LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!
ATF (CBS) - Sean Patrick Thomas ("Lie to Me") and Lorraine Toussaint ("Saving Grace") are both on board the drama pilot, about Jack Donovan (Dylan Walsh), an ATF agent who hunts down the most dangerous criminals while trying to balance life as a dad to his teenage daughter who has re-entered his life. He's set as Jack's partner, A.J. Mosley, who's 12 years his junior. Toussaint then is playing Josephine "Joe" Johnson ("tough, hurricane strength - think Viola Davis"), the head of the Chicago Field Division of the ATF. Michael Dinner is behind the hour, a co-production of CBS Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
THE CAPE (NBC) - Jennifer Ferrin ("Life on Mars") has landed a role on the drama pilot, about "a cop (David Lyons) framed for murder who becomes a masked hero, the Cape, to clear his name." She'll play Dana Faraday ("pretty, no pushover"), the man's wife. Dorian Missick, James Frain and Summer Glau co-star in the hour, which is set up at Universal Media Studios. Tom Wheeler penned the script while Simon West is directing.
EPISODES (Showtime) - Oscar-nominee/Emmy-winner Thomas Haden Church is the latest addition to the upcoming comedy, about a British couple (Stephen Mangan, Claire Forlani) whose hit UK show is turned into a dumbed-down American sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc (who plays himself). Church is on board as Merc Lapidus, the president of the American network. His character, who will appear in six of the seven ordered episodes, is further detailed as: "He's in his 40's, very attractive. He has an expansive personality. Charismatic. Lots of energy. You'd think it's fueled by cocaine, but it's just him. Really." Kathleen Rose Perkins also stars in the half-hour, which comes from co-creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik.
GAME OF THRONES (HBO) - Irish actress Michelle Fairley ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows") has joined the cast of the pay channel's recently ordered drama, a small screen adaptation of the George R.R. Martin book series. She'll play Catelyn Stark, Eddard Stark's (Sean Bean) wife. Fairley takes over for Jennifer Ehle, who originated the role in the pilot. No reason for the change was given. Production on the series, which also stars Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage, will begin in Belfast this June.
HELLCATS (The CW) - Sofia Vassilieva ("Medium") is rumored to have joined the cast of the presentation, a drama set in the world of competitive college cheerleading. She would presumably play Patty "The Wedge" Wedgerman ("ballsy, fearless, cheerfully profane"), a member of the Lancer University Hellcats. Ashley Tisdale, Aly Michalka and Gail O'Grady co-star in the project, which Allan Arkush is directing from a script by Kevin Murphy. CBS Television Studios, Tom Welling Productions and Warner Bros. Television are the producers.
HMS (The CW) - "Queer Eye" alum Jai Rodriguez has been cast in the presentation, a drama about a group of bright students at Harvard Medical School. He'll play one of them, Carlos, who's described as "Latino, obviously gay, handsome, wears a small crucifix." Megan Boone, Sarah Jones and Tasso Feldman also star in the project, which comes from CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television. Amy Holden Jones is the creator.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED (FOX) - Caitlin Fitzgerald ("It's Complicated") has booked the female lead in the comedy pilot, about "a group of friends who once were superstars in high school and are now facing the reality of adulthood." She's set as Becca ("a girl-next-door beauty - think Reese Witherspoon"), who was "once voted most popular but now recently divorced from her cheating ex-husband and completely shattered." Kaitlin Doubleday was originally cast in said role and is being replaced for unspecified reasons. Kathryn Hahn, Malcolm Barrett and Tim Peper also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which comes from creator David Walpert and director Michael Patrick Jann.
NIKITA (The CW) - Tiffany Hines ("Bones") and Sebastien Roberts ("Providence") have each landed roles on the drama pilot, about the title character (Maggie Q), an assassin for a top-secret government organization who goes rogue. She'll play Jaden, one of the Division's new trainees who bristles with Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca). Roberts then is set as Daniel Monroe, Nikita's late fiance who appears in flashback. Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Shane West and Xander Berkeley also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which Danny Cannon is directing. Craig Silverstein penned the script.
NO ORDINARY FAMILY (ABC) - "Damages" co-star Tate Donovan has scored a role on the drama pilot, about a typical American family whose members - mom Stephanie (Julie Benz), dad Jim (Michael Chiklis), daughter Daphne (Kay Panabaker), son JJ (Jimmy Bennett) - discover they have special abilities. He'll play Mitch McCutcheon, the pilot of the family's plane that crashes into the Amazon River basin. Said event - which sees them all nearly drown in phosphorescent water - triggers their newfound gifts. Autumn Reeser, Christina Chang and Romany Malco also star in the ABC Studios-based hour, which was penned by Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman. David Semel is directing.
REAGAN'S LAW (CBS) - Flex Alexander and Dylan Moore have each scored role on the pilot, a multigenerational drama revolving around a family of New York cops. He's on board as DeMarcus King, Brian Reagan's (Donnie Wahlberg) partner, an ex-jock and fellow former vet. Moore then is set as Sydney Eversole, a second-year law associate who's engaged to Jamie Reagan (yet to be cast), Brian's brother. Len Cariou and Tom Selleck also star in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, which Michael Cuesta is directing off a script by Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green.
SECURITY (FOX) - Christian Slater ("The Forgotten") and Trevor Moore ("The Whitest Kids U'Know") have booked the final principal roles on the comedy pilot, about a team of twentysomething geniuses who crack security systems. Slater will play Oz, their leader, "a gruff, rough and tough misanthrope; a total bad ass; think a 35 year-old Gerard Butler." Moore then is set as Josh Armstrong, the team's recon and intel expert, who's "slick and cocky as The Situation... only 100 pounds fatter." The duo join the previously cast Alphonso McAuley, Bret Harrison and Odette Yustman in the half-hour, which Seth Gordon is directing. Adam F. Goldberg penned the project for Sony Pictures Television.
UNTITLED ROSIE O'DONNELL PROJECT (Syndication, New!) - Rosie O'Donnell is eyeing a return to the daytime talk show circuit, which would roll out in the fall of 2011. O'Donnell, former Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution chief Dick Robertson and former HBO Domestic Distribution executive Scott Carlin are behind the venture, which would be produced independently by the trio. Said launch is time with the departure of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." O'Donnell's original talk show ran from 1996 to 2002, during which it took home five consecutive best talk show Emmys. The new incarnation will reportedly focus "on the host's charitable and political pet causes."
Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters