[03/09/09 - 06:11 PM]
Development Update: Monday, March 9
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!

COP HOUSE (FOX) - Tony Hale ("Chuck") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a halfway house for troubled cops. He'll play a cop who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder on the project, following his stint on fellow FOX pilot "Boldly Going Nowhere." Adam Resnick created the half-hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television.

EMPIRE STATE (ABC) - Tammy Blanchard and Mel Raido are the latest additions to the pilot, a drama about a blue-collar man falling in love with a wealthy girl. Blanchard will play the man's cousin and close friend, a successful attorney, with Raido as the girl's ruthless and manipulating brother. Jeremy Podeswa is helming the ABC Studios-based hour from a script by Michael Seitzman.

LIMELIGHT (ABC) - Robbie Jones and Shannon Woodward are both on board the drama pilot, about the students and faculty at a performing-arts college. They'll play two students, an inspired percussionist and a talented actress, respectively. David Semel is helming the K.J. Steinberg-penned hour for Warner Bros. Television.

LITTLE PEOPLE: JUST MARRIED (TLC, New!) - The cable channel has ordered 13 episodes of the series following strong numbers for its backdoor pilot special on Monday, January 19 at 10:00/9:00c. Reality house LMNO Productions is behind the project, which follows newlyweds Bill Klein and Jen Arnold, a pharmaceutical salesman and pediatrician, respectively. It's understood "Married" will roll out on Monday, May 25 at 10:00/9:00c following the fifth season premiere of "Jon and Kate Plus 8." LMNO is also behind two other recent backdoor pilot specials at the network: "Amazing Love Stories" and "Incredible Weddings," both of which aired Sunday, February 15.

MAGGIE HILL (FOX) - Luke Mably, Gbenga Akinnagbe and Anna Rose Hopkins have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Maggie Hill (Christina Cole), a brilliant surgeon with schizophrenia. Mably will play her "real" boyfriend, a handsome doctor, while Akinnagbe is set as her rival, an arrogant surgeon. Hopkins then will play Maggie's younger sister. Ian Biederman is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, to be directed by Stephen Hopkins.

MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is the latest to book a role on the "Melrose" revival. She'll play Violet, "a bright-eyed but shrewd small-town girl and recent L.A. transplant who has come to town with a secret." Michael Rady and Katie Cassidy also star in the hour, which comes from executive producers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin. Davis Guggenheim directs.

MIAMI TRAUMA (CBS) - Lana Parrilla ("Swingtown") has joined the cast of the medical drama, a pilot set in a Miami trauma center. She's on board as "a brilliant surgeon who becomes the leader of the trauma team." Jeffrey Lieber is behind the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced hour, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television.

NO HEROICS (ABC) - "Scrubs" co-star Eliza Coupe has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about four B-list superheroes living among us. She'll play Callie (a.k.a. "Crossfade"), a bad girl who can turn invisible. Drew Pearce and Jeff Greenstein co-created the half-hour, which is set up at ABC Studios.

RUNAWAY SQUAD (A&E) - The cable channel is set to order eight additional episodes of the series, about Joe Mazzilli, "a decorated former undercover detective in New York who searches for runaway kids and brings them back to their families on a pro bono basis." 1.2 million viewers tuned into the original backdoor pilot special on December 22. Granada Television is producing.

THREE RIVERS (CBS) - Justina Machado ("ER") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about organ transplants as seen through the eyes of the doctors, donors and recipients involved. She'll play an operating assistant on the hour, which comes from executive producers Carol Barbee and Curtis Hanson.

THE UNKNOWN (ABC) - Rupert Penry-Jones has been cast in the drama pilot, about a team of dedicated amateur detectives working on cases of unidentified victims. He'll play their leader, "a former cop whose 11-year-old daughter was kidnapped three years ago with no leads." Danny Cannon is helming the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced hour from a script by Mark Friedman. Warner Bros. Television is the studio attached.

V (ABC) - "Firefly" alum Morena Baccarin has been tapped as Anna, the leader of the Visitors, in the Alphabet's revival of the cult '80s franchise. Yves Simoneau is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based project from a script by Scott Peters.

VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW) - Nina Dobrev ("Degrassi: The Next Generation") has been cast as the female lead in the drama pilot, about a tragic heroine who is the object of passion for two vampire brothers. She'll play said girl, Elena, in the hour, which comes from co-creators Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. Marcos Siega is directing.

THE WONDERFUL MALADYS (HBO) - Nate Corddry and Molly Parker are set to join Sarah Michelle Gellar in the comedy pilot, about the three dysfunctional siblings in New York who lost their parents at a younger age. Corddry will play Alice Malady's (Gellar) younger brother Neil, a bookish grad student, with Parker as her older sister Mary, a therapist. Alan Taylor has also come aboard to direct from a script by Charles Randolph.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2009]  

· ER (NBC)
· V (ABC)

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