[05/05/08 - 05:38 PM] Development Update: Monday, May 5 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICAN DAD/CLEVELAND/FAMILY GUY (FOX) - Franchise mastermind Seth MacFarlane has finally inked a new overall deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television. The massive five-year pact - which is valued in the nine-figure range - will keep the prolific writer/producer/voice talent at the studio through 2012. As for specifics, said deal will cover his duties on mainstays "Family Guy" and "American Dad" as well as the upcoming "Cleveland" spin-off and other future development from his Fuzzy Door banner, including an untitled multi-camera comedy with "Family Guy" consulting producer Gary Janetti. It will also keep "Guy" on the air through 2012 as well as give MacFarlane a larger piece of the show's syndication and DVD sales. MacFarlane and 20th had been in talks for nearly two and a half years, a stalemate which delayed the start of production on "Guy's" sixth season.
COURTROOM K (FOX) - Megan Dodds ("Not Going Out") has been tapped as the female lead on the drama pilot, about the antics of a Milwaukee Superior Court. She'll play a big-hearted public defender in the project, which also stars Jonathan Sadowski. Paul Attanasio is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which is being directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
GHOST WHISPERER (CBS) - The show's off-network run - to be split between Sci Fi, ION and WE: Women's Entertainment - is said to be valued in the $650,000-$700,000 per episode range for CBS Television Distribution. All three parties will carry repeats of the series starting in the fall of 2009 however exact rollout plans are still to be determined.
HEROES (NBC) - Brea Grant ("Friday Night Lights") has joined the cast of the show's third season, due this fall. She'll play Joy, a new hero with speed-based powers. No other details about her character were given. Production on the new season began last week.
LA STRINGERS (TruTV, New!) - truTV has ordered six half-hour episodes of a new reality series which aims to tell the behind-the-scenes stories behind various 10-second clips that air during local and national newscasts. 44 Blue Productions ("Lock Up") and Buena Vista Productions are behind the project, which will likely roll out in September, with 44 Blue's Rasha Drachkovitch executive producing alongside truTV's Lori Siegel. Marc Karzen is the producer.
MY OWN WORST ENEMY (NBC) - Mike O'Malley ("My Name Is Earl") is set to star opposite Christian Slater on the upcoming drama, about a middle-class suburban dad whose alter ego is a super spy. He'll play Tom Grady (a.k.a. "Raymond") in the Universal Media Studios-based hour, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Mid-Late 30s. Henry's amiable friend and co-worker at AJ Sun Consulting. He's a married man and all-around good guy who teases Henry about his lack of toughness and admits he thinks Henry's wife is hot. Tom's alter ego is Raymond, a tough as hell, brusque and violent secret agent (just like Edward) with a devilish sense of humor who works for Janus. Raymond has to extract the hapless Henry from a brutal Russian interrogation and return him to safety. As Tom, he has no idea that Raymond exists, but Raymond knows about Tom and his family." David Semel is directing the show's pilot from a script by creator Jason Smilovic.
UNTITLED VICTOR FRESCO PROJECT (ABC) - Andrea Anders ("The Class") is the first to be cast in the pilot, a single-camera comedy about a man whose morals are tested working for a large, faceless mega-corporation. Victor Fresco is behind the half-hour, which is based at 20th Century Fox Television.