[04/03/09 - 06:42 PM] Development Update: Friday, April 3 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BREAKING BAD (AMC) - Creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan has inked a two-year overall deal with the show's producer Sony Pictures Television. The pact, valued in the $4 million range, calls for Gilligan to continue at the helm of the cable drama, which was recently picked up for a third season.
THE END OF STEVE/THE FARM (Showtime) - The pay channel has reportedly passed on both pilots. The former stars Matthew Perry as an afternoon talk show host in Rochester, New York who is genial onscreen but embittered when the camera's off. Peter Tolan co-wrote the half-hour alongside Perry for Sony Pictures Television and also directed. The latter then is a spin-off of "The L Word" featuring Leisha Hailey's character as she's sent to prison. It's understood Sony is expected to shop "Steve" to other outlets while the fate of "The Farm" wasn't indicated beyond Showtime. Still under consideration at the network are "Ronna and Beverly," a comedy about the antics of two middle-aged Jewish women in Boston, from Jessica Chaffin, Jamie Denbo and Jenji Kohan; and "Possible Side Effects," a drama about a wealthy but dysfunctional family operating in the pharmaceutical business, from Tim Robbins.
ER (NBC) - Longtime showrunner/executive producer David Zabel has signed a one-year, two-script pact with Sony Pictures Television. The deal, said to be worth nearly $1 million, will give the writer/producer a pair of scripts at the studio. Zabel joined the Warner Bros. Television-based "ER" in 2001 as an executive story editor, eventually rising to showrunner for the past four and a half years.
MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Shaun Sipos ("Shark") has booked the final principal roles on the "Melrose" revival. He's on board as David Patterson, the son of Jake Hansen (Grant Show), who's described as "a bad boy with smoldering good looks who grew up as a rich kid but has been cut off from his family money." Michael Rady, Jessica Lucas, Katie Cassidy, Ashlee Simpson-Weitz, Colin Egglesfield and Stephanie Jacobson also star in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which comes from Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin. Davis Guggenheim is directing.