LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CAPTAIN COOK'S EXTRAORDINARY ATLAS (ABC) - Janel Moloney ("Brotherhood"), Patrick Breen ("Eli Stone"), Nathan Gamble ("Runaway") and Jodelle Ferland ("Good Luck Chuck") have all scored lead roles on the drama pilot, about an adventurous young girl who finds a magical atlas that reveals a secret world underneath ours. Ferland will play the lead role of Gwen Malloy, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "11-14, must look and feel 12-13, Caucasian. This brave, adventurous, irrepressible and creative girl, a "Juno"-type with an independent spirit and a unique sense of style, has never fit in with her peers - probably because she collects tarantulas, arrowheads and sacrificial ritual knives - and sometimes feels alone in the world, even among her own family. When Gwen, her parents, and her little brother Finn move to a new town, she discovers she's been chosen by Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas, an ancient tome filled with mythical maps and instructions, to travel among and protect the magical lands that live beneath the regular world. Her new identity as a Navigator comes with extreme danger and adventure."
Moloney then is set as Marion Malloy - "Mid 30s-Early 40s, Caucasian, an attractive ex-cheerleader who is the polar opposite of her unconventional daughter, Gwen. Marion is extremely conscious of other people's opinions. She loves her kids but she's mortified when Gwen manages to attract the ire of the school principal and the town sheriff on the first day of school." - with Breen as Phinneas Sr. - "Mid 30s-Mid 40s, Caucasian, handsome, kind, intelligent and affable, as well as a bit absent-minded. He is Marion's husband and Gwen and Finn's father. An English professor, he encourages Gwen's unusual pursuits and encouragingly tells her, "Don't ever be afraid of what makes you different"." - and Gamble as "Finn" Phinneas Quayle Malloy Jr. - "8-10, Caucasian, a bit shy, with an extremely high I.Q. and an enriched vocabulary that would stump adults three times his age. He is nevertheless eager to fit in and blames Gwen when his attempts fail. Despite his preternatural intelligence, Finn is still a young boy with an attachment to his Foo-Foo blanket. When he discovers Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas in Gwen's room, he can't resist stealing it - and the consequences are terrifying." Thomas Schlamme and Tom Wheeler are the executive producers of the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which Schlamme is directing from a script by Wheeler.
DO NOT DISTURB (FOX) - Jason Bateman, fresh from directing the pilot to the upcoming comedy, has inked a first-look deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television. The pact gives the studio first crack at any of his company F+A Productions's projects in development.
UNTITLED MEHMET OZ PROJECT (Syndication) - Sony Pictures Television has been tapped to distribute and co-produce Oprah Winfrey's latest syndicated effort, which features her frequent guest Dr. Mehmet C. Oz. In addition, the company will also sell three and a half minutes within each hour to national advertisers. The project is being targeted for a fall 2009 launch.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters