LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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4REAL (The CW, New!) - Media Rights Capital has acquired the broadcast rights to the Canadian reality series, which follows celebrities as they travel around the globe to meet with real-life leaders creating change in their communities. Sol Guy hosts and co-created the series with Josh Thome, which ran for eight episodes earlier this year on CTV and MTV Canada. Among the eight episodes: Joaquin Phoenix in Yawanawa, Mos Def in City Of God, M.I.A. in Liberia, K'naan in Renya, Flea in Haiti, Cameron Diaz in Peru, Casey Affleck in Pawnee and Eva Mendes in Vancouver. MRC will air the series are part of its Sunday block for The CW. Episodes will air back-to-back in the 6:00/5:00c hour beginning September 21. Chris Haddock, Laura Lightbown and Joaquin Phoenix are the executive producers for Direct Current Media.
THE AMAZING MRS. NOVAK (Lifetime) - The cable channel has greenlit production on the drama pilot, a domestic take on the six-part U.K. series "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard." Vanessa Taylor ("Jack & Bobby") penned the adaptation, which revolves around Trish Novak, a supermarket manager, wife and mother of two who, through a series of unexpected circumstances, becomes governor of New Jersey. Shine's Carolyn Bernstein and Kudos Film & Television's Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett will then executive produce alongside Taylor for Warner Horizon Television.
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS) - Laurence Fishburne is reportedly in talks with CBS and CBS Paramount Network Television to join the cast of the veteran drama. Said addition is designed to fill the void by the upcoming departure of William Petersen. As previously reported, said character is "described as a doctor/scientist outsider to the CSI unit who has the same genetic profile as a serial killer but hasn't previously acted on any homicidal impulses." Other names tossed around include John Malkovich and Kurt Russell.
IN HARM'S WAY (The CW) - Hunter Ellis (History's "Digging for the Truth") has been tapped to host the reality series, which follows the lives of those who perform critical life-saving jobs. Pilgrim Films and Television is behind the hourlong project, which will air on Sundays at 7:00/6:00c as part of Media Rights Capital's programming block. Encores will also air at 5:00/4:00c each week.
KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE (Comedy Central) - British helmer Alex Hardcastle ("Not Going Out") has signed on to direct all six episodes of the series, about a reluctant hero (Sean Maguire) in the Middle Ages. Peter Knight is behind the half-hour comedy, which is executive produced by Watson Pond Productions's Brad Johnson, Jimmy Mulville, Mario Stylianides and Media Rights Capital's Keith Samples. Production is set to begin next month for an early 2009 premiere.
MY OWN WORST ENEMY (NBC) - Creator Jason Smilovic is stepping down as showrunner of the upcoming Peacock drama, which stars Christian Slater as a middle-class suburban dad whose alter ego is a superspy. He's expected to be succeeded by co-executive producer John Eisendrath. Smilovic however will still continue as an executive producer on the series. Production on the show's pilot, directed by David Semel, is expected to be completed shortly.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters