LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BODY OF EVIDENCE (ABC) - "Desperate Housewives" co-star Dana Delany has reportedly been offered the lead role on the drama pilot, about "a brilliant and tenacious medical examiner whose background as a neurosurgeon gives her a unique and refreshing crime-solving perspective at the ME's office." Said character, Dr. Megan Hunt, is billed as "just old enough to be on her second medical career, brilliant enough to have done both in half the time." Should a deal close, Delany's involvement would be in second position to her duties on "Housewives." Geoffrey Arend, John Carroll Lynch and Windell Middlebrooks also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which was penned by Chris Murphey.
BREAKOUT KINGS (FOX) - Nicole Steinwedell ("The Unit") and Brooke Nevin ("Worst Week") are both the latest additions to the drama pilot, about "a team of U.S. Marshals paired with a group of convicts to apprehend recently escaped prisoners." Steinwedell will play one of the cons, Philomena "Philly" Rotchliffer, "a top-notch grifter," while Nevin is understood to be set as one of the Marshals, Julianne Simms, the "funnel" of the group - "all information, tips and data go through her." Domenick Lombardozzi, Laz Alonso and Malcolm Goodwin also star in the hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and director Gavin Hood. Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora co-wrote the script.
CHAOS (CBS) - Carmen Ejogo ("Kidnapped") has booked the sole female role on the drama pilot, about a group of rogue CIA operatives who combat bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence and political infighting. She's on board as seasoned CIA analyst Fay Carson, "a woman that exudes the rare combination of extreme confidence and great warmth - rendering her infinitely crush-worthy." Ejogo joins the previously cast Eric Close, Freddy Rodriguez, James Murray and Tim Blake Nelson. Director Brett Ratner and writer Tom Spezialy are behind the hour, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.
EDGAR FLOATS (ABC) - Alicia Witt ("Friday Night Lights") and Derek Webster ("Mental") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Edgar Floats, a police psychologist-turned-bounty hunter. She's set as Sandra Breakey ("pretty, athletic"), Edgar's ex-wife whom he winds up partnered with when he goes to work for her father's bail bond business. Webster then is believed to be playing Eugene Tunick, Edgar's therapist who shares his love of Civil War reenactments. Warner Bros. Television is behind the hour, which Jace Alexander is helming off a script by Rand Ravich.
THE EVENT (NBC) - Blair Underwood ("Dirty Sexy Money") has been tapped as the president on the drama pilot, "a thriller with a unique storytelling device that features multiple points of view concerning a decent, regular fellow who battles against mysterious circumstances that envelope a larger conspiracy." His role, Elias Martinez, a family man who wants to fight the good fight, was originally written for a Hispanic man. Ian Anthony Dale, Jason Ritter, Laura Innes, Sarah Roemer, Scott Patterson and Zeljko Ivanek also star in the project, which was penned by Nick Wauters. Steve Stark Productions and Universal Media Studios are co-producing.
NOMADS (The CW) - "Friday Night Lights" alum Scott Porter has been tapped as the male lead on the drama pilot presentation, about "a group of nearly broke young backpackers abroad who agree to earn money by working secret missions for the CIA." He'll play one of them, John Virgil, who's haunted by the disappearance of his brother Kirk. Ken Sanzel is behind the project, both as writer and director, which is set up at CBS Television Studios, Scott Free Productions and Warner Bros. Television.
SHIT MY DAD SAYS (CBS) - Ryan Devlin ("Cougar Town") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about a twentysomething who moves back in with his larger-than-life dad, Ed (William Shatner). He'll play said guy, Henry Bennett, who's "less than strikingly handsome, but his awkward charm goes a long way with girls." Nicole Sullivan also stars in the half-hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and co-creators David Kohan, Justin Halpern, Max Mutchnick and Patrick Schumacker. Sitcom veteran James Burrows ("Gary Unmarried") is attached to direct.
TRUE BLUE (ABC) - "Ugly Betty" co-star Ana Ortiz has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about "a group of San Francisco homicide detectives reunited to solve the murder of one of their own." She'll play Maureen Minillo, a "sexy but perennially-single civilian secretary." Eric Lange, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Marc Blucas and Poppy Montgomery co-star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which comes from co-creators Chris Brancato and Jon Harmon Feldman. Peter Horton is directing.
UNTITLED ADAM CAROLLA PROJECT (NBC) - Oswaldo Castillo, a frequent collaborator of Carolla's, has joined the cast of his comedy pilot, about "a contractor who sets out to re-build his life following a divorce." He'll play Ozzie, "Adam's chubby 40-something Nicaraguan roommate." Ashley Williams, Megan Hilty and Shanley Caswell co-star in the half-hour, which was co-created by Carolla, Jon Pollack and Kevin Hench. Universal Media Studios is the studio attached.
UNTITLED RICHARD HATEM PROJECT (ABC) - Will Yun Lee ("Bionic Woman") and Richard T. Jones ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") have each landed roles on the drama pilot, about a female detective named Julia Scott (Katee Sackhoff) who teams with Angus Martin, a disgraced ex-cop to solve crimes. Lee, who's also guest starring on CBS's "Hawaii Five-O" as crime lord Sang Min, will play Eddie Lao, Angus's "smart, loyal and thoroughly American" informant who owns a Chinese restaurant. Jones, while not specified, is believed to be playing Lt. Gerald Jaglom, Julia's boss, "who treats the whole unit like they're incompetent children and he's the long-suffering father." Gary Fleder is helming the ABC Studios-based hour, which was penned by Richard Hatem.
WRIGHT VS. WRONG (ABC) - Emmy-winner Debra Messing ("Will & Grace") is set to star and executive produce the comedy pilot, about "a driven conservative pundit who tries to maintain her public persona despite facing her own vulnerabilities." She'll play the title character, Evelyn Wright, "a stunning brunette, impeccably styled... a lipstick Christian and right-wing conservative, Evelyn's become a rising star in the political punditry arena because she is wildly intelligent, wickedly confident and frustratingly beautiful; voted CNN's C-I-L-F (Conservative I'd Like to F*@!�) in an unofficial poll." Stephnie Weir ("MadTV") penned the half-hour, to be directed by Andy Fickman. Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount is producing. Messing's manager Molly Madden is also expected to receive a producing credit.
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters