[09/01/10 - 07:19 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, September 1 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ARMY WIVES (Lifetime) - The cable channel has reportedly passed on a potential spin-off of their flagship drama. The backdoor pilot episode, featuring Brigid Brannagh and Gabrielle Union as Atlanta detectives, aired last month. No reason was given for the decision.
FACING KATE (USA) - The network has quietly rolled back its commitment to the series from 12 to 10 episodes. Said decision is being billed as for "scheduling reasons." The newcomer, starring Sarah Shahi as mediator Kate Reed, rolls out in January.
LIE TO ME (FOX) - Co-star Mekhi Phifer is departing the series after two seasons. "We're going rogue a little bit," executive producer David Graziano told Entertainment Weekly. "Lightman [Tim Roth] is going to act slightly in the more old-school PI model of a TV protagonist, [so] we're doing away with the FBI contract [and] Mekhi is unfortunately no longer going to be on the show... The FBI franchise limited our storytelling a little bit because it had to adhere to the FBI structures of 'Would the FBI take this case or not?'"
LOCKE & KEY (FOX, New!) - Josh Friedman, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Steven Spielberg are set to team for a small screen adaptation of Joe Hill's comic book of the same name, about a family still reeling from their patriarch's murder who move to a mansion in Lovecraft, Massachusetts "with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them... and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all." Friedman will pen and executive produce the hour, which reportedly has a series commitment from the network. 20th Century Fox Television-based Kurtzman, Orci and Heather Kadin will then executive produce alongside Spielberg, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank via their respective companies, K.O. Paper Products and DreamWorks Television.
MEMPHIS BEAT (TNT) - Multiple trade publications suggest the cable channel plans to renew the freshman drama for a second season. The newcomer has averaged 4.5 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 for its 10-episode run. A formal decision is expected as early as this week.
UNTITLED RONALD MOORE PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Ronald D. Moore ("Battlestar Galactica") has landed a hefty put pilot commitment from the Peacock for a new drama billed as "an adult Harry Potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic." The project, which has series penalties totaling close to $2 million, is set up at Sony Pictures Television where Moore recently signed an overall deal.