LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CBS 2008-09 SEASON COMEDIES (CBS) - The Eye kicked off Monday by picking up its comedy pilots "Worst Week" and "Project Gary" (previously known as "Untitled Ed Yeager Project"). "Week," which is based on the U.K. series "Worst Week Of My Life," tells the story of a young couple (Erinn Hayes, Kyle Bornheimer) who have to navigate the politics of dealing with their soon-to-be in-laws (Nancy Lenehan, Kurtwood Smith). Jay Malone also stars in the Universal Media Studios-based half-hour, which comes from creator Matt Tarses and director Marc Buckland. The pair are also executive producing alongside Jimmy Mulville of Hat Trick Productions. As for "Gary," Jay Mohr toplines said project, which revolves around a middle-class dad trying to navigate new waters with his kids, his ex and his newfound romantic life. Jaime King, Laura Marano, Paula Marshall and Ryan Malgarini round out the show's cast while Ed Yeager and Ric Swartzlander are the executive producers for ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television.
CBS 2008-09 SEASON DRAMAS (CBS) - "Eleventh Hour," "The Mentalist," "Harper's Island" and "The Ex List" (formerly known as "Mythological X") are the first members of the Eye's 2008-09 drama class, various sources confirmed today. Rufus Sewell and Marley Shelton topline "Hour," about a special science adviser to the government who, with his feisty female bodyguard in tow, saves people from the worst abuses of science. Danny Cannon helmed the Warner Bros. Television-based pilot from a script by Mick Davis. The pair are also executive producing alongside Cyrus Voris, Ethan Reiff, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and Robert Green. "Mentalist," also from Warner Bros. Television, stars Simon Baker as a mentalist who uses his skills of observation to solve crimes as an independent detective working with the police. Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman, Robin Tunney, Shaun Toub and Tim Kang round out the show's ensemble. Bruno Heller created the hour, which was helmed by pilot wunderkind David Nutter. Next up is "Island," a horror story that unfolds during the course of a season as a group of friends meet on an island off the Seattle coast for a destination wedding. Elaine Cassidy and Ryan Merriman both star in the project, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television and Jon Turteltaub's Junction Entertainment. Ari Schlossberg penned the pilot presentation, which Turteltaub directed and executive produced alongside his Junction partners Dan Shotz and Karim Zreik. And finally, "List" stars Elizabeth Reaser as a woman who, after learning from a psychic that she already has dated the man she's supposed to marry, revisits all her past relationships in the hopes of finding him. Diane Ruggiero is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which also stars Adam Rothenberg, Alexandra Breckenridge, Amir Talai and Rachel Boston. Timothy Busfield directed while Jonathan Levin executive produced alongside Ruggiero.
ELI STONE/OCTOBER ROAD/WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC) - The Alphabet is moving forward with a second season of "Eli Stone" while both "October Road" and "Women's Murder Club" won't make the 2008-09 season cut. Various schedules making the rounds have "Stone" setting up shop on Tuesday nights at 10:00/9:00c this fall, however nothing has been confirmed at this point. As for "Club" and "Road," both were widely considered longshots to return next season as the latter finished as the network's least-watched drama (5.34 million viewers on average) while the former's recent relaunch on Tuesday nights didn't click with audiences.
LIFE ON MARS (ABC) - As expected, ABC has officially ordered the long-in-the-works drama pilot to series. Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg have also closed their deals to serve as the newcomer's showrunners. Jason O'Mara stars in the hour, which is based on the U.K. series of the same name. 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios, David E. Kelley Productions and Kudos Productions are co-producing.
SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH (A.K.A. HOW TO TEACH FILTY RICH GIRLS) (The CW) - The netlet has added the drama pilot to its 2008-09 roster. Said hour, which is based on Zoey Dean's young adult book series, centers on a Yale-educated young woman (Joanna Garcia) hired to be the live-in tutor/life coach to two rich heiresses (Ashley Newbrough, Lucy Kate Hale) in Palm Beach. Marsha Mason and Michael Cassidy also star in the project, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and Alloy Entertainment. Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein and creator Rina Mimoun are the executive producers.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters