[08/25/08 - 06:21 PM]
Development Update: Monday, August 25
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!

BLUSH: THE SEARCH FOR AMERICA'S GREATEST MAKEUP ARTIST (Lifetime) - The cable channel has commissioned a new reality series that will search for - you guessed it - "America's Greatest Makeup Artist." Laura Fuest ("The Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious") is behind the six-episode project, which follows eight such aspiring artists as they compete for the grand prize of a one-year contract with Max Factor, $100,000 in cash and work on a yet-to-be-determined magazine cover shoot. As is custom for the format, the contestants will live together in Los Angeles with elimination challenges determining who moves on each week. Casting is currently underway for hosts, mentors and judges. Connectivetissue and IMG Entertainment are co-producing the hour, with Fuest, Rob Lee and Scott Kramer executive producing.

BREAKING BAD (AMC) - Krysten Ritter ("'Til Death") has booked a recurring role on the show's upcoming second season. She'll play Jane, a cool girl with an edge who is very comfortable in her own skin and able to calm Jesse (Aaron Paul) down when he spins out of control. No other details were released.

DROP DEAD DIVA (Lifetime) - Josh Stamberg ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") has landed the final principal role on the drama pilot, about Deb, a dead aspiring actress-model who is reincarnated in the body of Jane (Brooke Elliott), a chubby, brilliant attorney. He'll play J. Parker, who's detailed in the casting notice as follows: "Late 30s-Late 40s, all ethnicities and distinguished. He is Jane's boss, senior partner at the law firm. He is something of a womanizer, self-absorbed and rather dismissive of Jane's trauma after her return to work following a brush with death. He later tries, unsuccessfully, to apologize to Jane for possibly hurting her feelings when he referenced her need for self-help books." April Bowlby, Golden Brooks, Jackson Hurst and Margaret Cho also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which James Hayman is directing from a script by Josh Berman.

HUNG (HBO) - Charlie Saxton ("Lovely Bones") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about Ray (Thomas Jane), a well-endowed struggling middle-age high school basketball coach who figures out a way to use his best asset. He'll play Damon, a fairly straight-laced and bright-eyed goth kid, in the project, which also stars Jane Adams. Alexander Payne is helming the hour from a script by co-creators Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin.

THE L WORD (Showtime) - Mei Melancon ("X-Men: The Last Stand") has landed a six-episode arc on the show's swan song. She'll play a new social worker in a downtown L.A. shelter. No other specifics about her role were given.

LAPD (NBC) - Benjamin McKenzie ("The O.C.") has officially joined the cast the John Wells-produced pilot, an ensemble cop drama which follows a group of officers in Los Angeles. He's set as Ben, a reserved rookie cop. Also signing on is Michael Cudlitz ("Standoff") as John, Ben's training officer. The pair join the previously cast Kevin Alejandro, Michael McGrady and Regina King. Ann Biderman penned the hour, which Christopher Chulack is directing.

MY OWN WORST ENEMY (NBC) - Bella Thorne ("Dirty Sexy Money") has scored a role on the upcoming drama, about Henry (Christian Slater), a mild-mannered suburban dad whose alter ego, Edward, is a suave spy. She'll play Ruthy, the daughter of Slater's character. Cierra Ramirez originally was cast in said role but was replaced for unspecified reasons. Earlier this month, Madchen Amick was brought in in place of Yara Martinez as Slater's wife. The series launches Monday, October 13 at 10:00/9:00c.

RITA ROCKS (Lifetime) - The Nicole Sullivan-led comedy is set to debut with a weeklong stunt beginning Monday, October 20. Episodes will air Monday through Friday at 8:30/7:30c before moving to its regular time period of Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c the following week. Meanwhile, Natalie Dreyfuss ("Life") has joined the cast of the half-hour as Hallie, the teenage daughter of Sullivan's character. She's further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "14-16, any ethnicity. The daughter of Rita and Jay. Hallie is a pretty, terminally bored girl. Intent on pushing both the envelope and Rita's buttons as often and as hard as possible, Hallie is confrontational, especially with her mother, whom she regards as some kind of deranged tyrant - simply because Hallie has sent her boyfriend a nude picture of herself. Outraged and judgmental whenever her mom gets outraged and judgmental, Hallie is going through a rebellious phase that might last another four years or so - and that's just a little longer than World War II." Dreyfuss takes over for Lauren Collins, who played said role in the original pilot.

SURVIVING SUBURBIA (The CW) - Lorna Scott ("Wanted") has joined the cast of the MRC-produced comedy, about Keith (Bob Saget), a misanthropic family man in suburbia trying his best to be left alone. She's on board as Monica, Keith's meddlesome neighbor.

THE TONY ROCK PROJECT (MyNetworkTV) - Whitney Cummings ("Made of Honor") has joined the cast of the upcoming sketch comedy series. She'll appear in the studio alongside host Rock as well as participate in man-on-the-street segments. The newcomer launches Wednesday, October 8.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [august 2008]  


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