[04/29/10 - 10:06 AM]
Development Update: Thursday, April 29
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!

BETTER OFF TED (ABC) - Kat Likkel and John Hoberg, co-executive producers on the series, have inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. The pact, financial details of which weren't released, calls for the duo to staff on one of the studio's current or upcoming series. "Ted," which is based at 20th Century Fox Television (also Likkel and Hoberg's previous home), isn't expected to return for a third season.

ENTOURAGE (HBO) - Creator Doug Ellin has inked a massive three-year, eight-figure overall deal with the pay channel. The pact covers his duties on the network's comedic mainstay, which returns June 27, as well as his future development. Already in the works is an untitled drama penned by Ben Schwerin about a young political aide and his relationship with his idol - the former president of the United States.

EPISODES (Showtime) - Tamsin Greig ("The Diary of Anne Frank") has joined the cast of the upcoming comedy, about a British couple whose hit UK show is turned into a dumbed-down American sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc (as himself). She'll play Beverly, one half of the aforementioned couple (Stephen Mangan plays the other). Greig takes over for Claire Forlani, who was recast following the table read. Also departing: Thomas Haden Church, who's cited a scheduling conflict with an upcoming feature. No replacement was specified. Production is set to begin shortly in London on the seven-episode series, which also stars Kathleen Rose Perkins and Mircea Monroe. David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are the co-creators.

INSIDE REHAB (OWN, New!) - A series set at an eating disorder treatment facility has been added to Oprah Winfrey Network's roster. "'Inside Rehab' takes viewers into the world of eating disorders in a raw and transformative way," the network's Lisa Erspamer said in a statement. "Whether you have issues with food or know someone who does, this series offers perspective, hope and the possibility to see food-based issues in a new light." The eight-episode series will then track "a group of patients as they under a 42-day recovery program." No auspice information however was given.

THE KENNEDY FAMILY (History) - Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, Barry Pepper and Tom Wilkinson have all been cast in the cable channel's eight-hour mini-series about the famed political dynasty. Director Jon Cassar broke the news via his Twitter account, indicating Kinnear and Holmes as John and Jackie with Pepper as Bobby and Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy, Sr. Steve Kronish penned the script while Cassar, Joel Surnow, Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, Michael Prupas and Jamie Paul Rock are also executive producing for Asylum Entertainment and Muse Entertainment.

KINGS BY NIGHT (Spike, New!) - Ben and Dan Newmark (The CW's "Wilton") have booked a pilot presentation commitment from the network for a potential comedy about "three guys who start a casino in their office at night." Richie Keen will helm the FremantleMedia-based project, which will begin production in June.

LA INK (TLC) - The Discovery sibling has commissioned a fourth season of the series, which tracks tattoo artist Kat Von D and her West Hollywood shop, High Voltage. Production is already underway on the new cycle. The show's current season, which is averaging 1.4 million viewers, wraps tonight at 10:00/9:00c. Gil Lopez is the executive producer for Original Media.

THE SIX (ABC) - Vernon Kay ("Hit Me, Baby, One More Time") has been tapped to host the U.S. incarnation of the Russian game show format, which has received a six-episode order from the Alphabet. Said hour, from Merv Griffin Entertainment, revolves around six contestants (or "experts") who compete against viewers by trying to answer questions - involving logical thinking, not trivia - selected by spinning a horizontal wheel. Roy Bank, Ron Ward, Brian Veskosky, Alex Reznik and Jonathan Barry are executive producers with Rain Management Group and Alec Schrager serving as consulting producers. Production on the series begins this summer.

WHAT'S EATING YOU? (E!, New!) - The cable channel has given a six-episode order to a new series about compulsive eating disorders. 3 Ball Productions is behind the project, due in October, which will tackle both common and bizarre eating problems, from "a woman who eats a roll of toilet paper dipped in pickle juice every night before bed" to another "who eats everything from paper towels to magazines in her sleep without ever realizing it." "I know that I speak for everyone at E! when I say how proud we are to welcome this important program to our network," said the network's Lisa Berger. "The prevalence of eating disorders is all too common in a society that can often value looks and appearance above all else." JD Roth, Todd Nelson and Adam Greener are the executive producers.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters

  [april 2010]  


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