LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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90210 (The CW) - Jessica Stroup ("Reaper") has booked a role on the netlet's "90210" relaunch. She'll play Daphne Silver, who's detailed via the casting notice as follows: "Legal 18 to play 16. Born Daphne Silver, this true product of the 21st century has dropped the "Daphne," and - like Madonna, Cher or Paris - opts for a uni-name. Silver, like many of her peers, believes in fame for fame's sake. Her primary talent is her ability to self-promote, shock, provoke, incite. Her self-produced YouTube video series, "Answers to life's inane questions answered by a 15 years old in a bikini" garnered upwards of a half-million hits each. Her ability to pull-off such stunts owes greatly to the lack of a parental figure in the picture. Her mom and stepfather, owners of the Silver Screens movie theater chain, have been "on a cruise" for as long as anyone can remember. Silver shares a swank "above Sunset" mansion with her 24 years old brother, Max. As the friendship between Silver and Annie grows, it will become apparent that Silver is the id and Annie is the ego. Oh, and Dixon makes Silver weak in the knees. It's her Holy Grail to become the only Jewish girl at Beverly Hills High with a black boyfriend." She joins the previously cast AnnaLynne McCord, Dustin Milligan, Jessica Walter, Lori Loughlin, Ryan Eggold and Shenae Grimes in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which comes from executive producers Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah and Rob Thomas.
NEVER BETTER (ABC) - Damon Wayans ("My Wife & Kids") is set to topline the single-camera comedy pilot, about a recovering alcoholic who's determined to be a good husband and father despite his many missteps. He'll also serve as an executive producer on the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which was created by David Walpert. Wayans's casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. In addition, Marc Buckland ("My Name is Earl") has been tapped to direct the project, which is also executive produced by Warren Littlefield and John Heyman. "Better" is loosely based on the recently launched BBC2 comedy of the same name from writer Sintan Ryan.
PRINCE OF MOTOR CITY (ABC) - Piper Perabo ("Because I Said So") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, a Gothic family soap inspired by William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," which centers on a young Harvard professor forced to return to Detroit and take over the family's auto company. She'll play Meg Riley, whom the casting notice details as follows: "Mid 20s-Early 30s, Caucasian, lovely and vibrant. She is Ophelia to Billy's Hamlet; his long lost childhood/teenage love who has never forgotten him. She is a talented sales rep for Hamilton Motors who travels throughout the country but remains stationed in Detroit. Though she is now dating Leo, her passion for Billy runs deep, and she's hurt and stunned when Billy momentarily lashes out at her." Aunjanue Ellis also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which comes from co-creators Hamish Linklater and Jessica Goldberg.
THE STARTER WIFE (USA) - David Alan Basche ("Lipstick Jungle") has joined the cast of the series, a follow-up to the highly rated mini-series of the same name. He'll take over for Peter Jacobson - who subsequently became a series regular on "House" - as Kenny Kagan, the ex-husband of Debra Messing's character. He's detailed as follows: "Early 40s. Molly's ex. He is a hugely successful movie producer, high-strung, driven, narcissistic, immature but charming, charismatic even while being bombastic. Self-pitying when his latest film bombs big-time, Kenny is given a rallying pep talk by Molly and is quickly restored to all his "cheerful sociopathic glory"." Chris Diamantopoulos and Judy Davis also star in the project, which comes from 3 Arts Entertainment, McGibbon-Parriott Productions and Universal Media Studios.
SUBURBAN SHOOTOUT (HBO) - Kerri Kenney ("Reno 911") and Rachael Harris ("Notes from the Underbelly") have both been cast in the pilot, a dark comedy about a woman who escapes the city for suburban bliss only to find herself caught between two rival gangs of homicidal housewives vying for control of the town. Kenney will play Barbara, a battle-hardened gang leader, with Harris as Natalie, a member of the opposite gang who is at odds with Barbara. Barry Sonnenfeld is helming the project from a script by Michelle Ashford.
UNTITLED DAVID HEMINGSON PROJECT (ABC) - Matt Long ("Jack & Bobby"), Norbert Leo Butz ("Dan in Real Life") and Australian Ben Lawson have all signed onto the drama pilot, about a law school grad (Long) from a blue-collar background who gets lured to join a Los Angeles boutique law firm. Butz then will play the firm's smooth-as-silk, no-holds-barred recruiter, while Lawson is set as an associate at the firm. David Hemingson is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Dean Parisot is directing.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters