LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BURN NOTICE (USA) - Creator Matt Nix has signed an overall deal with producer Fox Television Studios. The pact covers the writer/producer's duties on the cable drama as well as calls for him to develop new series projects for the studio. Already in the works is a new untitled dramedy for USA about a cop who's relegated to the "small property crimes division" only to uncover larger crimes from what initially appear to be minor infractions.
FINNEGAN (ABC) - Teri Polo ("The West wing") has booked the title role on the drama pilot, about a tough female detective who heads LAPD's organized crime and vice division. Her character, Erin Finnegan, is further detailed by the casting notice as follows: "34-42, Female, open to all ethnicities. Whip-smart, tough and complicated, she's the head of the LAPD's Organized Crime and Vice Division. Sometimes aggressive to the point of volatility, sometimes genuinely warm and charming, then, in private moments, sometimes as vulnerable as a child, she lives and works on an emotional pendulum. Her unpredictability is the one thing you can count on. Able to intimidate villains as well as her subordinates, in her 15 years with LAPD she's earned grudging respect from gangsters and FBI agents alike. Her intelligence and ferocious determination to get what she wants has driven her professional rise, but the same qualities, combined with her emotional unpredictability, have contributed to a trail of personal and relationship disasters behind her. While the details of her past are yet to be revealed, we know she's divorced from ADA Brian Clark, though they maintain a close and effective working relationship. He is the one person to whom she can reveal her insecurities. When one of her confidential informants is killed right before a major bust, Finnegan is determined to catch the men responsible for his death - going on an emotional rollercoaster ride as she steamrolls through the system, demonstrating her willingness to go anywhere and risk anything to get what she wants - justice." Gary Fleder is helming the ABC Studios-based presentation from a script by Trent Jones. Domenick Lombardozzi, Jacob Vargas, Malachi Weir, Tasha Smith and Tzi Ma also star.
MIAMI INK (TLC) - The Miami Herald reported this week the TLC staple won't be returning for a fifth season, wrapping its run at 81 episodes. According to the story, stars Ami James and Chris Nunez "declined to extend Discovery Communications' option to order more episodes of the TLC show after the network delayed signing them on for another season. He said no talks are under way to shoot more episodes of their lives as South Beach tattoo artists." The show's fourth (and now final) season is currently airing on Thursday nights at 10:00/9:00c.
ROYAL PAINS/WHITE COLLAR (USA) - The cable channel has given cast-contingent 90-minute pilot orders to both projects. Production on both pilots then is being eyed for later this summer, with "Pains" likely filming in New York. "White Collar," from Fox Television Studios and creator Jeff Eastin, is detailed by the network as follows: "The world's most creative con man escapes out of a maximum-security prison by walking out the front door to find the lost love of his life. His nemesis at the FBI tracks him down and uses him as a consultant to catch other notorious and elusive criminals."
"Royal Pains" then comes from The Firm and creator/co-executive producer Andrew Lenchewski. Rich Frank and Paul Frank are the executive producers with John Rogers producing. It's described as: "Anyone who's anyone in the Hamptons has a lawyer on retainer. Now meet the newest accessory -- the concierge doctor. Young doctor Hank Lawson had it all...thriving career, beautiful girlfriend, and swank NYC apartment. With one fateful and principled decision in the ER, Hank loses it all. Months later, single and blackballed from the medical community, Hank goes for a weekend in the Hamptons with his best friend. Crashing a party at a mega-mansion on the beach, Hank jumps into action when a guest requires medical attention that only he is able to diagnose. The next morning, Hank is summoned to another mansion. And then another. Hank's career is revived, but in a way he's not exactly happy about, as he becomes the on-call doctor for the rich, famous and infamous."
SUBURBAN SHOOTOUT (HBO) - Judy Greer ("Miss/Guided") has scored the lead role on the pilot, a dark comedy about a woman (Greer) who escapes the city for suburban bliss only to find herself caught between two rival gangs of homicidal housewives as they vie for control of their idyllic town. Greer's involvement is technically in second position to the ABC/20th Century Fox Television comedy, whose option expires on June 30. Kelly Preston, Kerri Kenney and Rachael Harris also star in the project, which Barry Sonnenfeld is directing from a script by Michelle Ashford.
WIZARD'S FIRST RULE (Syndication) - Craig Horner ("Blue Water High") and Bridget Regan ("Is He Dead?") have been tapped to star in the upcoming syndicated series, based on Terry Goodkind's book series of the same name. Horner will star as woodsman Richard Cypher, who transforms into a magical leader and joins with a mysterious woman named Kahlan (Regan) to stop a bloodthirsty, sinister tyrant. Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Studios are behind the project, which has been cleared in 95% of the country for a fall launch. Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, Joshua Donen, Ned Nalle and John Shiban are the executive producers.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters