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[04/30/08 - 05:58 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, April 30
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!


90210 (The CW) - Ryan Eggold ("Dirt") and Jessica Walter ("Arrested Development") have both signed on to the much-hyped "90210" revival. Walter is set as Tabitha Mills, whom the casting notice details as: "60-something, though she has claimed "59" for several years. Think Blythe Danner playing a version of Julie Christie. Tabitha Mills was a big star in the 70s. She's been romantically linked with all the usual suspects - Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Governor Jerry Brown. She's been married a handful of times, though she is currently single. She insists in living on her own in her estate in the Beverly Hills flats. She is the reason her son is moving back home. While Tabitha is fun, vivacious, wicked, acid-tongued, politically incorrect, she's also a lush. Alcohol has always been a problem, and after Tabitha's latest stay at Betty Ford, the facility's administrators called Harry and insisted she needed in-home care and better supervision. Tabitha adores Annie. It's quite possible she sees herself in her granddaughter. In comparison, she tends to count the silverware after her adopted grandson visits. (Or mention how much she loved working with Billy Dee Williams.) Tabitha doesn't understand why Harry (or that wife of his) insists on making their children hold down jobs and earn their own money. ("This isn't Bangkok, Harry")." Eggold then is set as Ryan Matthews, a teacher at the kids' school. Not other details about his character were released. They join the previously cast AnnaLynne McCord, Dustin Milligan, Lori Loughlin and Shenae Grimes. Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah and Rob Thomas are executive producing the hour for CBS Paramount Network Television.


CLEVELAND (FOX) - FOX's spin-off of "Family Guy" is apparently a go as staffing is underway on the half-hour, which could join two other new animated comedies - "Sit Down, Shut Up" and "The Pitts" - on the network next season. "Cleveland" co-creators Seth MacFarlane, Rich Appel and Mike Henry are set to begin work next month on its planned 13-episode order with its first table read targeted for the first week of July. Fellow animated efforts "Pitts" and "Shut Up" has also been greenlit to begin staffing however no episode commitment could be confirmed. "Shut Up" has already added Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein as showrunners while "Pitts" had a second table read Monday with a third one set for May 7 to get a head start on a potential series order.


ISH ENTERTAINMENT (Lionsgate) - VH1 alum Michael Hirschorn has partnered with Lionsgate Television to set his Ish Entertainment banner up at the indie studio. Hirschorn and his producing partner Stella Stolper previously secured a three-series commitment from MTV Networks, the first of which - MTV's "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" - bows this fall. It's understood the pair have as many as 30 different projects at various stages of development with Lionsgate providing financial, production and distribution support. Hirschorn is best known for serving as executive VP of original programming and production at VH1, where he helped launch such franchises as "Flavor of Love," "Best Week Ever" and "I Love the '80s."


KINGS (NBC) - Susanna Thompson ("Once & Again") is the latest addition to the upcoming drama, about a pure-hearted young warrior (Christopher Egan) who joins the court of the charismatic and authoritative King Silas (Ian McShane). She'll play the wife of McShane's character, Queen Rose. Allison Miller and Sebastian Stan also star in the Universal Media Studios-based project, which comes from executive producers Erwin Stoff, Francis Lawrence and creator Michael Green.


LIE TO ME (FOX) - Newcomer Monica Raymund is the first to be cast on the drama pilot, about a former law enforcer with the uncanny ability to read people to determine if they're lying who teams with a female clinical psychologist to open up an agency and put his skill to work. She'll play Ria Torres, who's detailed as follows: "Late 20's, any ethnicities, an attractive, feisty woman. She's a candid, no-nonsense TSA agent who also happens to be a "natural" deception detector, able to spot smugglers and security threats at a glance. Her unique abilities have attracted the attention of Lightman, who recruits her for his firm at a lucrative salary. Torres finds her new boss fascinating and a bit difficult - but as a colleague points out, Lightman's experiences have made him understandably cynical about the world and the people in it...while Torres lacks a college education she scored a 97% on the diagnostics tests used by Lightman. This woman can go toe to toe with anyone from Lightman to a drug mule." Sam Baum is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which he's executive producing alongside Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and David Nevins.


