[10/30/09 - 06:09 PM]
Development Update: Friday, October 30
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!

AIRPLANE REPO (Discovery) - Craig Piligian ("Dirty Jobs") has booked yet another series at the cable channel in which repossessor Nick Popovich and his team re-acquires jets and helicopters from delinquent owners around the world, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Finland. Eight episodes are set to roll out early next year from Piligian's Pilgrim Films & Television banner. Popovich and Bill Rancic ("The Apprentice") are executive producing alongside Piligan.

APOSTLE PROJECTS (Various, New!) - Denis Leary and Jim Serpico's Sony Pictures Television-based Apostle Films has lined up a half-dozen series projects around town. At CBS, the company is redeveloping its Michael Rapaport-led drama about "a social worker who's good at helping others with their problems, but not necessarily his own." Peter Ocko ("Pushing Daisies") is taking over scripting duties from Bryan Goluboff. Over at FOX, Apostle continues to shepherd "Extended Family" from John Beck and Ron Hart ("According to Jim"). The multi-camera comedy is based on Beck's experiences growing up in a family that also made room for foster kids.

Newly revealed are an untitled hour for FX set in the world of televangelists. David Folwell ("Medium") is writing the project, which is set up at FX Productions. At Spike TV there's "The Rebel League," loosely based on Ed Willes's book of the same name (subtitled "The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey"), about "the startup of a contemporary hockey league and its out-of-control managers and players." Stephen Engel ("The Big Bang Theory") is writing the half-hour. Meanwhile, USA is developing "Partners in Crime" from Janine Sherman-Barrois and "Scales of Justice," from New York playwright Joe Sutton. The former revolves around ex-husband and wife private eyes while the latter is a New Orleans-set drama about "an overweight ex-cop who enlists his overeaters support group to fight crime." Lastly, the company is looking to bring the feature film "Gattica" to the small screen. Gil Grant ("NCIS: LA") is penning the hour, a police procedural set in the future, which will go out to networks soon.

COUGAR TOWN (ABC) - "The Unit" alum Scott Foley has landed a three-episode arc on the freshman comedy, Entertainment Weekly reports. He'll play a client of Courteney Cox's realtor character whom she begins dating. It's not clear when his first episode will air.

THE FOLLOWER (HBO, New!) - Jason Starr's novel of the same name is set to be the focus of a potential new drama at the pay channel. Said hour, which is set up at Lionsgate Television, is "described as a dark social satire chronicling the dating lives of a group of twentysomething New Yorkers as seen through the eyes of a stalker." Bret Easton Ellis ("American Psycho") is penning the adaptation with Jason Blum ("Paranormal Activity") and Vertigo Films partners Doug Davison and Roy Lee and Media Talent Group's Geyer Kosinski also executive producing. Vertigo's Gabriel Mason is likewise attached as a co-executive producer with Steven Schneider serving as an associate producer. Vertigo has a first-look deal with Lionsgate.

JOSH HEALD PROJECTS (Various, New!) - Feature writer Josh Heald (the upcoming "Mardi Gras" and "Hot Tub Time Machine") has sold a pair of projects, multi-camera comedies at NBC and FOX. The Peacock effort, "Sausagefest," is about "two very different twentysomething best friends whose lives are complicated by their clingy dads, one a thrice-divorced misogynist who means well and the other a gentle widower." Norm Macdonald is already attached as the former dad. The FOX project, "Sequestered," then revolves around "12 strangers forced to live together when they are sequestered for a lengthy jury trial." BermanBraun's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are executive producing the Universal Media Studios-based "Sausagesfest" while The Chernin Co.'s Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope are likewise executive producing the 20th Century Fox Television-based "Sequestered."

NCIS (CBS) - Rena Sofer ("Heroes") is set to appear on an upcoming episode of the veteran CBS drama. She'll play a no-nonsense attorney with mysterious motives, a role which is potentially recurring.

RIZZOLI (TNT) - Sasha Alexander, Bruce McGill, Jordan Bridges and Lee Thompson Young have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, based on Tess Gerritsen's popular Jane Rizzoli mystery novels about the crime-solving team of Boston police detective Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles. Alexander will play the latter role with McGill as "the gruff but lovable Detective Vince Korsak, Jane's former partner who is a bit hurt that she had taken the likable but green Barry Frost (Young), as her new partner." Bridges then is set as Franke Rizzoli Jr., "Jane's younger brother, a Boston patrol officer who worships her and hopes to make detective someday." Janet Tamaro penned the hour and is executive producing alongside Bill Haber.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [october 2009]  


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