[05/11/08 - 04:33 PM]
Development Update: Sunday, May 11
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) - The CW is officially returning to the famed zip code, various sources confirmed this afternoon. The project had always been a shoo-in to make the netlet's schedule however network executives held off from a formal announcement until all the pieces fell into place, including the addition of showrunners Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs. The news comes on the heels of yesterday's confirmation that Jennie Garth would be a part of the series on a recurring basis. The show's ensemble includes AnnaLynne McCord, Dustin Milligan, Jessica Stroup, Jessica Walter, Lori Loughlin, Michael Steger, Ryan Eggold, Shenae Grimes and Tristan Wilds. CBS Paramount Network Television is producing.

BOSTON LEGAL/LIFE ON MARS (ABC) - The Alphabet has renewed the David E. Kelley-produced drama for a fifth season of at least 13 episodes. Industry scuttlebutt however suggests that said renewal is the price the network will pay for the prolific writer/producer to depart his pilot "Life on Mars." "October Road" co-creators Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg have been in talks to serve as the newcomer's showrunners however Kelley himself had to sign off on any such hiring. It's believed then that Kelley used such leverage as part of his negotiations to bring "Legal" back for a fifth go around. Nevertheless, both series are expected to be part of ABC's fall schedule, to be announced on Tuesday.

THE GAME/STYLISTA (A.K.A. UNTITLED FASHION MAGAZINE ASSISTANT PROJECT) (The CW) - The netlet has commissioned a third season of its "Girlfriends" spin-off "The Game" while Tyra Banks is getting a second hour on its schedule. The latter project, now dubbed "Stylista," features 11 aspiring fashion enthusiasts as they compete for an editorial job with Elle magazine. The CW originally ordered eight episodes of the series earlier this year (read the story). As for specifics, "Stylista" is designed along the lines of "The Apprentice" with contestants working on tasks for Elle's fashion news director, Anne Slowey, with one being eliminated each week by Slowey and Elle's creative director, Joe Zee. Said winner then receives a $100,000 prize package, including a paid lease on an apartment in Manhattan, a clothing allowance at H&M as well as an actual paid editorial position at the magazine. Banks is executive producing alongside Ken Mok, Eli Holzman, Desiree Gruber and Jane Cha via their respective companies 10x10 Entertainment, Bankable Productions, Full Picture and Magic Molehill Productions for Warner Horizon Television. As for "The Game," speculation suggests that the series - along with fellow returning comedy "Everybody Hates Chris" - will shift to Friday nights this fall. As for The CW's other comedies, the network pulled the plug on "Girlfriends" in the wake of the WGA strike while "Aliens in America" isn't expected to make the cut.

INSEPARABLE (FOX) - The drama's lengthy development is set to continue as the network has given the project a cast-contingent pilot order for midseason consideration. Toby Stephens was previously cast in the hour, which at the time was contingent on creator Shaun Cassidy's latest draft of the script. Since then Stephens's option has expired, forcing producers to search for a new lead. ABC Studios will continue to produce the project, which concerns a forensic psychiatrist who has an alternate personality as a result of a traumatic childhood event.

MY BROTHER'S HOT (AND OTHER DILEMMAS) (ABC) - Beau Bridges, Annie Potts, Amanda Detmer and Eric Winter have all joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a thirtysomething woman named Lou (Alyssa Milano) who tries to break free of her overbearing and dysfunctional family, friends and boss. The news was reported by Milano herself via her blog. As for character specifics, Bridges is playing Joe, whom the casting notice details as: "Late 50s-Early 60s, amiably beer-bellied. Joe is Lou's father, who amicably divorced her mother when Lou was 12 and married another woman, who subsequently left him and their two children, Teri-Jo (age 9) and Dylan (age 7). A rather cavalierly irresponsible dad (he admits it) who lets them watch things like serial killers on TV because, after all, they're going to find out about them sooner or later, Joe has a system whereby when he really screws up with his kids, they get a pay-back designed to make them feel better; mostly, though, he relies on Lou to keep things running smoothly. He is very loving and completely non-judgmental, though, and his screw-ups never come from a malicious place. He loves being a dad, and would rather be covered in kids on the couch than anywhere else. Currently, Joe has just decided to marry again, a lovely woman named Nancy, but the kids take against her and demand, as screw-up payback, a trip to Tijuana that is not at all child-appropriate."

Potts then is set as Elizabeth - "Late 50s. Professionally dressed (she works for the corporate office of a hotel chain), still sexy, a force of nature, loving, charming, frustrating, totally self-absorbed. Elizabeth divorced Lou's father when Lou was 12 and has devoted her life to her career and her travels with her various (younger) boyfriends, though she frequently checks in with Lou to criticize, instruct and gloat. Mildly amused by her ex husband Joe's second wife, Elizabeth doesn't find his current fiancee so funny, and in fact begins to feel the lack of her own motherly skills in the face of the naturally nurturing Nancy. Well aware that Lou has sublimated her own life to that of her family, Elizabeth suddenly has an epiphany about the selfish course of her own life, and vows to change her tune and spend more time with the one love of her life: Lou." - with Detmer as Sasha - "30s. Lou's best friend since childhood (so close that Lou's mother Elizabeth considers her 'soul daughter'), No B.S., uber-fashionista, with a vibe a bit like a younger version of Elizabeth, Sasha is married to a man she refers to as The Husband, who is short (this worries her) but rich (this pleases her). Sasha is well aware of Lou's propensity to neglect her own life in favor of taking care of her parents, and Sasha is forever nagging Lou to do something for herself, like take a trip out of town to see if Nice Chicago Guy floats her boat. Sasha agrees to come over to Lou's family get together to help Joe's kids accept their new stepmom, and she's bowled over by Joe's fiancee's hunky son - and intrigued by the thought that this guy's gonna be Lou's new brother."

And finally, Winter is on board as Charlie: "Early-Mid 30s, handsome in a "Matthew McConaughey" way, nice, and incredibly charming. Charlie is the son of Nancy, the woman who's going to marry Lou's father Joe. Though technically Charlie and Lou will be step brother/sister, there are definitely sparks between them. Charlie is a free-spirit and, Lou will point out, a bit of a Peter Pan, who is very good at having a good time, and not particularly in a rush to settle down, even as the years pass. The warm, well-adjusted son of a warm, well-adjusted mother, Charlie doesn't seem fazed by the chaotic turn his family life just took. He will be yet another force to keep Lou tied to this family." Kristin Newman is behind the half-hour, which comes from ABC Studios and DreamWorks Television.

NEW AMSTERDAM (FOX) - Multiple sources have confirmed the freshman drama won't be returning for a second season. The series, which averaged a so-so 7.15 million viewers on Monday nights this season, wrapped its run last month. Among all of FOX's new dramas, "Amsterdam" beat out "K-Ville" (5.52 million) and "Canterbury's Law" (6.15 million) but fell short of the recently renewed "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (10.84 million).

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS (ABC) - J.D. Roth has been tapped to host the game show, in which the contestants can win everything from cash to plasma TVs - literally from their own home. Roth's company 3 Ball Productions is behind the project, which is being co-produced with Katalyst Films. Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke then are the executive producers. It's believed the Alphabet is targeting the show for a late summer or early fall start.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [may 2008]  

· 90210 (CW)

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