THIS MIGHT HURT (ABC) - Missi Pyle ("The Wedding Bells"), Tom Amandes ("Eli Stone") and Alex Meneses ("Everybody Loves Raymond") have all joined the cast of the single-camera comedy pilot, about a private medical practice owned by a fiftysomething old-school pediatrician (Amandes), his brainy internist son (Josh Dean) with whom he's in constant conflict, and an ob-gyn (Pyle) who has an inherent distrust of all men. Pyle's character, Dr. Sandy Kiernan, is detailed via the casting notice as follows: "30s, any ethnicity. OB/GYN and junior partner at Wilshire Total Health. Smart, attractive, and fiercely independent, she has a fondness for cigarettes and Chardonnay - before 9:00 am. She is extremely nurturing to her female patients and equally suspicious of their male partners. Her first book, "Women are from Mars, Men are Unnecessary", has just been published and she likes to compare the people in her life to the chapters and prototypes in the book. And yet, when it comes to Dr. Mitch, her strong sense of self dissolves entirely. Her powerful attraction to him, equal parts loathing and lust, leaves her feeling disgusted with herself and fearful of being exposed as a hypocrite."

Amandes then is set as Dr. Mitch Malinow - "50s, any ethnicity. A charismatic, fun-loving, narcissistic rock star of a pediatrician. He's fantastic with kids, adored by women and addicted to pills. He describes himself as "passionate" and a "lover of life" which is true but also a nice way of saying he sleeps around and parties hard. Fellow doctor Sandy Kiernan considers him "a dangerous, sexist egomaniac" who also happens to be totally irresistible. In spite of his impulsive behavior, he is an undeniably brilliant physician with a gift for connecting with his patients. He believes in identifying root causes and not just treating symptoms. He also believes that expressing yourself is crucial to healthy living. This often puts him at odds with his pragmatic son, Dr. Ethan Malinow, whom Mitch adores but has trouble connecting with. Mitch is appalled to learn that Ethan is engaged to the daughter of Mitch's rival, Miles Keating. Two years ago the breakup of Mitch's own marriage (he cheated on his wife repeatedly) and the suspension of his medical license (he got caught writing prescriptions for himself) sent him on a globe-trotting, soul-searching sabbatical. Now he's back - claiming to be a new man and a better father - just in time to save his place in the practice."

And finally, Meneses is playing Sofia Venezuela - "30s, from Argentina. She is the voluptuous, age-obsessed former star of the telenovela "La Belleza Natural" or "The Natural Beauty". She has been the office manager at Wilshire Total Health since she turned 30 and was unceremoniously fired from her soap. She is prone to fits and stapler-throwing. Though still beautiful, it's no longer natural. She maintains her appearance at all costs, dabbling in expensive plastic surgery and ordering endangered-species-based face creams. She has an inflated view of her own celebrity and still worries about impressing her dwindling fan-base. Fiercely loyal to Dr. Mitch for employing her during these interim years, she's also adept at puffing Ethan's ego so he'll keep her around - even though she's not very good at her job." They join the previously cast Dean, Vanessa Lengies and Hayes MacArthur in the half-hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and creator Jason Winer.


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 90210 (CW)
· ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (NETFLIX)
· CLEVELAND SHOW, THE (FOX)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIRT (FX)
· ELI STONE (ABC)
· EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS)
· FAMILY GUY (FOX)
· FLAVOR OF LOVE (VH1)
· KINGS (NBC)
· LIE TO ME (FOX)
· ONCE & AGAIN (ABC)
· PARIS HILTON'S MY NEW BFF (MTV)
· PITTS, THE - ANIMATED (FOX)
· SIT DOWN, SHUT UP (FOX)
· THIS MIGHT HURT (ABC)
· WEDDING BELLS, THE (FOX)





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