LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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1% (HBO) - Abraham Benrubi, Jason Matthew Smith, Kim Dickens and James LeGros are set to round out the cast of the drama pilot, about the Carefree, Arizona, chapter of the Death Rangers, one of the toughest motorcycle clubs in the country. Said news comes as creator Michael Tolkin, the network and production company - White Mountain Co. - have been hit by a lawsuit from Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger. Barger claims that the concept and the script for the show were developed with his collaboration and he was subsequently cut out of the project and violated many of his publicity rights when he demanded changes to protect his own brand. HBO and company have yet to comment on the lawsuit. As for the castings, Dickens is set as Rhonda, whom the casting notice details as follows: "Late 30s. Jacuzzi Dave's wife, "the noblest of the Old Ladies," beautiful, intelligent, strong, respected by Dave and within the Death Ranger's club. Rhonda is the mother of a young boy, Eric, and unhesitatingly takes in the orphaned toddler MacKenzie, whose parents died fleeing the meth explosion. She is also a Betty Boop fanatic, and has decorated the home with Boop memorabilia. When Misfit moves in, the only sheets she has for him are decorated with Betty Boop. A stalwart Death Ranger old lady who accepts her role unquestioningly yet is not afraid to speak out in meetings, Rhonda welcomes into her home the newly-arrived Misfit--to whom she is immediately attracted."
Benrubi then is believed to be playing Rabbi - "Late 30s, another Death Rangerwith the Carefree, Arizona, chapter. Rabbi got his name because he's a Jew, and he's somewhat defensive about this when he first meets Misfit, who couldn't care less. He's a bit pedantic, and thinks he's more profound than he really is, taking it upon himself to explain what he thinks are the deeper meanings of things, Rabbi is devoted to his club, whose members he considers his brothers, but is wary of the arrival of Misfit." - with LeGros as Jacuzzi Dave Elgin (?) - "Early-Late 40s, the treasurer of the Carefree, Arizona, chapter of the Death Rangers motorcycle club, intelligent, loyal, fair-minded, Jacuzzi Dave is shocked and morose that the club president and vice president were cooking drugs and none of the others knew about it until their untimely deaths in a meth explosion. The most financially successful member of the chapter, and now the de-facto leader, Jacuzzi Dave takes his lumps from the newly arrived Misfit for not stepping up to the plate with club protocol on Misfit's arrival, but he bears him no ill will. Jacuzzi Dave goes along with lawyer Karl Malloy's insistence that Misfit live with him, since Dave lives outside the city limits (and the Sheriff's authority) and Jacuzzi Dave welcomes Misfit into his home, introducing him to his beautiful, strong-willed wife, Rhonda." - and Smith as LH Manson (?) - "Around 40, another Death Ranger in the Carefree, Arizona, chapter. LH Manson is in the middle of having sex with his wife, Montana, and another couple when he gets the word that the club's three top leaders have been killed or injured in a meth explosion. Under pressure from Montana (who wants a normal life) to quit the Rangers, LH makes it quite clear that the Rangers are his brothers, his family, and that will never change. A tattoo artist who refuses to accept money from an Iraq war veteran, LH is occasionally outspoken and resents the arrival of Misfit to "baby-sit" the troubled Carefree chapter. LH puts in a call to his buddy, Z-Man, back in the Bay Area, to get some info on Misfit, and comes back with some cryptic information." Donal Logue, Lucy Punch, Marisa Ryan, Timm Sharp and W. Earl Brown also star in the hour, which Alan Taylor is directing.
BAD MOTHER'S HANDBOOK (ABC) - Alicia Silverstone ("Miss Match") and Alia Shawkat ("Arrested Development") have landed two of the lead roles in the comedy pilot, about Karen (Silverstone), a 32-year-old woman too busy taking care of her 16-year-old daughter (Shawkat) and 48-year-old mother. Jennifer Konner and Alexandra Rushfield are behind the single-camera half-hour, which Richard Shepard ("Ugly Betty") is directing. The project, which is based on the book of the same name by Kate Long, is set up at ABC Studios and Stu Bloomberg's Cabloom! banner.
CRUSOE (NBC) - Philip Winchester ("Commando Nanny") has been tapped for the title role in the upcoming drama based on Daniel Defoe's classic novel of the same name. He'll play Robinson Crusoe, whom the casting notice further details as: "22-30, Male. British Accent. Handsome, fit, bright, passionate, strong willed, honest and savvy, with integrity and compassion. Faces his inner demons and outer conflicts with the same thoroughness and strength to discover his true self. His faith remains with Emily, his greatest love, which fuels all hope to survive. Longer hair if possible." Also signing on is Anna Walton as Emily Crusoe - "20-26, Female. British Accent. A beautiful, loving woman, a devoted wife to Robinson. A uniquely open minded thinker for a woman of this period, grounded and clear, but still kind and respectful. We get to know her through the many flashbacks of her relationship with Robinson leading up to his departure." Chris Philip, Jean Bureau, Justin Bodle and Stephen Greenberg are all behind the Universal Media Studios/Power-based hour, the pilot of which Yves Simoneau is directing.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters