LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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FAMILY GUY (FOX) - Warner Bros. has stepped in as the new exclusive sponsor of this weekend's "Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" special. As previously reported, Microsoft opted out of said duties after executives attended the taping and grew concerned over its content. In any case, Warner Bros. will use said time to promote the Christmas release of its Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law feature "Sherlock Holmes."
HEROES (NBC) - Adrian Pasdar is reportedly departing the Peacock drama after three and a half seasons. His departure isn't considered much of a surprise as his character is technically "dead" on the series: "Nathan Petrelli" simply exists as a reprogrammed version of Zachary Quinto's character, who was forced into said configuration by a cabal of the other heroes in last season's finale. The current storyline has tracked that event slowly coming unhinged. It's not clear when Pasdar's last appearance will air.
LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (USA) - Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ("Without a Trace") has joined the cast of the series, which returns for its ninth season early next year. She'll play the new working-class captain of the Major Case Squad who succeeds Eric Bogosian's character. Her casting closes the books on the show's much-ballyhooed revamp, which will see Vincent D'Onofrio, Julianne Nicholso and Kathryn Erbe's characters replaced full time by Jeff Goldblum and incoming partner Saffron Burrows.
SANDER-MOSES PROJECTS (ABC, New!) - "Ghost Whisperer" executive producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses have lined up a trio of projects at the Alphabet via their overall deal with ABC Studios. "Jane and Dick," from Jennifer Weiner ("In Her Shoes") and Michael Reisz ("Boston Legal"), is "a legal drama set in an all-female firm, the central character being a woman who's about to inherit her father's firm and get married when a boyfriend from her teenage years suddenly steps back into her life." Next up is "Police Surgeon," from Lance Gentile ("ER"), about a female cop who is also a surgeon. And finally there's "Ghost World," from Daniel Taplitz ("Chaos Theory"), about "a male ghost who helps an ambitious femme homicide detective in Gotham crack her cases in the hopes of finding clues to his own life and death." All three have script commitments with Sander and Moses executive producing alongside their respective creators.
SHARK TANK (ABC) - TheWrap.com reports the Alphabet has commissioned two additional episodes of the Mark Burnett-produced series. Said installments, which are cobbled together from previously shot footage, will join three previously unaired installments. All five hours are expected to roll out sometime later this season.
UGLY BETTY (ABC) - Fisher Stevens has snagged a recurring role on the Friday soap, Entertainment Weekly reports. He'll play Mr. Z., "Betty's dry, sarcastic new landlord." It's not clear when his first episode will air.
ZEROES (NBC) - Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor ("Crank") are set to team for a new drama at the Peacock "described as a high-intensity drama chronicling the last hour of a crisis situation." Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun are behind the hour, which will track "a fictional team of guys called in as a last resort who are 'absolutely ruthless' in their use of force." Neveldine and Taylor are writing the script and will direct should it move forward. Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun likewise are executive producing.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters