[03/16/10 - 12:06 AM] Development Update: Tuesday, March 16 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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24 (FOX) - Executive producer Brannon Braga has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. The pact calls for the writer/producer, who also co-created ABC's "FlashForward," to develop new series projects for the studio. Braga will also likely work on one of the studio's existing properties next season should "24" not return.
BOSTON'S FINEST (ABC) - Treat Williams ("Heartland") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Julia Scott (Katee Sackhoff), "a detective who teams with a disgraced ex-cop to solve crimes and untangle the conspiracy that sent him underground." He'll play Jack Holt ("rock-solid, immensely likeable"), the ex-cop's former partner who's also the father of Julia's boyfriend Christian (yet to be cast). Richard T. Jones and Will Yun Lee also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, to be directed by Gary Fleder from a script by Richard Hatem.
CUTTHROAT (ABC) - Mia Maestro ("Alias") is reportedly in talks to assume the lead role on the drama pilot, about Nina Cabrera, "an upscale Beverly Hills widow and soccer mom who runs an international drug cartel." She'd replace Roselyn Sanchez, who is departing for unspecified reasons. Escher Holloway, Jon Seda, Peggy Lipton and Sarah Wynter also star in the hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and co-creators Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. Bronwen Hughes is directing.
MATADORS (ABC) - Stephen Lang ("Avatar") is set to star opposite David Strathairn in the drama pilot, about two of Chicago's long-feuding families, the Lodaris, which populate the DA's office, and the Galloways, which run the city's most influential private law firm. He'll play Victor Galloway, the head of the latter family who regularly finds himself in court against Roman Lodari (Strathairn), the patriarch of the former clan ("a lifetime of personal and professional antagonism, but also mutual respect, fills the space between them"). Complicating matters: Victor's son Alex (Zach Gilford) is involved with Roman's daughter Juliana (Michelle Borth). Jason Behr, Jonathan Scarfe and Merle Dandridge also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which comes from creator Jack Orman and director Yves Simoneau.
NEVERMIND NIRVANA (FOX) - "My Name Is Earl" alum Ethan Suplee has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about two brothers from a traditional Indian background - one (Ravi Patel) defies his their parents' (Sakina Jaffrey, Harish Patel) expectations by dating a Caucasian woman (Rachael Leigh Cook), while the other (Utkarsh Ambudkar) agrees to enter an arranged marriage. He's believed to be playing Perry, the brothers' friend who works as a dentist with Ambudkar's character. Ajay Sahgal is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, to be helmed by Scott Ellis.
REAGAN'S LAW (CBS) - Donnie Wahlberg ("Runaway") and Len Cariou ("Damages") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the Reagans, a multigenerational family of cops in New York City. Cariou will play Patrick Reagan, the clan's patriarch and the former chief of police. Wahlberg then is set as Brian Reagan ("a burdened man in a rumpled suit"), a detective still haunted by his experiences in Iraq. Michael Cuesta is helming the CBS Television Studios-based hour from a script by Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green.
THE ROCKFORD FILES (NBC) - Melissa Sagemiller ("Raising the Bar") is the latest addition to the network's "Rockford" revival, which stars Dermot Mulroney in the title role. She's on board as Beth Davenport ("pretty but either doesn't want to show it or doesn't quite know how, cares about her work, cares about people, maybe a bit too much of both"), a lawyer whom Rockford frequently becomes entangled with both personally and professionally. David Shore is behind the Universal Media Studios-based hour, which also stars Alan Tudyk.
STAR SEARCH (ABC, New!) - Former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul is reportedly in talks to host a revival of the veteran talent search. Rumblings of third incarnation of the franchise - which ran in syndication from 1983 to 1995 and again on CBS from 2003 to 2004 - began back in December, with the Alphabet rumored to have given a 12-episode commitment to the project. The addition of Abdul will undoubtedly earn the series a green light however no other specifics were given.
TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - The pay channel has confirmed the vampire drama will return for its 12-episode third season on Sunday, June 13 at 9:00/8:00c. Firm dates for expected lead outs "Entourage" and "Hung" however were not given.
THE WHOLE TRUTH (ABC) - Anthony Ruivivar ("Traveler") has booked a role on the pilot, a legal drama that shows the defense - led by Jimmy Nolan (Rob Morrow) - and prosecution - led by Kathryn Pearle (Joely Richardson) - sides equally. He'll play Alejo Salazar, Nolan's longtime associate who regularly serves as his second chair. Eamonn Walker and Sean Wing also star in the hour, which comes from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Warner Bros. Television. Alex Graves is directing off a script by Tom Donaghy.