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[02/17/09 - 06:28 PM]
Development Update: Tuesday, February 17
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!


HAPPY TOWN (ABC) - "October Road" alum Geoff Stults is set to reteam with the show's co-creators Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg on the drama pilot, about a small town grappling with its first crime in seven years. He'll play Tommy Conroy, the town's newly appointed sheriff who has to solve the case. Gary Fleder is helming the two-hour project, which comes from ABC Studios.


INSIDE THE BOX (ABC) - Martin Henderson ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a Washington network news bureau. He'll play Jake - the on-again-off-again love interest of Catherine, the show's female lead, an ambitious female news producer. Richard E. Robbins is behind the ABC Studios-based hour, which Mark Tinker is directing. Betsy Beers and Shonda Rhimes also serve as executive producers.


NASH BRIDGES (CBS) - Don Johnson has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against producer Rysher Entertainment and the company's current owner, Qualia Capital, over lost profits from the series, which ran for 122 episodes on CBS from 1996-2001. The suit claims Johnson's (and his Don Johnson Productions) original agreement with Rysher gave him 50% of the copyright to the show should it run for more than 66 episodes. Johnson estimates the show has made "over 300 million in revenue and over $150 million from its syndication," of which he has yet to see a penny. In addition, the suit also states that Rysher has thwarted all of Johnson's attempts to exploit the series through "interactive devices" (online and mobile), including access to the "Bridges" master tapes. Said rights were reportedly also granted to Johnson and his company via the aforementioned clause. The news marks the latest chapter in the actor's financial woes - last year Johnson avoided foreclosure on his Colorado home by paying off a $14.5 million debt less then 24 hours before the property was scheduled to be auctioned.


THUNDER ROAD (CBS, New!) - Multi-hyphenate McG ("The Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious") has booked a pilot presentation at the Eye for a new reality series in which two teams risk demolition while driving a course stocked with challenging obstacles. Scott Messick and Justin Hochberg created the project, while Messick and McG are executive producing via the latter's Wonderland Sound and Vision banner for Warner Horizon Television. No other specifics were given.


TIME HEALS (TNT) - Michael Vartan ("Big Shots") has joined the cast of the upcoming Jada Pinkett Smith-led drama, about Christina Hawthorne (Pinkett Smith), a strong but caring director of nursing at a North Carolina hospital. He'll play Tom Wakefield, the director of medicine at the hospital, a role originated by Jeffrey Nordling. No reason for the recasting was given. Christina Moore, David Julian Hirsh, Laura Kenley and Suleka Mathew also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which premieres this summer.


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· BIG SHOTS (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· HAPPY TOWN (ABC)
· HAWTHORNE (TNT)
· INSIDE THE BOX (ABC)
· MR. & MRS. SMITH (ABC)
· NASH BRIDGES (CBS)
· OCTOBER ROAD (ABC)
· PUSSYCAT DOLLS PRESENT: GIRLICIOUS (CW)
· THUNDER ROAD (CBS)









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