[08/19/09 - 06:41 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, August 19 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CLIVE BARKER'S HOTEL (ABC, New!) - Screenwriters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton ("Saw IV" and "Saw V") are set to team with horror guru Clive Barker for a new drama at the Alphabet about "a series of ghoulish incidents at a haunted hotel." Dunstan and Melton will pen the Warner Bros. Television-based hour and executive produce alongside Barker with McG's Wonderland Sound and Vision also potentially attached. No other details were given.
EMPIRE STATE (ABC)/HOUSE RULES (CBS) - Michael Seitzman, who penned both of the aforementioned pilots this past development season, has inked a two-script deal with ABC Studios. The pact calls for the prolific writer/producer to pen two new efforts for the studio, which he'll develop under his Michael Seitzman's Pictures banner.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC) - Jurnee Smollett ("The Great Debaters") is the latest addition to the show's upcoming fourth season. She'll play Jess, "the daughter of a onetime NFL hopeful who knows the game and helps raise her siblings with the help of her father." It's not clear when her arc will begin.
FULL COLOR FOOTBALL: THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Showtime, New!) - The pay channel is set to air a new five-part documentary about "the birth of the only league to successfully rival the NFL from its wild beginnings to the most stunning upset in pro football history and the eventual powerhouse merger." The NFL Films-produced project will air Wednesdays at 8:00/7:00c starting September 16 leading into "Inside the NFL" at 9:00/8:00c. The network itself details the premiere installment as follows: "In episode 101, the series premiere, AFL founder Lamar Hunt hatches the idea for a rival football league after the NFL rebuffs his efforts to purchase an expansion franchise, and teams such as the L.A. Chargers are born from humble beginnings."
LOST (ABC) - John Hawkes ("Deadwood") has landed a recurring role on the show's final season. He'll play Lennon, "the scruffy, edgy and charismatic spokesperson and translator for the president of a foreign corporation who is far more powerful than it seems from his position." Not surprisingly, full details about the character are being kept under wraps.
MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Jenna Dewan ("Step Up") is set for a multi-episode arc on the netlet's "Melrose" revival. According to Entertainment Weekly, she'll play "a young movie studio exec who takes a liking to wannabe Tarantino, Jonah (Michael Rady), in at least two episodes." It's not clear when her first episode will air.
PARENTHOOD (NBC) - Joy Bryant ("Virtuality") has been upped to recurring on the freshman drama, due at midseason on the Peacock. She'll continue on as Jasmine - "a sexy single mom who moves back to the Bay Area to give her professional dance career a second try and to introduce her 5-year-old son, the product of a fling, to his father" - after guest starring in the pilot. No other specifics were released.
SOUTHLAND (NBC) - "Prison Break" alum Amaury Nolasco has joined the cast of the sophomore drama. He'll play "the aggressive new partner of Det. Lydia Adams (Regina King) who drives her crazy." The show's freshman run wrapped with Lydia's current partner (Tom Everett Scott) in critical danger.