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[05/23/08 - 05:22 PM]
Development Update: Friday, May 23
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!


24 (FOX) - Eric Lively ("The L Word"), Tony Todd ("Chuck") and Gil Bellows ("The Agency") have all booked roles on the show's two-hour prequel, which will feature Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) battling an international crisis in Africa while the U.S. ushers in a new president on Inauguration Day. Lively will play the president's son with Todd as General Juma, a cruel African dictator; and Bellows as a State Department officer ordered to serve Jack Bauer with a subpoena and to appear before the Senate. It's not clear if any of the actors will carry over into the seventh season. They join the previously cast Robert Carlyle as Benton, Jack's mentor in Africa, in the event, which premieres Sunday, November 23.


THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JIMMY JAXX (FOX, New!) - Smart Entertainment ("Blades of Glory") is looking to develop a new animated series loosely based on the life of Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. The project, which is still in the early stages of development, would revolve around a rocker who attempts to balance his crazy lifestyle on the road with a calmer existence at home, not to mention his tattoos, which literally come to life and are constantly trying to lead him down the wrong path. The company's John Jacobs is executive producing the project alongside writers Michael Davidoff ("Working"), Steven Ilous ("Polar Express"), Bill Rosenthal ("Tripping the Rift") and Steve Freeman ("Stripperella"). In addition to lending his voice, Lee will serve as a producer.


ROMAN'S EMPIRE (ABC) - Kelsey Grammer ("Back to You") has been tapped as the title character on the single-camera comedy pilot, about Leo Park (Nick Thune), a lovable guy who, after getting dumped by his girlfriend, tries but cannot extricate himself from her wealthy family, the Prettys, and her outrageous, overbearing father, Roman (Grammer). Also landing roles in the CBS Paramount Network Television/Katalyst Films/Tiger Aspect Productions-based project are Christine Woods as Nikki, Leo's aforementioned girlfriend; Laura Leigh and Carla Gallo as Nikki's sisters Kelly and Jenny; and Zachary Knighton as either Nikki's new boyfriend Seb or Leo's best friend Jace. Alan J. Higgins penned the pilot script and is executive producing alongside Andrew Zein, Ashton Kutcher, Ben Cavey, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke. Marc Buckland is directing.


SINGLE WITH PARENTS (ABC) - Meagen Fay ("How I Met Your Mother") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a thirtysomething woman (Alyssa Milano) who tries to break free of her overbearing and dysfunctional family, friends and boss. She'll play Nancy, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Middle aged, doughy, sweet-looking, nurturing, good-natured. Nancy is Joe's new fiancee, and the mother of 30something Charlie. A motherly mother who bakes cookies and knows how to cook, Nancy doesn't swear - she says things like "Sweet Cheeses" - but she doesn't mind turning her hand at her future step-kids' new Wii and she very sweetly (but pointedly) makes a comment about Elizabeth's age in response to a crack about her own. She's sweet, but she's got everyone's number, and she will be an ally for Lou in trying to get Joe to be a more responsible parent. Like her son, she's unfazed by the chaotic new family she's about to step into." Amanda Detmer, Annie Potts, Beau Bridges and Eric Winter also star in the half-hour, which comes from ABC Studios, DreamWorks Television and creator Kristin Newman.


SONS OF ANARCHY (FX) - Ron Perlman has joined the cast of the upcoming drama, about a notorious outlaw motorcycle club's efforts to protect their California town from drug dealers and local corporate developers. He'll take over for Scott Glenn as Clay Morrow, the club's president and stepfather of the central character, Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam). It's understood the change was made as part of an effort to shift the project's tone in a more darkly comedic direction. Drea de Matteo, Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff also star in the hour, which was created by Kurt Sutter. Allen Coulter helmed the pilot.


UNTITLED VICTOR FRESCO PROJECT (ABC) - Jay Harrington ("Desperate Housewives") has scored the lead role in the pilot, an office comedy that centers on Ted (Harrington), the highly moral head of research and development at a major company. Also signing on are Malcolm Barrett and Jonathan Slavin as two of the company's researchers. They all join the previously cast Andrea Anders and Portia de Rossi. Victor Fresco created the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which Mike Fresco is directing.


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 24 (FOX)
· AGENCY, THE (CBS)
· BACK TO YOU (FOX)
· BETTER OFF TED (ABC)
· CHUCK (NBC)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
· L WORD, THE (SHOWTIME)
· LIFE & TIMES OF JIMMY JAXX, THE (FOX)
· ROMAN'S EMPIRE (ABC)
· SINGLE WITH PARENTS (ABC)
· SONS OF ANARCHY (FX)
· STAN LEE'S STRIPPERELLA (SPIKE TV)
· TRIPPING THE RIFT (SYFY)





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