[11/09/10 - 06:23 PM] Development Update: Tuesday, November 9 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE ASSAILANT (Discovery, New!) - Renegade 83 ("Man, Woman, Wild") has scored an eight-episode order from the cable channel for a new reality competition series featuring "four contestants from the military and police worlds, all of whom battle to become the 'perfect human weapon.'" Production on the series begins in January. David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe will executive produce. Also on tap at the network from the company: "The Kennedy Detail," a two-hour special that reunites the five members of JFK's Secret Service detail on the day of President Kennedy's assassination. It airs Monday, November 22 at 9:00/8:00c.
CLOSE QUARTERS (Lifetime, New!) - Catherine Bell ("Army Wives") is set to topline in a new telefilm at the cable channel about "Abby, a happy suburban wife and mother who has been concealing her dark past as a military-trained special-ops agent. But when her husband is mysteriously kidnapped, Abby's past returns to haunt her and she must risk everything to protect her daughter and save the man she loves." Anthony Michael Hall and Mekhi Phifer also star in the project as Abby's husband and a special ops agent she served with in Afghanistan, respectively. Ernest Dickerson is directing from a script by Jolene Rice and Adam Beason, Bell's husband. Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures and Sony Pictures Television are co-producing.
EXCUSED (Syndication, New!) - CBS Television Distribution is developing a new dating/competition strip billed as "Blind Date" meets "The Bachelor." Iliza Shlesinger ("Last Comic Standing") will host the project, a pilot for which has already been shot. No other format specifics however were given. David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe will executive produce via their Renegade 83 banner.
FULL NELSON (FOX, New!) - Jeffrey Lieber ("Miami Medical") is set to reteam with Jerry Bruckheimer Television for a new drama "set in the music industry in the 1980s and follows a woman as she rises in the business." FOX has given a script commitment to the Warner Bros. Television-based project - which is inspired by the experiences of Kathy Nelson, former president of film music for Universal and Disney - with a penalty attached should it not go to pilot. Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman will then executive produce alongside Lieber with KristieAnne Reed serving as a co-executive producer. Nelson herself will also receive a producing credit.
THE MCCULLOCH (NBC, New!) - Ronald D. Moore has booked a second project at the Peacock, this time a drama about "the men and women of the fictional Coast Guard cutter The McCulloch as they travel around the world." Sony Pictures Television - where Moore's overall deal is based - is behind the hour, which has a script commitment plus a penalty attached should it not go to pilot. Moore previously set up an untitled hour "set in a world ruled not by science but by magic" at the network back in September.
THE MIRACULOUS YEAR (HBO) - The pay channel has reportedly passed on ordering the drama pilot - an examination of a New York family as seen through the lens of a charismatic, self-destructive Broadway composer (Norbert Leo Butz) - to series. Said decision, suggested as the result of the concept's narrow appeal, comes despite the pedigree of screenwriter John Logan, Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and an ensemble cast that included Frank Langella, Hope Davis, Linus Roache, Patti LuPone, Lee Pace and Susan Sarandon.
PERCEPTION (TNT) - Arjay Smith ("Saving Grace") is the latest addition to the drama pilot, about Dr. Geoffrey Pierce (Eric McCormack), "an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex cases." He'll play Pierce's TA, "a perpetual student who has spent nine years in college and has had sixteen majors and not a single degree." Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman are behind the hour, which is set up at ABC Studios.
THE RABBIT FACTORY (TNT) - "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" alums Steven Weber and D.L. Hughley have scored the lead roles on the drama pilot, about "recently widowed police Detective Mike Lomax and his newly married partner, Terry Biggs, [as they] delve into a world of mystery, intrigue and occasional hijinks." Hughley is set as Biggs with as Weber on board as Lomax, who "continues to receive humorous and heartfelt weekly letters from his wife a year after her death [and] tries to navigate the singles world while also maintaining his pedigree as one of L.A.'s finest." Alan Loeb and Lionsgate Television are behind the hour, which is also executive produced by Steven Pearl and Ken Topolsky. Weber and Hughley are no strangers to the Turner family: the former will appear in a three-episode arc on TNT's upcoming "Falling Skies" while the latter will do the same on TBS's soon-to-launch "Glory Daze."
TORCHWOOD (Starz) - Arlene Tur ("Crash") is set to join the cast of the show's upcoming fourth season. She'll play Vera Juarez, a surgeon, on the series, which returns next year on the pay channel. Casting is underway for two other new regulars: "a sharp-as-nails, funny-as-hell, tough-as-rawhide CIA agent" and "a CIA Watch Analyst who possesses an unshakable faith in human nature."
UNTITLED NICOLE RICHIE PROJECT (ABC) - The Alphabet is revisiting its Nicole Richie-led comedy vehicle, this time with Jeff Rake ("Cashmere Mafia") at the helm. The single-camera effort features Richie as "a professional woman with complicated family relationships who struggles to figure out what role she'll take as her life and her family evolve." Daisy Gardner - under the supervision of Warren Bell - took a stab at the concept last year, which didn't move forward. Jamie Tarses is still on board to executive produce via her Sony Pictures Television-based FanFare Productions while Richie and Impression Entertainment's Michael Baum will receive producing credits.
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