[12/18/08 - 06:42 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, December 18
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!

1%/LAST OF THE NINTH (HBO) - On the heels of HBO ordering "Hung" to series (see below), the pay channel has reportedly passed on both Michael Tolkin's "1%" and David Milch's "Last of the Ninth." The former, set in the world of biker gangs, starred Donal Logue, Abraham Benrubi, James LeGros, Jason Matthew Smith, Kim Dickens, Lucy Punch, Marisa Ryan, Timm Sharp and W. Earl Brown. Alan Taylor helmed the hour from a script by Tolkin with Alex Hertzberg and Guymon Casady also serving as executive producers. "Ninth" was a gritty 1970s cop drama toplined by Jonah Lotan and Ray Winstone. Carl Franklin directed the pilot from a script by Milch and Bill Clark. Clifton Powell, Fredric Lehne, Lily Rabe, Michael Gaston and Michael Raymond-James also co-starred.

AN AMERICAN FAMILY (ABC) - The Alphabet has given a pilot order to Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd's comedy, about the lives of three families living in the same suburb as told through a documentary crew. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the half-hour, which previously had a put pilot commitment. As for specifics, the families include "a traditional family comprised of a working dad, stay-at-home mom and three kids; another that includes a 60-year-old man who becomes a stepfather after marrying a Colombian single mom who is 30 years his junior; and a gay couple who have just adopted a Vietnamese baby." Levitan likens the show to "FootHooker," a low-budget FOX pilot from a few years ago about an American rock band that's huge in Asia but not in the States. Levitan and Lloyd penned the pilot and are executive producing.

HOUSE OF CARDS (FX, New!) - "The Shield" star Michael Chiklis has landed a script commitment from the cable channel for a drama about the operator of a Ponzi scheme, in which a few early participants gain considerable wealth through the investment of later contributors rather than earned profits from a product or business. Chiklis has been developing the project since February, when he and his wife were revealed to having been Ponzi scheme victims themselves. It's also proving to be nothing but timely - headlines this week were dominated by news that Wall Street investment manager Bernie Madoff allegedly pulled off a similar scheme on a major scale. Chiklis will executive produce but won't star in the hour, which is currently searching for a writer/showrunner.

HUNG (HBO) - The pay channel has given a 10-episode commitment to the drama project, which stars Thomas Jane as a well-endowed struggling high school basketball coach who figures out a way to use his best asset. Alexander Payne helmed the pilot from a script by co-creators Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson. The pair had already been writing the fifth installment in anticipation of a series order. Production then is set to begin shortly for a June premiere, making it one of the fastest turnarounds in the network's history. It's understood Payne will stay on the series as an executive producer alongside Lipkin and Burson as well as Blueprint Entertainment's Michael Rosenberg, Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss.

LEGALLY MAD (NBC) - "Pushing Daisies" alum Kristin Chenoweth is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about an aging partner and his daughter who work together at a Chicago law firm. She'll play the supporting role of Skippy Pylon, whom the cast notice details as: "30ish, female, any ethnicity, a pixie, dresses like a sixteen-year old, knee-sox, delights in being confused for a teenager. Speaks in a cheerful sing-songy Stepford tone, she's either medicated or should be. She can go from The Flying Nun to Mommy Dearest in a nano-second. A brilliant attorney, but not well." David E. Kelley is behind the hour, which comes from his new home of Warner Bros. Television.

THE OFFICE (NBC) - "The Office" stars Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer have each landed scripts at the Peacock and Universal Media Studios. "Hump Tulips," from Wilson and Adam Braff ("Night Life"), is a single-camera comedy about a lawyer who winds up in a small Washington town in pursuit of the woman he loves. The pair are co-writing and executive producing. Fischer then is developing an untitled hour about a lumber salesman who solves a crime and becomes a private eye, along with a ragtag group of pals. She'll serve as a non-writing executive producer on the project, the writers of which weren't specified.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS (Showtime) - Eva Amurri and Kimberly Quinn are the latest additions to Tim Robbins's drama pilot, about the Hunt family, which runs a pharmaceutical firm. Amurri - the daughter of Robbins' partner, Susan Sarandon - will play Libby, the angst-ridden lesbian daughter of Max Hunt (Josh Lucas), with Quinn as Max's wife. Ellen Burstyn, Jason Butler Harner and Tim Blake Nelson also star in hour, which was written and directed by Robbins.

