[07/24/08 - 06:43 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, July 24
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) - Christina Moore ("Hot Properties") is the latest to book an arc on the netlet's "90210" revival. She'll play Tracy Bennett, the mother of AnnaLynne McCord's character, who also shares a secret with Harry Mills (Rob Estes).

THE EMANCIPATION OF ERNESTO (FOX) - Hector Jimenez ("Nacho Libre") has joined the cast of the hourlong comedy pilot, about Ernesto (Wilmer Valderrama), a guileless innocent embarking on an epic quest to find his father amid a Los Angeles landscape polluted with excess. He'll play Hilario, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Mid 20s. A young Hispanic man with a crooked-tooth grin, Hilario was reared in the same prison as Ernesto. Now a day laborer in Los Angeles, Hilario is a pragmatist who has lost all of the naive ideals that Ernesto still possesses. Delighted to be reunited with his buddy, Hilario has led an up-and-down life." Emily Kapnek is behind the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

GLEE (FOX, New!) - "Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy has scored a pilot commitment from the network for an hourlong comedy about a Spanish teacher suddenly called upon to coach the glee club at the high school - one of the worst in the nation - and manages to build their confidence, gradually transforming them into winners in the process. Murphy co-created the 20th Century Fox Television-based project alongside Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. As for specifics, it's understood each episode will feature at least four songs, all to be organically sung onstage by the choir. FOX is already targeting the hour for a potential March premiere as casting is underway and the network has asked for four additional scripts beyond the pilot. Murphy is also on board to direct the pilot and executive produce alongside Falchuk with Brennan serving as a co-executive producer and Mike Novick as a producer.

LIFE ON MARS (ABC) - Harvey Keitel ("The Path to 9/11") is the latest to sign onto the show's post-pilot revamp. He'll take over for Colm Meaney as Gene Hunt, the hard-nosed, iron-fisted head of the homicide department who uses whatever means necessary to get criminals off the street, and to keep his detectives in step. Jason O'Mara, Michael Imperioli and Jonathan Murphy also star in the 20th Century Fox Television/ABC Studios-based hour, which is being relocated to New York City. Production then is set to begin in the Big Apple early next month.

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE (TNT) - Brian White ("Moonlight") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, which explores the bonds of male friendship through the eyes of three college buddies, Joe (Ray Romano), Owen (Andre Braugher) and Terry (Scott Bakula), who are in their 40s. He'll play Marcus, the son of Braugher's character who gets promoted to sales manager at the family's car dealership when Owen is overlooked by his own father (Richard Gant). Mike Royce and Ray Romano are behind the project, which is being directed by Scott Winant.

THE MIDDLE (ABC) - DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler's 2007 single-camera pilot, which tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family as seen through the eyes of the mother, is being redeveloped as potential vehicle for "Back to You" alum Patricia Heaton. Ricki Lake toplined the original version, which also starred Atticus Shafer, Brenna O'Brien, Lex Medlin and Michael Mitchell with Chris Koch directing. It's believed that the Alphabet has given a cast-contingent pilot order to the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, most likely tied to landing Heaton as the lead.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (MTV, New!) - The cable channel is looking to remake the 1975 cult classic film for the small screen. To that end, the network has partnered with producer Lou Adler, BermanBraun and Fox Television Studios to develop the project, which would use the original screenplay by Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien but may also include music not featured in the original. Talks are also underway with BSkyB and Sky Movies to co-finance and distribute the telefilm overseas. Adler, Lloyd Braun and Gail Berman then will serve as executive producers. Back in 2002, Berman tried to bring "Horror" to the small screen at FOX (as "The Rocky Horror Birthday Show") however said effort stalled in the development process. The new incarnation then is being targeted for a Halloween 2009 premiere should everything fall into place.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [july 2008]  

· 90210 (CW)
· PATH TO 9/11, THE (ABC)

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