[10/22/09 - 06:41 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, October 22
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!

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL (Adult Swim, New!) - The Cartoon Network sibling has picked up the broadcast rights to the Rob Corddry-led TheWB.com series and commissioned a second season of 12 episodes to run next year. The 10 existing five-minute installments will be cut together to make five quarter-hour episodes to be followed by 12 new quarter-hour episodes produced specifically for the cable channel. Corddry wrote, directed and starred in the series, a parody of hospital dramas. David Wain and Jonathan Stern also serve as executive producers alongside Corddry. Said development is part of a multi-platform overall deal Corddry has signed with Warner Bros. Television which calls for the multihyphenate to develop new series projects for the studio, including an pilot presentation described as an "unconventional family comedy."

EAGLEHEART (Adult Swim, New!) - Adult Swim has likewise order a pilot to a new live-action comedy from Michael Koman ("Important Things With Demetri Martin") and Andrew Weinberg ("The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"). The project, which is set up at Dakota Films and Conan O'Brien's Conaco banner, revolves around "a low-level TV executive who is sent to Texas to produce an action series with a fading TV action icon as the star, [only to wind] up in a power struggle with the temperamental thespian." Conaco's David Kissinger and Dakota Films's Troy Miller will also serve as executive producers alongside Koman, Weinberg and O'Brien.

FACING KATE (USA) - Sarah Shahi ("Life") has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about "a divorced San Francisco woman who leaves her job as a lawyer to become a mediator." Her casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. Michael Sardo penned the script and is executive producing alongside Steve Stark for Universal Cable Productions.

FRINGE (FOX) - Sebastian Roche ("The Beautiful Life") has booked a recurring role on the sophomore drama. He'll play "a soldier from another dimension who is not quite human/not quite machine, trying to gather information for opening a stable door to the other side." Said role was originally played by Thomas Kretschmann, who was glimpsed in the closing moments of the October 8 episode. The actor reportedly had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict.

LAWMAN/TERRIERS (FX) - Jamie Denbo ("Weeds") and Joelle Carter have been upped to series regulars on two upcoming projects at the cable channel. On "Terriers," "a comedic drama starring Donal Logue as an ex-cop who partners with his best friend (Michael Raymond-James) to launch an unlicensed private-investigation business," Denbo plays an attorney the two often consult for help. Carter then is set to continue on as an old flame to the title character in "Lawman," which "stars Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Givens, a modern 19th century-style lawman enforcing his brand of justice."

MELROSE PLACE (The CW) - Colin Egglesfield and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz are both departing the freshman drama after 13 episodes. Said shakeup comes as original cast member Heather Locklear begins her arc on the series next month. It's believed said characters will be written out as the current arc involving Sydney's (Laura Leighton) murder is resolved. No specific reason however was given for their exit.

OBESE (ABC, New!) - 3 Ball Productions has landed a six-episode order from the Alphabet for a new reality series in which extremely overweight individuals shed hundreds of pounds over the course of a full year. Each episode then will feature a person's yearlong journey with the help of a personal trainer. No host will be used as each installment will be "hosted" by the participant. 3 Ball's J.D. Roth is among the executive producers of the project, which isn't due until 2011 for obvious reasons.

ABC's details the project as follows: "3 Ball Productions, the production company behind some of television's most transformational programs is producing a new weight loss show that will take the weight off right before your eyes. And this time around, participants don't need to leave their house to lose the weight. We are bringing the trainer to you! Now Casting: Men who have at least 200 lbs (or more) to lose! Women who have at least 150 lbs (or more) to lose! If you're ready to try and lose that weight and you need inspiration to show up at your door, then come be a part of what could potentially be the most remarkable transformation of your life. Our expert trainer will show up at your door and work with you throughout your journey. Finally, a show that will capture what hopes to be the most important year of your life - the year you get your weight off and your life back!"

RAPTURE (Showtime, New!) - Craig Chester's memoir, "Why the Long Face?: The Adventures of a Truly Independent Actor," is being developed a comedy at the pay channel by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky. Don Roos ("Love and Other Impossible Pursuits") is attached to direct the half-hour, which "tells the story of [Chester's] childhood as the gay son in a family of born-again Christian parents and his experiences as a thesp in the indie film world." It's understood the TV adaptation, presumably to be written by Chester himself, will be "told from the perspective of 9-year-old Chester who's coming to terms with his sexual orientation while dealing with a devout mom who has visions of Christ and a rock 'n' roll guitar player dad who fears his wife is losing her mind." Kudrow and Bucatinsky will then executive produce through their Is or Isn't Entertainment banner alongside Chester, Paul Miller and Kimber Rickabaugh.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [october 2009]  


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