TIMBERMAN/BEVERLY PRODUCTIONS (A.K.A. 25C PRODUCTIONS, Various) - Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly's Sony Pictures Television-based Timberman-Beverly Productions, formerly known as 25C Productions, has lined up eight projects across the cable landscape. Best known for such broadcast fare as NBC's "Kidnapped," the company has subsequently dipped its toe into cable, including the drama "Danny Fricke" at A&E earlier this year. Currently in the hopper are: ABC's "The Nelsons," from writers Peter and Dee Steinfeld and director Barry Sonnenfeld, a drama about "an average American family who, unbeknownst to their neighbors and friends, are superheroes"; CBS's "Holly Gale," from Barbara Wallace and Tom Wolfe, a single-camera comedy about "a former cheerleading star who returns to her hometown to take over as head cheerleading coach, becoming a dubious mentor to her teen charges"; an untitled hour from Becky Mode at CBS about "New York City pediatricians who have to contend with a generation of overly involved, micromanaging modern parents, in addition to their own family, romantic and professional entanglements"; Lifetime's "Between Smith and Jones," from Mimi Schmir, a drama about "the lives of three families from the same Santa Monica neighborhood through the eyes of the manny they share"; Showtime's "Carry Me," from Dan Bucatinsky, a single-camera comedy about "an outspoken and sometimes crass surrogate mom who rents her womb out to a different set of intended parents each season"; Showtime's "Fade to Black," from Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, a drama which "tells the intertwined stories of a group of Tinseltown writers, directors and actors whose lives are irrevocably altered by the Hollywood Blacklist"; FX's "Hit Man," from writer/director Michael Dinner, a drama based on Lawrence Block's book trilogy about a regular lonely urban guy who happens to be a hitman; and FX's "Fire in the Hole," from writer Graham Yost (based on Elmore Leonard's short story) and director Michael Dinner, a drama about "Kentucky U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and chronicles his cases as well his personal life, including his unfinished business with an ex-wife and his aging father." Timberman and Beverly are executive producing each effort.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [december 2008]  


[10/12/15 - 03:20 PM]
"American Horror Story: Hotel" Premiere Delivers 12.17 Million Viewers
FX further spins the numbers for Wednesday, October 7.

[10/12/15 - 02:47 PM]
With 14-Day Multi-Platform Viewing, The Premiere Epsiode of "Limitless" Increases to More Than 17.6 Million Viewers
CBS further spins the numbers for Tuesday, September 22.

[10/12/15 - 01:48 PM]
Modern-Day Medicine Woman Knows No Boundaries When Caring for the Animals of the Last Frontier on Animal Planet's "Dr. Dee: Alaska Vet"
The eight-episode series premieres on Saturday, November 7 at 9:00/8:00c.

[10/12/15 - 01:17 PM]
Adrien Brody and Lorraine Bracco to Guest Star on New Showtime(R) Comedy Series "Dice"
Brody will guest star in one episode playing himself, while Bracco will guest star in two episodes as Toni, a Vegas overlord who owns series star Andrew Dice Clay's gambling debts.

[10/12/15 - 12:15 PM]
Velocity Says Goodbye to Iconic Automotive Series "Overhaulin'" with Star-Studded Final Episodes
Velocity is celebrating its undeniable legacy with four all-new episodes, two of which feature movie stars Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, and retired U.S. Navy SEAL and "Lone Survivor" co-author Marcus Luttrell.

[10/12/15 - 12:12 PM]
Esquire Network Celebrates Marty McFly's Trip to the Future with a Bingeworthy Marathon of the "Back to the Future" Trilogy on Oct 21, 2015!
Relive all the breathtaking action, groundbreaking comedy and sheer movie-making magic of one of the most brilliantly inventive, wildly entertaining motion picture triumphs in Hollywood history.

[10/12/15 - 11:32 AM]
CBS Launches MySupergirlIs.Com, Encouraging People to Put a Social Spotlight on the Supergirl in Their Own Lives
The site enables those with a strong and inspiring "supergirl" in their lives to celebrate her publicly with a customized #MYSUPERGIRL graphic featuring her name and photo to share on Facebook.

[10/12/15 - 11:15 AM]
Taye Diggs to Guest-Star in a Multi-Episode Arc on New Drama "Rosewood"
Diggs will portray Dr. Mike Boyce, a world-renowned infectious disease doctor based in Miami and the longtime best friend of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut).

[10/12/15 - 11:05 AM]
With Live +7-Day Playback, CBS Widens Its Premiere Week Lead Over Its Nearest Competitor to 2.5 Million Viewers
CBS further spins the numbers for the week of September 21-27.

[10/12/15 - 11:00 AM]
Nigel Lythgoe and Gail Berman Get Their Game on with Pop as "Easiest Game Show Ever" Heads Into Production with 20 Episodes
The series puts a new twist on "True or False?" and gives contestants the opportunity to win up to $100,000 cash per episode.

[10/12/15 - 10:43 AM]
VH1 Hosts Roundtable Discussion Moderated by T.J. Holmes on the Reality of Being Openly Gay in the Hip Hop Community with "LHH: Out in Hip Hop" Premiering Monday, October 19 at 11PM
Moderated by ABC News' T.J. Holmes, the open dialogue will include a studio audience that has been touched by the Miles and Milan story line.

[10/12/15 - 10:31 AM]
Live + 3 Day Ratings: Standing as Tuesday's Biggest Gainer, ABC's "S.H.I.E.L.D." Emerges as the Top Scripted Show in Its Hour
ABC further spins the numbers for Tuesday, October 6.

[10/12/15 - 10:18 AM]
Video: "Outcast" - Comic Con Exclusive Scene (Cinemax)
The series, based on the Robert Kirkman comic book of the same name, premieres in 2016.

[10/12/15 - 10:11 AM]
Top Women of Country to Perform at Country Music's Biggest Night(TM)
All eyes will be focused on Country Music on November 4 to see the leading ladies of the format, including Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Maddie & Tae, and Kacey Musgraves, performing during the three-hour gala.

[10/12/15 - 10:00 AM]
MTV's Iconic Series "Real World" Begins Production Today in Hip Downtown Las Vegas
This season, cast members take over the penthouse suite at the dynamic Gold Spike in the revamped downtown section of Las Vegas.