[03/15/10 - 12:08 AM] Development Update: Monday, March 15 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE BORGIAS (Showtime) - Colm Feore ("The Listener") is reportedly close to joining the cast of the upcoming drama, about the infamous Italian Renaissance family. He'd play Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, Rodrigo Borgia's (Jeremy Irons) nemesis, "who vigorously opposes Borgia's election as Pope Alexander VI and continues to tangle with him." Neil Jordan and Michael Hirst are behind the Canadian-European Treaty project, which has a 10-episode commitment.
EASTWICK (ABC) - Rina Mimoun, a consulting producer on the short-lived drama, has inked a new two-year, mid-seven-figure overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. The pact calls for the prolific scribe to develop new series projects for the studio as well as serve on its existing properties. Mimoun created the studio-based drama "Privileged," which lasted 18 episodes on The CW last season.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (NBC) - Ian Reed Kessler ("The Loop") is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about a quartet of friends "looking for 'the one' but in the meantime settling for 'friends with benefits.'" He'll play one of the group, "an oversexed, sometimes crass womanizer." Danneel Harris, Fran Kranz and Patrick J. Adams also star in the half-hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and co-creators Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter.
HAWAII FIVE-O (CBS) - James Marsters ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") is set to guest star on the drama pilot, about an elite branch of the Hawaii State Police headed by Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin). He'll play Victor Hesse, an enforcer for a human trafficking organization who's responsible for the death of Steve's father. Said role, which was first reported on the actor's Facebook page, is potentially recurring. Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Jean Smart, Scott Caan and Taryn Manning also star in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, which was penned by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Peter Lenkov. Len Wisman is directing.
HUNG (HBO) - Gregg Henry - who recurred as Mike, Ray's (Thomas Jane) assistant basketball coach last season - has been named a regular for its upcoming second season, due this summer. No other details were given.
LIGHTS OUT (FX) - Billy Brown ("Southland") is the latest to join the cast of the upcoming drama, which stars Holt McCallany as Patrick "Lights Out" Leary, "an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after retiring from the ring." He'll play Raymond "Death Row" Reynolds, "the current heavyweight champion and longtime rival of Leary." Catherine McCormack, Pablo Schreiber and Stacy Keach also star in the hour, which comes from creator Justin Zackham. Fox Television Studios and FX Productions are co-producing.
NIKITA (The CW) - Xander Berkeley ("24") is the newest addition to the drama pilot, an update on the "La Femme Nikita" franchise with Maggie Q in the title role. He'll play Percy, "the Machiavellian leader of Division - a secret unit inside the government." Aaron Stanford, Lyndsy Fonseca, Melinda Clarke and Shane West also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, to be directed by Danny Cannon from a script by Craig Silverstein.
PARKS & RECREATION (NBC) - Paul Schneider reportedly is departing the Thursday comedy after two seasons. Said decision comes on the heels of news that Adam Scott and Rob Lowe will be featured on the series next season as a regular and recurring, respectively. Schneider, who has built a healthy feature career as of late, however may make several appearances next season. No additional details were given.
ROUGH JUSTICE (NBC) - Carly Pope ("Day One") and David Ramsey ("Dexter") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits), "a Supreme Court Justice who excuses himself from the bench to go into private practice and fight constitutional injustices." She'll play Lucinda Pearl, a black leather jacket/boots-wearing private investigator whom Garza's clerk (Jesse Bradford) immediately falls for. Ramsey then is set as Al Druzinsky, Garza's oldest friend and "a brilliant defense attorney." John Eisendrath is behind the hour, which comes from Conaco Productions and Universal Media Studios. Terry George is directing.
SECURITY (FOX) - Odette Yustman ("October Road") has scored the female lead on the comedy pilot, about a group of twentysomething geniuses named "Titan Team" who crack security systems. She's set as Melanie Green, "a bad girl who oozes sexy" who specializes in lock picking, safe cracking and demolition. Alphonso McAuley and Bret Harrison also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which comes from director Seth Gordon and writer Adam F. Goldberg.
SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT (ABC) - Mary Steenburgen ("The Proposal") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about "a father whose life is turned upside down when his grown kids move back in with him." She'll play Mary Lou Dobson ("well put together, mid-40s"), the mother of the family. Chad Kultgen is behind the half-hour, which is set up at the ABC Studios and the Sony Pictures Television-based Tantamount.
TAX MAN (FOX) - Kerri Kenney ("Reno 911") has scored a role on the pilot, a workplace comedy set at an IRS office in Fresno, California. She's on board as Bethany, the office's human resources representative. Kenney joins the previously cast David Krumholtz and Judy Greer in the half-hour, which Fred Savage is directing from a script by Brent Forrester. 20th Century Fox Television is the studio.
TRAUMA (NBC) - Co-executive producer David Schulner has inked a two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios. The pact calls for the writer/producer to develop new series projects for the studio. No financial details were given. Schulner is best known for his 2007 drama pilot "The Oaks," about three different couples who inhabit the same house in 1967, 1987 and 2007. Shawn Ryan executive produced the hour, which featured Oscar-nominee Jeremy Renner among the ensemble.
WHITE COLLAR (USA) - Marsha Thomason has been re-upped to series regular on the USA drama, which returns for its second season this summer. Thomason played junior FBI agent Diana Lancing in the show's pilot, a role which was dropped for the series. Her character subsequently returned for the season finale and will resume regular status in season two. Natalie Morales, who recurred following the pilot as Lauren Cruz and was named a regular herself in episode four, won't return for its sophomore run.
WHO GETS THE PARENTS? (ABC) - Lindsey Broad ("'Til Death") has booked the final principal role on the comedy pilot, about "a couple (Jane Kaczmarek, Adam Arkin) who are divorcing after 30 years and take more active roles in the lives of their three adult children." She'll play Cass Fiddleman, the "cute, successful only daughter who gets too much focus from her mother." Andrew West, Derek Richardson and Lindsay Price also star in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which was penned by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman.