[07/31/08 - 06:55 PM] Development Update: Thursday, July 31 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE CRU (CBS, New!) - Josh Berman ("Vanished") has booked a new drama at the Eye based on Michael Bennett, the lead character from James Patterson's 2007 novel "Step on a Crack." Berman is co-creating the hour, which has a script commitment with a penalty attached, alongside Katherine Ramsland, a professor of forensics. Bennett is a homicide detective who's thrust into the role of a negotiating team leader of the "Catastrophic Response Unit" when hostages are taken at the funeral of a former first lady. A second book by Patterson, featuring the character, is due in February. Berman then will presumably executive produce alongside Ramsland for Sony Pictures Television, where he has an overall deal.
DESTROYED IN SECONDS/DOING DA VINCI (Discovery, New!) - The cable channel has ordered a pair of projects from "Ghost Hunters" executive producer Craig Piligian. First up is "Doing Da Vinci," a new series that will try to bring to life the engineering designs of Leonardo Da Vinci, the 15th century artist who conceptualized many inventions that are now considered hundreds of years ahead of their time. The network has commissioned six hourlong episodes of the project, which will attempt to build two of the master artist's designs - which include blueprints of a helicopter, a tank, a calculator and the harvesting of solar power - in each installment with the help of a rocket scientist, a Hollywood special effects expert and an everyday in-the-garage inventor. Also on tap is "Destroyed in Seconds," a new half-hour series which features video clips of disasters where man-made constructions, from the intentional implosion of Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas to a terror attack on an Israeli marketplace, were destroyed - you guessed it - in seconds. 12 episodes will roll out on Thursday nights at 9:00/8:00c starting August 21 with Fox Sports' Ron Pitts serving as host. "Doing Da Vinci" then is expected to bow later in the year. Piligan is executive producing each effort via his Pilgrim Films and Television banner.
TIME HEALS (TNT, New!) - John Masius ("Providence") has landed a pilot order from the cable channel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Said hour revolves around Nancy Hawthorne, "the strong but caring director of nursing at Charlotte Mercy Hospital in North Carolina, a single mother who always puts the pain of others first." The project is set up at Sony Pictures Television with Masius executive producing alongside studio-based producer Jamie Tarses.