[04/10/09 - 06:05 PM]
Development Update: Friday, April 10
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!

2009-10 BROADCAST NETWORK PILOTS (Various) - Directors have been confirmed for a dozen of this year's pilots. Set for helming duties are: Kenny Ortega ("High School Musical") on NBC's "Legally Mad"; Luke Greenfield ("Aliens in America") on ABC's "The Law"; Andy Ackerman ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") on CBS's "The Bid D"; Jason Ensler ("Kath & Kim") on CBS's "The Eastmans"; Daniel Minahan ("True Blood") on CBS's "House Rules"; Kenneth Fink ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") on CBS's "Miami Trauma"; Dan Attias ("Big Love") on CBS's "Three Rivers"; Mimi Leder ("Vanished") on CBS's "Untitled Frank Military Project"; Peter Sollett ("Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist") on NBC's "State of Romance"; Anthony & Joe Russo on NBC's "Untitled Justin Adler Project"; Ted Wass on CBS's "Waiting to Die"; and Thomas Schlamme ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") on NBC's "Parenthood."

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (CBS) - Nicolas Wright has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about a movie critic (Jenna Elfman) who finds herself accidentally pregnant after a fling with a much younger man (Jon Foster). He'll play Davis, one of said man's scruffy friends. Claudia Lonow is behind the half-hour, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television and director Pamela Fryman.

BACK (CBS) - Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak and Emily Meade have both been cast in the drama pilot, about a man (Skeet Ulrich) who disappeared in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks only to suddenly show up, eight years later. They'll play his children, Michael and Shannon, respectively. Mark Pellington is helming the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour from a script by creator Dean Widenmann.

BROTHERS (FOX) - Carl Weathers has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a retired football player (Michael Strahan) who returns to his hometown and starts working to reconnect with his family. He'll play his old coach. Don Reo is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which Ted Wass is directing.

COMMUNITY (NBC) - Danny Pudi has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about a group of misfits at a community college. He'll play Abed, one of the group, which also includes Chevy Chase and Joel McHale. Anthony and Joe Russo are helming the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which comes from creator Dan Harmon.

DAY ONE (NBC) - April Grace is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about the residents of an apartment building who must band together after a global apocalypse. She'll play one of said residents, Max, a British busybody. In addition, the Universal Media Studios-based project has been now confirmed as a two-hour pilot. Alex Graves is directing from a script by creator Jesse Alexander.

EVA ADAMS (FOX) - Kat Foster ("'Til Death") has been confirmed as a cast member on the drama pilot, about a womanizer at a sports management firm who is magically transformed into a woman. She's playing Grace Wainright, the only one who believes Eva's (Rhea Seehorn) story who must now school her in the ways of womanhood. David Denman and James Van Der Beek also star in the Mark Waters-helmed hour, which comes from creator Kevin Falls and Sony Pictures Television.

THE FISH TANK (CBS) - Andrew Caldwell, Elena Franklin and Lyndsy Fonseca are the latest additions to the comedy pilot, about a teenager (Drake Bell) who finds himself living the dream when his parents give him the house to himself five days a week. Fonseca will play his girlfriend Jessie with Caldwell and Franklin as friends Gabe ("chubby, over-exuberant") and Vanessa ("sexy, screwed up"), respectively. Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith are behind the project, which is set up at Sony Pictures Television.

THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) - Graham Phillips ("Ben 10: Race Against Time") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a disgraced politician's wife (Julianna Margulies) who carves out her own niche as a defense attorney. He's set as her 14-year old son Zach in the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which comes from co-creators Michelle and Robert King. Charles McDougall is directing.

LIGHT YEARS (The CW) - Austin Basis has likewise been confirmed as a cast member on the drama pilot, about a smart, sassy teenager (Britt Robertson) who reunites with her birth parents. He's playing Math, the teddy bear friend of her biological father Nick "Baze" Basile (Kristoffer Polaha). Kerr Smith and Shiri Appleby also star in the hour, which comes from creator Liz Tigelaar, director Gary Fleder and CBS Paramount Network Television.

LOST & FOUND (NBC) - Bahar Soomekh and Andre Holland have both been confirmed as cast members on the drama pilot, about a quirky, offbeat detective (Katee Sackhoff) who's banished to working on John and Jane Doe cases. The former will play Abigail Nezhukumatathil-Grant, a Martha Steweart-esque medical examiner, while the latter is set as Gayle Dixon, the authoritative secretary of the squad's lieutenant. Michael Engler helmed the Universal Media Studios-based hour from a script by Chris Levinson.

