LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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2009-10 BROADCAST NETWORK PILOTS (Various) - The Hollywood Reporter has published a list of scripts that are reportedly in the mix for pilot pickups. Previously announced projects include the "Untitled Ian Biederman Project," "Wild Boys," "Two Dollar Beer" and "The Station" at FOX; "The Witches of Eastwick" and "The Return" at ABC; "The Streets of San Francisco," "Hawaii 5.0," "Confessions of a Contractor" and the "NCIS" spin-off at CBS; and "Melrose Place" at The CW.
Newly revealed efforts include (creators and details, if available, in parenthesis) dramas "Masterwork" (Paul Scheuring, a thriller in the vein of "The Da Vinci Code"), "Untitled Jack Orman Project," "Untitled Adi Hasak Project," "Human Target" (Jon Steinberg, based on the comic book of the same name), "Reincarnationist" (David Hudgins), "Forge" (Jason Richman) and "Untitled Manny Coto/Brian Helgeland Project" at FOX; comedies "Walorsky" (Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka), "Don't Trust the Bitch at Apt. #23" (Dave Hemingson and Nahnatchka Khan) and "Sons of Tucson" (Greg Bratman and Tommy Dewey), also at FOX; dramas "Day One" (Jesse Alexander), "Girls Chasing Men" (Kerry Ehrin), "Garrick" (Ben Elton), "Trauma" (Dario Scardapane and Peter Berg) and "Untitled Hank Steinberg Project" at NBC; dramas "Happy Town" (Scott Rosenberg, Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec) and "The Gates" (Richard Hatem) at ABC; comedy "No Heroics" (Jeff Greenstein and Drew Pearce) at ABC; untitled medical dramas from the duos of Curtis Hanson & Carol Barbee and Jerry Bruckheimer & Jeffrey Lieber, respectively, at CBS; and the drama "Vampire Diaries" (Kevin Williamson) at The CW.
CBS AT THE TCA - During the Eye's executive session at the TCA Winter Press Tour, network topper Nina Tassler confirmed a slew of developments. Among them: they've ordered an extra 23rd episode of "The Mentalist"; "Swingtown," as long expected (co-stars Jack Davenport and Brittany Robertson have already moved on to new pilots), won't return for a second season on CBS or anywhere else; the network's 2009-10 development slate should include 10 pilots - five comedies and five dramas; a proposed "NCIS" spin-off will be set up via a backdoor pilot episode of the series later this season; and lastly, musician John Mayer is close to a deal to host a potential new variety series for the network, which could air weekly or as seasonal specials.
EVA ADAMS (FOX) - Rhea Seehorn ("Head Cases") has scored the title role on the drama pilot following a lengthy search. The project, which also stars James Van Der Beek and David Denman, centers on Adam Evanson, an egotistic, sexist agent who, under a witch's spell, turns into a woman so he can endure the harassment he has been dishing out. Kevin Falls is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based hour which Mark Waters is directing. Jamie Tarses and Jessica Tuchinsky are also executive producing alongside the duo.
GOSSIP GIRL (The CW) - The first details about a proposed spin-off of the much buzzed about soap emerged on Wednesday. It's understood the project will focus on the pre-"Gossip Girl" adventures of Kelly Rutherford's Lily van der Woodsen as a wild teenager in 1980s Los Angeles. Mark Piznarski, who helmed the parent show's pilot, will do the same for the spin-off, from a script by co-creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Said installment will air as a backdoor pilot on May 11. As for specifics, the series will track Lily Rhodes (her maiden name) as she moves in with her sister, the black sheep of the family, after a falling out with her parents, where she'll have to make the transition from a wealthy Montecito boarding school to a public school in the San Fernando Valley. Additionally, the untitled hour will also eventually - but not initially - explore Lily's pre-"Gossip Girl" relationship rocker Rufus Humphrey (played as an adult by Matthew Settle). Schwartz and Savage are executive producing alongside Alloy Entertainment's Bob Levy and Leslie Morgenstein for Warner Bros. Television and CBS Paramount Network Television.
SHOWTIME AT THE TCA - Network chief Bob Greenblatt shared the first details of the pay channel's proposed "The L Word" spin-off featuring Leisha Hayley's character Alice Pieszecki. It's understood she'll be sent to prison - for reasons yet to be revealed on the parent show - and the new series will focus on her experiences there in what's being dubbed as the female "Oz." Melissa Leo, Famke Janssen and Laurie Metcalf all guest starred in the pilot and may or not may not become regulars should the series move forward. Greenblatt reportedly hopes to make a decision about the project's future in the next couple of months after a cut is turned in. Meanwhile, the network also confirmed "The Tudors" will roll out its eight-episode third season on Sunday, April 5. As previously announced, the new season features singer Joss Stone as Henry VIII's (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. The producers also confirmed a potential fourth season would be its last as executive producer Michael Hirst and company hope to subsequently move on to "Camelot," their take on the King Arthur myth, at the network.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters