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[03/25/10 - 12:05 AM]
Development Update: Thursday, March 25
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

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!


THE GATES (ABC) - Marisol Nichols, Rhona Mitra, Victoria Platt, Justin Miles, Skyler Samuels, Travis Caldwell and Colton Haynes have all joined the cast of the upcoming drama, about Nick Monohan (Frank Grillo), "a big-city cop who becomes chief of police in a seemingly sleepy planned community, the Gates, where he discovers there's more to the residents than meets the eye." Nichols is believed to be playing Nick's wife, Sarah, "who relocates to the community looking for a fresh start," with Caldwell as their teen son Charlie. Samuels then is set as Andie Bates, a local girl who Charlie quickly falls for.

Meanwhile, Haynes is playing Brett Crezski, Andie's boyfriend, a star linebacker for the football team who also happens to be a werewolf. Miles is on board as Marcus Jordan ("mid-twenties, eager, sometimes too much so"), one of Nick's deputies. Then there's Mitra as Claire Radcliff, a housewife/vampire who's not as keen on assimilating as her husband/fellow vampire Dylan (Luke Mably). And finally, Platt is understood to be playing Peg Mueller, the owner of an exotic/magical tea shop whose less-than-scrupulous pupil Devon (Chandra West) sets up her own shop across the street. Grant Scharbo and Richard Hatem are behind the Fox Television Studios-based hour, due this summer.


GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC) - ABC Studios has confirmed to Entertainment Weekly co-star Katherine Heigl has officially departed the series. "By mutual agreement, Katherine Heigl has ended her successful run as Dr. Isobel Stevens," reads the statement. "The studio wishes her well. Everyone at 'Grey's Anatomy' is now focused on delivering a shocking season finale and a great show for seasons to come." Heigl last appeared in the show's January 21 episode.


LIVIN' ON A PRAYER (CBS) - Lindsay Sloane ("Help Me Help You") is set to star opposite Kyle Bornheimer in the comedy pilot, about a Pittsburgh couple (Sloane, Bornheimer) who are dating - and mulling the next stage of their relationship. She'll play Gina, "a waitress who fantasizes about running her own business." Jaime Pressly and Joe Manganiello co-star in the half-hour, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and co-creators Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Joe Kelly and Kourtney Kang. Pamela Fryman is directing.


LOVE BITES (NBC) - Jennifer Love Hewitt, Greg Grunberg, Lindsay Price, Jason Lewis and Craig Robinson are all set to guest star in the drama pilot, "an anthology of love and sex," Entertainment Weekly reports. As for specifics, the opener revolves around three stories of "firsts." Grunberg will play Judd, a married Venice Beach tattoo artist who improbably meets the only person on his "Celebrity Exemption List" (i.e., the list of famous people you get to sleep with if you ever get the chance) - Hewitt, as herself - while on a flight to a friend's bachelor party.

Hewitt replaces Alyssa Milano, who was originally featured in the script. Robinson then is believed to be playing Bowman, Judd's single friend who encourages him to approach Hewitt. Meanwhile, Lewis is playing either Jordan, a handsome stranger who the promiscuous Frannie (the previously cast Jordana Spiro) hooks up with while pretending to be like her virgin best friend Annie (Becki Newton); or Carter, a handsome lawyer that returns home after being fired to find his fiance Liz (Price) seemingly cheating on him. Marc Buckland is directing the Universal Media Studios-based hour from a script by Cindy Chupack.


MIKE & MOLLY (CBS) - Melissa McCarthy ("Samantha Who?") has booked the title role on the comedy pilot, about "Mike (Billy Gardell), an overweight, charming police officer, and Molly (McCarthy), a pretty and plump woman, who meet at Overeaters Anonymous." She joins the previously cast Katy Mixon, Nyambi Nyambi, Reno Wilson and Swoosie Kurtz in the half-hour, which comes from Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions. Mark Roberts penned the script while James Burrows is directing.


PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC) - Executive producers/showrunners Robert Rovner and Jon Cowan are departing the series after two seasons. No reason was given for the pair's exit while no immediate replacement has been named. Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon and Mark Tinker also serve as executive producers.


WRIGHT VS. WRONG (ABC) - Cheryl Hines and Carrie Fisher are the latest additions to the comedy pilot, about Evelyn Wright (Debra Messing), "a strong-minded, ambitious political personality who espouses the conservative, right-wing agenda." Hines will play Keri Daly, "Evelyn's liberal counterpart, Sundance catalogue attractive, smart, funny - the women are friendly rivals who enjoy verbally sparring with each other." Fisher then is set as Joan Harrington ("gruff, a pessimistic dresser"), Evelyn's manager. Melissa Rauch and Patrick Fugit also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which Andy Fickman is helming off a script by Stephanie Weir.


Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· GATES, THE (ABC)
· GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
· HELP ME HELP YOU (ABC)
· LIVIN' ON A PRAYER (CBS)
· LOVE BITES (NBC)
· MIKE & MOLLY (CBS)
· PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
· SAMANTHA WHO? (ABC)
· WRIGHT VS WRONG (ABC)









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