LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BODY OF EVIDENCE (ABC) - John Carroll Lynch ("K-Ville"), Windell Middlebrooks ("Scrubs") and Geoffrey Arend ("Trust Me") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Dr. Megan Hunt, "a brilliant and tenacious neurosurgeon-turned-medical examiner." Lynch will play Bud Morris, a detective who initially butts heads with Hunt. Middlebrooks then is set as Dr. Semo Solomona, the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner (originally written for "a Samoan man whose girth brings new meaning to 'throwing his weight around the office.'"). Rounding out the trio is Arend as Dr. Elliot Gross, "boyish, geeky in an endearing way, and utterly non-threatening," another doctor at the ME's office. Chris Murphey penned the hour, which is set up at ABC Studios.
CHAOS (CBS) - Tim Blake Nelson ("The Incredible Hulk") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about "a group of rogue CIA operatives combating bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence and political infighting." He's believed to be playing Casey Malick, an ex-marine who considers himself a human weapon and expresses "little interest in people [and] content to spend his days inside a gym, or in his own head." Freddy Rodriguez and James Murray also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which Brett Ratner is directing from a script by Tom Spezialy.
CRASH (Starz) - The pay channel has reportedly passed on a third season of the drama, based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name. Said report indicates the series "failed to meet audience expectations and led to a writeoff of $8 million derived from production costs in the fourth quarter." "Crash" wrapped its sophomore run back in December.
THE EVENT (NBC) - Scott Patterson ("Gilmore Girls") and Sarah Roemer ("Fired Up!") have both signed onto the drama pilot, about Sean (Jason Ritter), "a regular man fighting his way through the mysterious circumstances of a conspiracy to assassinate the U.S. president." She'll play Sean's girlfriend, Leila Gasiorowski, "an MIT-educated biochemist who disappears as part of the conspiracy to force her father, Mark Gasiorowski (Patterson, described as "affable, Marlboro Man good looks"), an airline pilot, to crash an airliner into the presidential retreat." Nick Wauters is behind the Universal Media Studios-based hour, which also stars Ian Anthony Dale and Zeljko Ivanek.
FRESHMEN (ABC) - "The Deep End" co-star Ben Lawson has been cast in the comedy pilot, about "three first-year members of Congress who live together in a row house in Washington." He'll play one of them, Vince Rapp, who's "classically good looking, in a 'frat president' kind of way, works out, perfect hair, etc." Lawson's involvement is in second position to the midseason drama, which isn't expected to return. Sarah Chalke and Taran Killam also star in the half-hour, which comes from creator Greg Malins. Pamela Fryman is directing for 20th Century Fox Television.
HMS (The CW) - Megan Boone ("My Bloody Valentine") has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about the freshmen class at Harvard Medical School. She'll play Nell Larson, "a first-year HMS student intimidated by her new surroundings." Also signing on as her fellow classmates are Sarah Jones ("Sons of Anarchy") as Brittany Lace ("classy, fearless, super bright, super rich") and Tasso Feldman ("CSI: NY") as Leo ("tall, arrogant"). Amy Holden Jones penned the script to the project, which also features Hayden Panettiere as a co-executive producer. CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television are co-producing.
HOW TO BE A BETTER AMERICAN (ABC) - Jason Jones ("The Daily Show With Jon Stewart") has been cast as the lead in the comedy pilot, about "a father who embarks on a journey to be a better person and drags his family along kicking and screaming." He'll play said man, Hugh Pell, in the half-hour, which comes from co-creators Brian Bradley and Steven Cragg. ABC Studios is producing.
THE ODDS (CBS) - Kelly Hu ("CSI: NY") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about two Las Vegas cops (Donald Faison, Sullivan Stapleton) who are as outrageous as the crimes they solve. She's set as Tanya Jin, an "intelligent and attractive" Assistant District Attorney who sees the best in our heroes. Kenneth Fink is helming the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which was penned by Jeff Wadlow.
PRIME SUSPECT (NBC) - The Peacock has postponed production on the drama pilot until June. Said development is the result of casting issues as the producers have yet to find their Jane Tennison (played by Helen Mirren in the original U.K. series). Mick Jackson is attached to helm the two-hour pilot off a script by Hank Steinberg. Erwin Stoff and Paul Buccieri also serve as executive producers for Universal Media Studios and ITV Studios.
SUGARLOAF (A&E) - The cable channel is expected to formally announce today it has ordered the drama pilot to series. Matt Passmore stars in the Miami-set hour, about "a homicide detective who's run out of Chicago following a sex scandal and becomes wrapped up in a murder case." Clifton Campbell is behind the Fox Television Studios-based project, which could roll out as early as this summer. 13 episodes are set to be shot on location with Campbell executive producing alongside Gary A. Randall. Carlos Gomez, Kiele Sanchez and Uriah Shelton co-starred in the pilot, which was directed by Peter O'Fallon.
TRAFFIC LIGHT (FOX) - David Denman ("The Office") is set to star in the comedy pilot, about three best friends in Chicago who are in various stages of their relationships. He'll play Mike, "the red light," a married lawyer "who still is trying to get this male-female thing down pat." Nelson Franklin also stars in the half-hour, which comes from Bob Fisher and 20th Century Fox Television.
UNTITLED DOV DAVIDOFF/NEAL BRENNAN PROJECT (Showtime, New!) - Comedians Dov Davidoff and Neal Brennan have booked a pilot presentation order from the pay channel for a new hybrid comedy series. Chernin Entertainment and Fox 21 are behind the project, which will feature the duo as they "begin each day at a coffee shop discussing dating, relationships and other personal matters." The show then will "veer into sketches, man-on-the-street interviews and other elements to enhance the themes the two discuss." Brennan and Davidoff will co-write the pilot and executive produce alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
WRIGHT VS. WRONG (ABC) - Andy Fickman ("Race to Witch Mountain") has been tapped to direct the comedy pilot, about a female Republican pundit and her staff. He'll work from a script by Stephanie Weir. Sony Pictures Television and Tantamount are co-producing with the latter's Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum and Mitch Hurwitz also serving as executive producers.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters