[12/16/08 - 06:19 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, December 16 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS) - Newly installed cast member Laurence Fishburne has inked a first-look deal with producer CBS Paramount Network Television. The pact gives the studio first crack at the TV output of Fishburne's Cinema Gypsy Productions, best known for the HBO originals "Miss Evers' Boys" and "Always Outnumbered." Studio alum Rose Catherine Pinkney has been tapped to oversee the company's television arm, where she'll report to Fishburne and his producing partner/manager Helen Sugland.
IN TREATMENT (HBO) - Russell Hornsby ("Lincoln Heights") is the latest addition to the show's second season. He'll play Luke, a separated father with a 12-year-old son, in one of the show's weekly installments. His casting fills out a sophomore roster that includes Alison Pill, Hope Davis and John Mahoney. Production is underway on the new season, which is set to roll out in April.
LIGHT YEARS (The CW) - Brittany Robertson ("Swingtown") has scored the lead role in the drama pilot, about a 15-year-old girl (Robertson) who, seeking emancipation after growing up in foster homes, tracks down her birth parents who had given her up for adoption when their one-night stand resulted in pregnancy. The girl subsequently forms an ad hoc family with her birth mother - a morning radio show host with a fear of commitment - and father - an immature bar owner. Gary Fleder is directing the hour, which is now set up at CBS Paramount Network Television after originally being based at ABC Studios. Liz Tigelaar penned the pilot script and is executive producing.
THE PHILANTHROPIST (NBC) - Tom Fontana has rejoined the midseason drama eight months after departing the show. He'll replace David Eick as showrunner, who was brought in shortly after Fontana's exit. It's understood the creative differences between the network and Fontana - the former wanted escapist fare while the latter wanted a grittier, more authentic show - have been ironed out. Since his departure, "Philanthropist" has become an international co-production where filming in London, the Czech Republic and South Africa has helped reduce the show's budget. Fontana is expected to bring back the original writing staff while it's not clear if Fontana's producing partner Barry Levinson will return. Filming recently wrapped on the show's pilot with Peter Horton directing and executive producing. Horton will continue with the series, as will the project's originator Charlie Corwin. As for Eick, he'll move on to Sci Fi's "Caprica," a prequel to "Battlestar Galactica" that received a series commitment earlier this month.