[11/12/10 - 09:22 PM] Development Update: Friday, November 12 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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ALCATRAZ (FOX) - Danny Cannon ("Nikita") has been tapped to direct the much-ballyhooed drama pilot, about "mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time." Said hour comes from co-creators Bryan Wynbrandt, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Steven Lilien. J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk also serve as executive producers via their Warner Bros. Television-based Bad Robot Productions.
THE EVENT (NBC) - "Friday Night Lights" star Connie Britton is reportedly being courted for a multi-episode arc on the freshman drama. She'd play a senator's wife who "when her husband suddenly dies, the Harvard grad and former powerhouse attorney is given 90 days to prove herself worthy of his seat." No other details were given.
HOMELAND (Showtime) - Michael Cuesta ("Blue Bloods") has signed on to helm the drama pilot, about "an American solider who's rescued after going missing 10 years ago in Iraq and a female CIA operative who investigates the circumstances surrounding his return." He'll take over from Ben Affleck ("The Town") was previously mentioned as a potential director. Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Alex Gansa penned the Fox 21-based hour and are executive producing alongside Avi Nir and Ron Telem.
MR. SUNSHINE (ABC) - Lizzy Caplan is set to guest star on the midseason comedy, about Ben Donovan (Matthew Perry), the sports arena manager for the Sunshine Center, a second-tier arena in San Diego. She'll play "a woman with whom Ben has a romantic interlude and then is surprised to see her showing up at work the next morning ... as his boss' (Allison Janney) new assistant." Other actors on board for the show's freshman run: Nick Jonas, Jimmy Connors, James Taylor and Jorge Garcia. "Sunshine" is expected to roll out in early 2011.
NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING (ABC Family) - Amy Pietz ("Aliens in America") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about a seemingly normal teen (Skyler Samuels) who "starts developing heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing...claws), and discovers she's being pursued by a mysterious figure." She'll play Chloe's adoptive mother and protector, "a slightly-harried, successful real estate agent who has raised Chloe as a single mother since her husband abandoned them over ten years ago." In addition, Wendey Stanzler, who's helmed episodes of "Huge" and "Pretty Little Liars" for the network, has been tapped to direct. Dan Berendsen is behind the hour, which also comes from Alloy Entertainment.
PATITO FEO (MTV) - Benita Robledo ("Gossip Girl") has been tapped for the title role in the comedy pilot, about "the struggles of a Mexican girl from a small town thrown into the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles." Feature writer Bert V. Royal ("Easy A") is behind the half-hour, to be helmed by Andy Fickman. Beatriz Acevedo, Doug Greiff and Teri Weinberg also serve as executive producers.
PERCEPTION (TNT) - Alan Poul ("Swingtown") has been tapped to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about "an eccentric neuroscientist (Eric McCormack) who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex cases." He'll work from a script by Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman for ABC Studios.
THE RABBIT FACTORY (TNT) - Gregory Hoblit ("Hart's War") has come board to direct the drama pilot, about "widowed police Detective Mike Lomax (Steven Weber) and his newly married partner, Terry Biggs (D.L Hughley), [as they] delve into a world of mystery, intrigue and occasional hijinks." Alan Loeb penned the Lionsgate Television-produced project, which is based on Marshall Karp's novel of the same name.
THE RAINMAKER (CBS, New!) - Carol Mendelsohn ("The Defenders") has booked another potential drama at the Eye, about "a high powered lawyer whose wife dies, leaving him to struggle to balance his new role as a state prosecutor as well as a single parent." Sharon Hoffman penned the hour and will serve as a supervising producer with Jonathan Baruch and John Tomko as co-executive producers. Mendelsohn, who's also attached to an untitled drama from Sherri Cooper-Landsman and Jennifer Levin at the network, then will executive produce alongside Julie Weitz for CBS Television Studios.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH (ABC Family) - Steve Miner ("Wildfire," "Make It or Break It") is returning to the cable channel, this time to direct the drama pilot, which "tells the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth." The project's ensemble cast includes Constance Marie, D.W. Moffet, Katie Leclerc, Lea Thompson, Lucas Grabeel and Vanessa Marano. Lizzy Weiss penned the script.
UNTITLED BRENDA HAMPTON PROJECT (ABC Family) - Brenda Hampton's frequent collaborator Keith Truesdell ("The Secret Life of the American Teenager") is set to helm the drama pilot, "a groundbreaking and heartfelt look at the lives and families of four ethnically-diverse teenage girls at a private school in California. The pilot follows the girls and the challenges they face at home -- challenges that include a parent with terminal cancer, a brother with a behavioral disorder, and a father who parents with an unwaveringly strict hand." Hampton penned the hour and executive produces.
UNTITLED LARRY WILMORE PROJECT (NBC, New!) - "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" staple Larry Wilmore is set to star, write and executive produce a potential comedy at the Peacock about "the patriarch of a modern American family who become the subject of a British documentary." 3 Arts Entertainment is producing however no studio was indicated.