[03/16/09 - 06:28 PM]
Development Update: Monday, March 16
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!

100 QUESTIONS FOR CHARLOTTE PAYNE (NBC) - British actress Sophie Winkleman ("Peep Show") has been cast in the title role of the comedy pilot, about a young woman (Winkleman) working at a dating service who navigates life and friendship in New York. Chris Moynihan penned the Universal Media Studios-based half-hour, the production of which was contingent on casting said role. James Burrows is directing.

AT RISK/THE FRONT (Lifetime) - John Pielmeier ("Capture of the Green River Killer") has been tapped to pen the small screen adaptations of Patricia Cornwell's bestselling crime novels while Tandem Communications has signed on as their worldwide distributor. Jim Head, Lane Bishop, Russell Werdin, Stanley M. Brooks and Cornwell herself are executive producing both projects, which follow Massachusetts state investigator Win Garano and his ambitious supervisor, state attorney Monique Lamont, as they investigate cases.

BROTHERS (FOX, New!) - Daryl "Chill" Mitchell and football legend Michael Strahan are set to star in a new comedy pilot for the network about "a retired NFL player who returns to his hometown and starts working to reconnect with his family - especially his brother (Mitchell), who is confined to a wheelchair following a car accident." Don Reo ("Everybody Hates Chris") is behind the project comes from the ever-busy Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount banner. Reo then will executive produce alongside the company's principals Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum and Mitch Hurwitz. Ted Wass is attached to direct.

CANNED (ABC) - Comedian Baron Vaughn is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about a group of friends who are fired in a corporate shake-up. He'll play an unspecified character in the half-hour, which also stars Tim Peper and Stephanie Lemelin. Kevin Etten created the half-hour, which comes from ABC Studios.

COMMUNITY (NBC) - Chevy Chase is staying in business with the Peacock, booking a role on the comedy pilot, described as "Stripes" at a community college. He'll play a student at said college who has been married five times. Chase recently completed a multi-episode arc on NBC's "Chuck," set to air later this season. Dan Harmon is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which Anthony and Joe Russo are directing.

EMPIRE STATE (ABC) - Beau Garrett and Mike Vogel have landed the lead roles in the drama pilot, about "a blue-collar man (Vogel) who falls in love with the beautiful and smart daughter (Garrett) of a wealthy businessman and his father's nemesis." Michael Seitzman penned the Mark Gordon-produced hour for ABC Studios. Jeremy Podeswa is directing.

THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) - Archie Panjabi has joined the cast of the Julianna Margulies-led drama pilot, about a politician's wife who gets a job at a top law firm. He'll play one of her co-workers, described as "a bisexual Bollywood Erin Brockovich." Charles McDougall is helming the hour, which comes from creators Michelle and Robert King. CBS Paramount Network Television is the studio attached.

HAPPINESS ISN'T EVERYTHING (CBS) - Oscar-winner Richard Dreyfuss is set to play dad to Jason Biggs in the comedy pilot, about adult siblings and their parents who are overly involved in each other's lives. He'll play Jerry Hamburger, the pushy, loving and funny patriarch of the family. Also singing on is Ben Schwartz as Jacky Hamburger, the explosive older brother of Jason (Biggs). James Vallely and Mitch Hurwitz are behind the half-hour, which comes from the latter's Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount.

HOUSE RULES (CBS) - Warren Christie ("October Road") and Denzel Whitaker have joined the cast of the drama pilot, which follows the freshman class of Congress. Christie will play the House Speaker's chief of staff, who's in the midst of a love-hate relationship between a school teacher-turned-congresswoman (Zoe McLellan). Whitaker will play "a former student of the teacher who works for her part time." Michael Seitzman is behind the hour, which comes from ABC Studios and The Mark Gordon Company.

THE LAW (ABC) - "According to Jim" co-star Larry Joe Campbell has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about reserve LAPD officers. He's set as Cedric's training officer in the half-hour, which comes from co-creators Cedric the Entertainer and Bob Fisher. ABC Studios is the studio attached.

MERCY (NBC) - Jaime Lee Kirchner ("Just Legal") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the personal and professional lives of three nurses. She'll play one of the aforementioned trio in the Universal Media Studios-based hour, which Adam Bernstein is directing from a script by Elizabeth Heldens.

NO HEROICS (ABC) - Paul Campbell ("Knight Rider") has booked the lead role on the comedy pilot, about four B-list superheroes living among the general population. He'll play Pete (a.k.a. Chillout), their leader, "a Canadian-born superhero who can freeze small objects." Drew Pearce and Jeff Greenstein are behind the half-hour, which comes from ABC Studios.

STATE OF ROMANCE (NBC) - Lindsey Broad has scored the female lead on the comedy pilot, described as a modern "Pride and Prejudice" set in Chicago. She'll play Emily, who begins a relationship with Mike (the male lead) after they meet awkwardly on a plane. Barbara Wallace and Tom Wolfe are behind the half-hour, which is based at Universal Media Studios.

UNTITLED FRANK MILITARY PROJECT (CBS) - Rachel Nichols and Laz Alonso are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about a team of New York federal prosecutors. They'll play two members of said team. Frank Military is behind the project, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television.

UNTITLED JEFF STRAUSS PROJECT (ABC) - Matthew Lillard and Janet Varney have both been cast in the comedy pilot, about marriage and parenthood through the eyes of three couples. They'll play halves of two of the couples in the project, which comes from creator Jeff Strauss and ABC Studios.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2009]  


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