[12/19/08 - 06:15 PM] Development Update: Friday, December 19 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BORED TO DEATH/HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA (HBO) - The pay channel has issued eight-episode commitments to both comedy pilots - the Jason Schwartzman-led "Bored to Death" and the Bryan Greenberg/Victor Rasuk-toplined "How to Make It in America." The latter half-hour revolves around Ben (Greenberg) and his friend Cam (Rasuk), enterprising twentysomethings who hustle their way through New York determined to achieve the American dream. Shannyn Sossamon and Scott "Kid" Mescudi also star in the project, which comes from creator Ian Edelman and fellow executive producers Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg, Rob Weiss and Julian Farino (who also directed the pilot). "Death" then centers on Jonathan (Schwartzman), "a struggling thirtysomething Brooklyn writer with a drinking problem who, after a painful breakup with his girlfriend, decides to emulate his heroes from the novels of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett." Jonathan Ames is behind the project, which also co-stars Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. Sarah Condon, Dave Becky, Stephanie Davis and Troy Miller are executive producing alongside Ames. Alan Taylor helmed the pilot.
COCAINE COWBOYS (HBO, New!) - Frequent collaborators Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay are teaming up once again, this time for a drama at the pay channel about the early days of cocaine trafficking in Miami. "Cold Case" creator Meredith Stiehm has been tapped to pen the hour, which is inspired by Billy Corben's 2006 documentary of the same name. The project is set up at Bruckheimer's Warner Bros. Television-based banner, marking the first collaboration between the studio and HBO. Bruckheimer, Bay and Stiehm then will executive produce alongside Jonathan Littman with KristieAnne Reed serving as a consulting producer.
THE KARENSKYS (CBS) - Desi Lydic has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a woman (Sasha Alexander) who returns to her hometown and is reunited with her large, eccentric family. She'll play Bernadette, the woman's sister. Mather Zickel, Tinsley Grimes and Todd Stashwick also star in the half-hour, which comes from Universal Media Studios and creator Linwood Boomer. Pamela Fryman is directing while Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are executive producing alongside Boomer.
THE MIDDLE (ABC) - Charlie McDermott is the latest addition to the Patricia Heaton-led comedy pilot, which tells the story of a middle-class Midwestern family through the eyes of the mother (Heaton). He'll play Axel, the oldest child. DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which Julie Anne Robinson is directing.
PERFECT 10 (ABC Family) - Brett Cullen ("Lost") and Peri Gilpin ("Frasier") have both joined the cast of the drama pilot, about three families dealing with the trials and tribulations of the world of competitive gymnastics. They'll play Mark and Kim Keeler, the parents of the Olympic hopefuls Becca (yet to be cast), the dedicated, focused one; and Payson (Ayla Kell), immature, happy-go-lucky one. Also signing on are Rosa Blasi and Jason Manuel Olazabal as Ronnie and Alex Cruz, parents to Kaylie (Josie Lopez, "a girl who wants to stay small and limber for her sport but is clearly growing into a woman") and Bradford (Marco James, "equally attractive but a lot more clueless"). And rounding out the third clan are single mom Chloe Kmetko (Susan Ward) and her kids Emily (Chelsea Hobbs, "perhaps the most naturally gifted gymnast, she has had only scattershot training, but was born to do this") and Brian (Wyatt Smith, "a cute smart ass who happens to be in a wheelchair with paralysis"). Holly Sorensen is behind the hour, which comes from Adam Cohen, Cara Tapper and Joanna Vernetti's Super Delicious Productions.