[03/25/09 - 06:19 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, March 25
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!

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER? (FOX) - The show's syndicated incarnation has now been cleared in 95 markets covering 80% of the country. Twentieth Television is distributing the series, which is a go in 29 of the top 30 TV markets. Jeff Foxworthy is on board to host the Mark Burnett Productions/Zoo Productions project, which roles out this fall. Mark Burnett, Barry Poznick and John Stevens are the executive producers.

COP HOUSE (FOX) - Scott Caan and Curtiss I'Cook are the latest additions to the comedy pilot, about a halfway house for troubled cops. Caan will play "a champion marksman who suffered a nervous breakdown after his wife left him for his sister" with I'Cook as "an intense cop prone to random, violent outbursts." Brett Ratner is directing the single-camera project, which comes from creator Adam Resnick and 20th Century Fox Television.

DAY ONE (NBC) - "The Shield" alum Catherine Dent has joined the cast of the drama pilot, which chronicles the aftermath of a global event that devastates the world's infrastructures. She'll play Jennifer Christiansen, the mother of Addison Timlin's character, in the Universal Media Studios-based hour, which Alex Graves is helming from a script by Jesse Alexander.

THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) - Josh Charles ("In Treatment") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about a politician's wife (Julianna Margulies) who gets a job as a junior associate at a top law firm. He'll play a partner at said firm. CBS Paramount Network Television is behind the hour, from creators Michelle and Robert King, Charles McDougall is directing.

MERCY (NBC) - Michelle Trachtenberg ("Gossip Girl") has scored a lead role on the drama pilot, about three nurses (Trachtenberg, Jaime Lee Kirchner and Taylor Schilling) bound together in friendship by the highs and lows of their personal and professional lives. She'll play one of the trio, "who is tragically unhip." Elizabeth Heldens penned the Universal Media Studios-based hour, which Adam Bernstein is directing.

NO HEROICS (ABC) - Tom Riley has landed the final principal role on the pilot, about four superheroes balancing their B-list powers with their personal lives. He'll play Nigel (a.k.a. Brainstorm), one of the capes who can read minds - within three meters. Arielle Kebbel, Eliza Coupe, Paul Campbell and Freddie Prinze Jr. also star in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which comes from co-creators Jeff Greenstein and Drew Pearce.

THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP (HBO, New!) - Dennis Quaid, Julianne Moore and Michael Sheen are set to star in a new docudrama at the pay channel about the relationship between President Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Peter Morgan ("Frost/Nixon") penned the script to the project, which will also mark his directorial debut if it moves forward. Quaid then would play Clinton with Moore as wife Hillary and Sheen as Blair, who also played the former Prime Minister in 2003's "The Deal" and 2006's "The Queen." Morgan is also executive producing alongside Kathleen Kennedy and Andy Harries with Ann Wingate and Frank Doelger producing. It's understood talks are underway with the BBC to co-produce the project.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (The CW) - Ian Somerhalder ("Lost"), Zach Roerig ("Friday Night Lights") and Kayla Ewell ("Entourage") have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Elena (Nina Dobrev), a woman who falls for two vampire brothers - one good and one evil. Somerhalder will play Damon, "a smug vampire who can go from playful to evil in a split second," while Roerig is set as play Matt, Elena's jock ex, with Ewell as Vicki, his sister. Marcos Siega is helming the Warner Bros. Television-based hour from a script by co-creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson.

WHITE COLLAR (USA) - The cable channel is reportedly close to ordering the drama pilot to series. The project, from Fox TV Studios and creator Jeff Eastin, revolves around the unlikely pairing of a brilliant con artist (Matthew Bomer) and the head of the FBI's white-collar crime unit (Tim DeKay). Marsha Thomason, Tiffani Thiessen and Willie Garson also star in the project, which was directed by Bronwen Hughes. It's believed the series is being eyed as a potential companion for "Psych" once current partner "Monk" wraps its eight season run next year.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [march 2009]  


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