[02/13/09 - 08:10 PM] Development Update: Friday, February 13 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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FUNNY IN FARSI (ABC, New!) - Firoozeh Dumas's book, subtitled "A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America," is set to be the focus of a potential new comedy at the Alphabet. The network has commissioned a director-contingent pilot for the project, which chronicles her upbringing as an Iranian immigrant in 1970s Newport Beach. Nastaran Dibai and Jeffrey Hodes ("Rita Rocks") penned the pilot and are executive producing for ABC Studios.
GOOD GIRLS (CBS, New!) - Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") are the latest to land a pilot commitment from the Eye, this time about two women/childhood friends who are trying to reinvent themselves after making some youthful mistakes. The pair wrote the CBS Paramount Network Television-based pilot and are executive producing alongside Katalyst Films's Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke.
THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) - Charles McDougall ("The Tudors") has scored helming duties on the drama pilot, about a politician's wife, who takes a legal job after her husband is disgraced. Robert and Michelle King are behind the hour, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television and Scott Free Productions. Production nevertheless is contingent on casting the lead role.
HAPPY TOWN (ABC) - Lauren German ("Hostel: Part II") is the first to be cast on the drama pilot. She'll play a newcomer to the town, which had enjoyed a seven-year peace after a series of kidnappings until it is hit by another crime. Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg are behind the ABC Studios-based project, which Gary Fleder is directing.
HOT GIRLS IN SCARY PLACES (E!, New!) - The cable channel has commissioned a pilot for a potential new reality series in which, you guessed it, hot girls are challenged to spend the night in a scary place for a $10,000 cash prize. For the inaugural installment, set to air as a special on Friday, March 13, three University of Southern California cheer squad friends will be tasked with an overnight trip to a supposedly haunted abandoned hospital. Go Go Luckey Productions ("Paranormal State") is behind the project, which is being executive produced by the company's Gary Auerbach.
NCIS (CBS) - Louise Lombard ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"), Peter Cambor ("Notes From the Underbelly") and Daniela Ruah have all joined the cast of the show's proposed spin-off. Lombard will play Clara, "a former major in the military police... an intelligent, sharp investigator who can look after herself"; while Cambor is set as Nate, "the team's conscience and beating heart... an operational psychologist and a walking encyclopedia of American culture"; with Ruah as Kensi, "a super bright young investigator who studied forensics and criminology in college." The trio will potentially join Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J, who are still in negotiations with producer CBS Paramount Network Television.
UNTITLED FRANK MILITARY PROJECT (CBS) - "Jericho" alum Lennie James is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan. He'll play a former assistant DA who works as a paralegal after getting disbarred. Frank Military is behind the hour, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.
UNTITLED JEFF STRAUSS PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Jeff Strauss ("All of Us") has booked a pilot order from the Alphabet for a new multi-camera comedy which examines marriage and parenthood as seen through the eyes of three couples. The untitled half-hour is set up at ABC Studios with Acme Productions's Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis ("Surviving Suburbia") also serving as executive producers alongside Strauss.
UNTITLED JUSTIN ADLER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount has locked in yet another pilot, this time at NBC. Justin Adler is behind the half-hour, a multi-camera family comedy featuring adult siblings. He penned the pilot and is executive producing with the Tantamount team of Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.
UNTITLED NEW YORK CITY PRIVATE SCHOOLS PROJECT (Bravo, New!) - Broadcasting & Cableis reporting the cable channel has begun production on a new reality series referred to as a "real life" version of "Gossip Girl." Stone & Company Entertainment is behind the project, which will track the lives of New York City private-school kids, although it won't feature Manhattan's exclusive schools specifically.