[01/26/10 - 06:48 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, January 26 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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187 DETROIT (ABC) - Feature director Jeff Nachmanoff ("Traitor") has been tapped to direct the drama pilot, about "a fictional documentary crew [that] follows a top homicide division." Jason Richman penned the ABC Studios-based hour, which also comes from fellow executive producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films.
CHAOS (CBS) - Tom Spezialy's drama has snagged a pilot order from the Eye. The 20th Century Fox Television-based hour revolves around "a group of rogue CIA operatives who combat bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence and political infighting." Spezialy penned the hour and is executive producing alongside Rat Television's Brett Ratner and Martha Haight. The company set the project up at the Eye in December.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland") is in final negotiations to topline the franchise's proposed spin-off about "a group of profilers who work outside the FBI bureaucracy." He would play Sam Cooper, the squad leader, "a dynamic, mysterious, charming and a father figure to the rest of the team, he is a former star profiler in the Behavioral Unit who has been off the radar for the past eight years." Chris Mundy and Ed Bernero are behind the project, which Richard Shepard is attached to direct. ABC Studios, CBS Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company are co-producing.
DEFENDERS (CBS, New!) - Feature writers Niels Mueller and Kevin Kennedy ("The Assassination of Richard Nixon") have scored a pilot commitment from the Eye for a new drama about "two charismatic and fiery Las Vegas defense attorneys who go to the mat for their clients." The pair penned the script and are executive producing alongside Joe and Harry Gantz. CBS Television Studios is producing.
HUGE (ABC Family, New!) - "My So-Called Life" creator Winnie Holzman is looking to bring Sasha Paley's young-adult novel to the small screen. The proposed drama, which Holzman co-wrote with her daughter Savannah Dooley, "revolves around two girls from different backgrounds who fall for the same guy" at Wellness Canyon, a weight-loss camp. Alloy Entertainment's Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy will executive produce the hour alongside Holzman and Robin Schiff ("10 Things I Hate About You"). Casting is currently underway for a potential late March production start.
LIVIN' ON A PRAYER (CBS) - The multi-camera comedy, from the "How I Met Your Mother" quartet of Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Kourtney Kang and Joe Kelly, has found a home at CBS. The Eye has ordered a pilot for the project, which revolves around "a Pittsburgh couple who are dating - and mulling the next stage of their relationship." The news comes less than 24 hours after CBS ordered a sixth season of "Mother" and co-creators Bays and Thomas inked a three-year, eight-figure overall deal with producer 20th Century Fox Television.
MIDLAND (FOX) - Marc Webb ("(500) Days of Summer") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, "a soap set against the backdrop of an oil business that centers on a polygamist living a double life." He'll work from a script by Kyle Killen for 20th Century Fox Television. No other specifics were given.
THE REMEMBERER (CBS) - Ed Redlich's drama script, about "a female NYPD detective who possesses the ability to remember everything - a gift in her job but a curse in her personal life," has received the go ahead to produce a pilot. Redlich co-wrote the hour alongside John Bellucci for Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Studios. Sony-based Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are also attached as executive producers. It's based on a short story of the same name by J. Robert Lennon, featured in the anthology "Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories." The Eye gave a script commitment to the hour back in September with a penalty attached should it not go to pilot.
ROUGH JUSTICE (NBC, New!) - Conan O'Brien is back in business with NBC as the network has commissioned a pilot for "Justice," a potential drama from his Conaco production banner. John Eisendrath penned the hour, which "follows an ex-Supreme Court justice who quits the Court to start his own legal practice." Eisendrath then will executive produce alongside O'Brien and his Conaco partners Jeff Ross and David Kissinger. Universal Media Studios is the studio attached as a result of O'Brien's $33 million settlement, which included a provision that the company stick with the studio through the end of the current development cycle.