue-collar employee of Bernard's who develops an interestingly complicated relationship with him, while Arias is set as Rosa, a Guadalajara native who clashes with Mac when he accuses her of being an illegal immigrant (and turns out to be right). Ken Davitian also stars in the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which Andy Ackerman is directing from a script by Bruce Helford.

THIS MIGHT HURT (ABC) - Josh Dean ("Free Ride"), Vanessa Lengies ("American Dreams") and Hayes MacArthur ("The Game Plan") are the first to be cast in the pilot, a semi-scripted comedy set at a medical practice run by a fiftysomething pediatrician and his brainy internist son (Dean) and an OBGYN. Dean's role of Dr. Ethan Malinow is further detailed as follows in the casting notice: "30, any ethnicity. Mitch's baby-faced, hard-working son, a paragon of self-control who is nonetheless considered a "good, benevolent king" by his friend and co-worker Reid, he is just about to take over his father's medical practice when Mitch returns from a two year suspension. A principled internist with an encyclopedic knowledge of symptoms and sicknesses, Ethan resents his father's philandering and prescription drug abuse but buries these feelings (along with most emotions) beneath a veneer of professionalism, and it's literally making him ill. Though his confidence and charm have blossomed in the absence of Dr. Mitch, Ethan still lacks the dynamic people skills of his larger-than-life father. The staff respects Ethan, but loves Mitch. Ethan knows this, and it drives him nuts. In part because he cares about her and in part to get back at his dad, Ethan becomes engaged to Claire Keating, daughter of Mitch's rival, Miles Keating, and even finds himself considering using underhanded methods to remove Mitch from his post."

Lengis then is set as Lily Birdsall - "20s, any ethnicity and sweetness incarnate, na�ve and disarmingly sincere. Lily exudes a warmth that invites total strangers to spill their guts. Before becoming the new receptionist at Wilshire Total Health, Lily worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep, a job she stumbled into after answering an ad that asked: "Do you want to get paid to help people feel better?" Her empathy made her the worst salesperson ever -- especially when she discovered, to her horror and distress, that the pill she was selling gave people diarrhea. Spontaneously hired by Dr. Mitch, she's thrilled to finally be in a position to really help people. Lily's youth and enthusiasm are a constant threat to age-obsessed Sofia. Ethan, on the other hand, is captivated by Lily, especially given what a stark contrast she provides to his fianc�e." - while MacArthur's role is that of Reid Traveiso - "30, any ethnicity. He's a handsome, cocksure, slightly dim bulb nurse who runs a secret gambling operation out of his nursing station. Nurse Traveiso wears his unconventional career choice like a badge of honor, and believes his scrubs turn women on as much as any doctor's - he just didn't have to work as hard to get them. Though he genuinely likes Ethan, and has a father of his own, Reid believes that he and Mitch share an amazing father/son bond and he magnanimously encourages Ethan to cultivate a bond with Mitch, too. While Reid is as likely as Mitch to indulge in certain vices, he is also awed by Mitch's philosophical side, and eager to be mentored by him in all things metaphysical." Jason Winer is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which he's directing from his own script.

UNTITLED DAVID KOHAN/MAX MUTCHNICK PROJECT (ABC) - Alan Tudyk ("3:10 to Yuma") is the first to sign onto the comedy pilot, about two men - one straight, one gay (Tudyk) - who are lifelong best friends and business partners. Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, which comes from co-creators (and real life best friends/business partners) David Kohan and Max Mutchnick.

UNTITLED LOUIS C.K./PAMELA ADLON PROJECT (CBS, New!) - "Lucky Louie" alums Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon are set to reteam for a potential new multi-camera comedy at the network and CBS Paramount Network Television. The pair have been given a script commitment to co-write and co-star in said half-hour, which would revolve around a married couple who have been together too long and have too many children. C.K. then would also serve as an executive producer.

UNTITLED MARISSA JARET WINOKUR PROJECT (Syndication, New!) - Sony Pictures Television has inked a deal with "Dancing With the Stars" vet Marissa Jaret Winokur to develop a daytime talk show around the actress. It's understood Sony was in a bidding war with other several other studios to land the actress's services. The resulting project then is being eyed for a fall 2009 launch. Not surprisingly, format specifics are still in the early stage.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2008]  


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