[03/17/09 - 06:27 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, March 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) - Sam Neill ("Crusoe") has joined the cast of the two-hour drama pilot, about a small town which had enjoyed a seven-year peace after a series of kidnappings until it is hit by another crime. He'll play the owner of a movie-paraphernalia shop in the ABC Studios-based project, which Gary Fleder is directing from a script by co-creators Andre Nemec, Josh Applebaum and Scott Rosenberg.
HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU (NBC, New!) - The Peacock is reportedly in talks with Hat Trick Productions to import the long-running U.K. panel show to the U.S. The series "features two teams of celebrities and newsmakers humorously trying to answer questions about current events and politics." Hat Trick's Jimmy Mulville is executive producing the project, which is said to be nearing a pilot commitment.
LIMELIGHT (ABC) - Noah Gray-Cabey ("Heroes"), Oded Fehr ("Sleeper Cell"), Jessy Schram ("Life") and singer Kyle Riabko have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the students and faculty at a performing arts school in New York. Gray-Cabey will play the school's music prodigy with Fehr as its larger-than-life and overbearing artistic director. Riabko and Schram then are set as aspiring young actors auditioning for the academy. David Semel is helming the Warner Bros. Television-based hour from a script by K.J. Steinberg.
MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Jessica Lucas ("90210") is switching zip codes as the actress has joined the cast of The CW's "Melrose" revival. She'll play Riley Richmond, a wealthy and beautiful 24-year-old who works as an inner-city elementary school teacher. Her character is understood to be engaged to Jonah (Michael Rady) but has second thoughts about marrying him. Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Katie Cassidy also star in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which Davis Guggenheim is helming off a script from co-creators Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin.
THE NAUGHTY KITCHEN (Oxygen) - The cable channel is reportedly close to ordering the Blythe Beck-led project to series. Code Entertainment and Authentic Pictures are behind the half-hour pilot, which follows the "brassy, ambitious five-star chef Beck and the colorful cast of characters at her upscale Dallas restaurant." Code's Larry Kennar and Rick Berg; Authentic's Lauren Lexton and Tom Rogan; and showrunners Brandy Menefree and Brad Hall are the executive producers.
THREE RIVERS (CBS) - "Moonlight" alum Alex O'Loughlin is in talks to join the cast of the drama pilot, which follows organ transplants as seen through the eyes of the doctors, the donors and the recipients involved. He's on track to play Dr. Andy Yablonski, "the workaholic head of the team of organ donor transplants who is separated from his wife and lives in a motel near the hospital." Carol Barbee is behind the project, which is set up at CBS Paramount Network Television.
UNTITLED JUSTIN ADLER PROJECT (NBC) - Nick D'Agosto ("Heroes") and Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville") have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, which revolves around a grown-up family. D'Agosto will play the youngest sibling, who brings his girlfriend to meet the family, while Rosenbaum is set as "the married middle sibling freaked out over his recently adopted baby." Justin Adler is behind the half-hour, which comes from the Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount.