[09/08/09 - 06:34 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, September 8 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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24 (FOX) - Rami Malek ("Night at the Museum"), Julian Morris ("ER") and Hrach Titizian have each landed roles on the upcoming eighth season. Malek will play Marcos, "a would-be suicide bomber who is Arab American with sympathies toward radical Islam," with Morris as a CTU SWAT agent and Titizian as Nabeel, "the second-in-command of security for President Hassan (Anil Kapoor)." No other details about their arcs were given.
COVERT AFFAIRS (USA) - Eric Lively ("24: Redemption") and Kari Matchett ("ER") has both been cast on the drama pilot, about Annie Walker (Piper Perabo), "a multilingual CIA trainee who joins the agency while still reeling over a mysterious ex-boyfriend who appears to be of particular interest to her bosses." In addition, Eion Bailey has signed on for the recurring role of said ex-boyfriend. Lively will play Conrad Sheehan III, "a third-generation CIA man and womanizer who enjoys a spicy rapport with Annie," while Matchett is set as "a driven CIA agent who is the head of the agency's Domestic Protection Division and Annie's new boss." Anne Dudek and Christopher Gorham also star in the Universal Cable Productions-based project, which Tim Matheson is directing from a script by Chris Ord and Matt Corman.
FAMILY BUSINESS (ABC, New!) - Sonny Lee and Patrick Walsh ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") have booked a multi-camera comedy at the Alphabet about "a dysfunctional Midwestern family that tries to keep their grocery business afloat after being rocked by divorce." The project is set up at the ABC Studios-based Mark Gordon Co. with Gordon executive producing and Lee and Walsh serving as co-executive producers.
PREGNANCY PACT (Lifetime, New!) - Telefilm gurus Frank Von Zerneck and Robert Sertner are developing a new ripped-from-the-headlines movie at the cable channel inspired by the much-debated story about 17 girls at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts who allegedly agreed to get pregnant at the same time - and succeeded. Pam Davis and Teena Booth are penning the project for Von Zerneck-Sertner Films. No other specifics about the film were released.
UNTITLED RICHARD RUSSO PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russo ("Empire Falls") is developing a new drama at the pay channel about the recent Catskills Gas Rush. The project is based on David France's 2008 article for New York Magazine which detailed the conflict between New York weekenders, who have second homes in the area, and local diary farmers, looking to have their land prospected, over the latter's attempts to lease their land to gas companies. The Catskills are said to be home to the largest reservoir of natural gas ever discovered in America, however it wasn't until recently that the technology to drill for it - not to mention the demand - reached a level that was cost effective. The weekenders however oppose drilling for environmental and esthetic reasons. France himself will serve as a consulting producer on the project with Russo writing and executive producing alongside Mark Johnson and Will Gluck. As for specifics, the untitled hour will begin four years ago and follow both sides. Currently, gas companies are still waiting approval from New York State for drilling to start.
WHITE COLLAR (USA) - Natalie Morales ("The Middleman") has joined the cast of the upcoming drama, about a con artist (Matthew Bomer) and an FBI agent (Tim DeKay) who work together to solve white collar crimes. She'll play Lauren Cruz, "a smart junior FBI agent in the white-collar division who holds her own with her superiors and the master thieves she's investigating." Said role was originally pegged as a two-episode guest arc. The series launches Friday, October 23 at 10:00/9:00c.