MERCY (NBC) - James LeGros and Delroy Lindo have both landed roles on the drama pilot, about the highs and lows of the lives of three nurses (Taylor Schilling, Jamie Lee Kirchner and Michelle Trachtenberg). LeGros is set as Dr. Harris, the ICU's Chief Resident, while Lindo is playing Dr. Parks, Mercy Hospital's Chief of Staff. Elizabeth Heldens is behind the hour, which comes from Universal Media Studios. Adam Bernstein is directing.

OFF DUTY (NBC) - Ken Jeong and Antonio Ortiz have each been confirmed as cast members on the comedy pilot, about Glenn Falcon, a once-legendary police detective (Bradley Whitford) on his way down who complicates the life of his new partner (Romany Malco), a straight shooter on his way up. Jeong is playing a fellow detective whom Falcon has nicknamed "Jackie Chan" while Antonio Ortiz is set as the son of Malco's character. Adam Bernstein directed the Universal Media Studios-based project, which was penned by Jason Mantzoukas.

PARENTHOOD (NBC) - Max Burkholder has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the lives of four adult siblings wrestling with - you guessed it - parenthood. He'll play Max, the eight-year-old son of Peter Krause's character. Thomas Schlamme is directing the Universal Media Studios-based hour from a script by Jason Katims.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS (Showtime) - The cable channel has decided to pass on the drama pilot, about a family run pharmaceutical company. The news means that the network has ultimately passed on all of its pilots for the 2009-10 season, including "Ronna & Beverly," "The End of Steve" and its "The L Word" spin-off "The Farm." Ellen Burstyn, Josh Lucas and Tim Blake Nelson co-starred in the hour, which comes from writer/director Tim Robbins. No specific reason was given for the decision however industry insiders speculate everything from an already healthy original series slate to concerns by its parent company CBS Corporation over its subject matter.

SONS OF TUCSON (FOX) - Frank Dolce, Davis Cleveland and Troy Gentile have all joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about charming but misguided hustler (Tyler Labine) hired by three rich young brothers to act as their "father" while their real one serves time for a white-collar crime. They'll play the aforementioned brothers - Gary (14), Robby (8) and Brandon (16), respectively. Todd Holland is helming the 20th Century Fox Television-based project from a script by Greg Bratman and Tommy Dewey.

THIS LITTLE PIGGY (ABC) - Brandy Norwood ("Moesha") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about three grown siblings who wind up living under the same roof. She'll play Tina, the wife of one of them (Jeff Davis). Kevin Rahm, Andrea Parker and Rebecca Creskoff also star in the ABC Studios-based project, which Andrew D. Weyman is directing from a script by Brian Bradley and Steven Cragg.

TRUST ME (TNT) - As expected, the cable channel has pulled the plug on the freshman drama after one season. The series bowed on January 26 to 3.4 million viewers, despite a "The Closer" lead in that provided twice the audience. The following week it fell to 1.9 million and was eventually shuttled off to Tuesday nights in March. Co-star Eric McCormack has already moved on, having booked the lead on Tad Quill's comedy pilot for ABC.

UNTITLED ANITA RENFROE PROJECT (ABC) - Skyler Samuels ("Wizards of Waverly Place") has joined the cast of the pilot, a family comedy starring comedian Anita Renfroe. She'll play Libby, one of Anita's three children. Spencer Breslin and Tucker Albrizzi also star as her siblings with Ryan Stiles as her dad. Jamie Widdoes is helming the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which was written by Amy Welsh, Rob Hanning and Anita Renfroe.

UNTITLED SHERRI SHEPHARD PROJECT (Lifetime) - Tammy Townsend, Reagan Gomez, Jeremiah W. Birkett and Kali Rocha are the latest additions to the comedy pilot, which stars "The View" co-host. Gomez will play Sherri's know it all sister while Townsend is set as her best friend, Celia Marson. Birkett then is believed to be playing Randy Gregg, a doctor who serves as Sherri's love interest, with Rocha as Summer Dickie, an "over achieving, survive at all costs kind of girl." Andrew D. Weyman is on board to direct the half-hour, which comes from creator Dave Flebotte and ABC Studios.

WAITING TO DIE (CBS) - B.J. Bales, Sarah Wright and Josh Gad are all on board the comedy pilot, about two simple guys (Nick Thune, T.J. Miller) who are happy with their lives - no matter how bad it might look from the outside. Bales will play Donald, the guys' boss at work - a GNC-type nutrition store. Wright and Gad then are set as their friends Brandi, who's very hot and not so smart, and Simon, who's married and a regular guy. Ted Wass is helming the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which comes from creators Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2009]  


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