LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CASTLE (ABC) - The Alphabet has confirmed two additional episodes of the series have been ordered for the show's third season. Said pickup brings its season total to 24 episodes for the second season in a row.
HAWTHORNE (TNT) - John Tinker ("Judging Amy") has been tapped as the new showrunner for the show's upcoming third season. He'll take over from Glen Mazzara, who in turn took over for John Masius this past season. Masius remains an executive producer on the series, as do Jada Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez and Jamie Tarses. As for Mazzara, he's already at work on an untitled drama with Peter Tolan at FOX about a burnt-out doctor who joins a neighborhood medical clinic. Sony Pictures Television is behind both projects.
LITTLE IN COMMON (FOX, New!) - Rob Thomas ("Party Down") has snagged a script order from the network for a new single-camera comedy about "three families whose lives have become intertwined through youth sports." Said commitment is in second position to "Temps," another comedy Thomas has in the works at NBC alongside John Enbom and Dan Etheridge. Warner Bros. Television is behind both efforts with Danielle Stokdyk, Jennifer Gwartz and Etheridge also serving as executive producers on "Little."
LUCK (HBO) - W. Earl Brown ("Deadwood") is set to recur on the upcoming Dustin Hoffman-led/David Milch-penned drama, "a provocative look at horse racing - the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players." He'll play a trainer in a multi-episode arc. Production is underway for a late 2011 premiere.
NOIR (Starz, New!) - Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are looking to import the 2001 Japanese anime as a live-action drama at the pay channel. Said hour, to be penned by Stephen Lightfoot ("House of Saddam"), revolves around "two female assassins working in a criminal underworld. After discovering they're mysteriously linked, the two and have to work together on missions (under the moniker of "Noir") until they figure out why and how they are connected -- or until one of them kills the other." Lightfoot then will also executive produce the project alongside Raimi and Tapert, presumably via their Stars Road Entertainment banner.
OUTNUMBERED (FOX) - Newcomer Cliff Chamberlain has scored the male lead on the comedy pilot, about a set of parents who are often overwhelmed by their three children. He'll play the dad, Pete Tulley, "an attorney who is often exhausted and overwhelmed by the demands of fatherhood." Ana Ortiz co-stars as his wife, Sue. Ken Marino and Brooke Bloom originated the roles in FOX's 2008 incarnation, which in turn was based on the U.K. series starring Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner. Larry Charles is directing the project from a script by Barbara Wallace and Thomas R. Wolfe with 20th Century Television, Chernin Entertainment and Hat Trick Productions co-producing.
TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - Courtney Ford ("Dexter") is the latest addition to the drama's upcoming fourth season. She'll play Portia Bellefleur, "a classic Southern beauty who runs her own law practice" and "is the sister of Bon Temps' bumbling detective Andy (Chris Bauer)." Ford is the second new character set for season four, the other being Fiona Shaw, who was announced earlier this week.
WEEKLY WORLD NEWS (FOX, New!) - John Aboud and Michael Colton ("Leverage") are developing a comedy at the network based on the supermarket tabloid of the same name, "known for its outlandish stories yet always boasting that it reported nothing but the truth." No other details were given about the project, which will be co-produced by 20th Century Fox Television and DreamWorks Television. DreamWorks principals Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank then will executive produce alongside Aboud and Colton, who will pen the script. "WWN" is no stranger to the small screen: Edwin Newman anchored and Brandon Tartikoff executive produced a short-lived satirical newsmagazine based on the publication for USA in 1996.
WORK OF ART: THE NEXT GREAT ARTIST (Bravo) - The cable channel has reportedly commissioned a second season of the Sarah Jessica Parker-produced reality competition, in which the art world's most talented, up-and-coming artists compete for a solo show at the prestigious Brooklyn Museum and a cash prize of $100,000. It's not clear if host China Chow, mentor Simon de Pury and/or judges Bill Powers, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Jerry Saltz will return. Alison Benson, Dan Cutforth, Eli Holzman and Jane Lipsitz executive produced the first season - which averaged 1.143 million viewers and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49 - alongside Parker.