[12/01/10 - 06:34 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, December 1 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) - Jonny Coyne ("Undercovers") and Jason Butler Harner ("Fringe") have each snagged roles on the drama pilot, about "the efforts of a team of FBI agents tracking down a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day." Coyne is set as Edwin James, Alcatraz's warden, with Harner on board as E.B. Tiller, an associate warden "who enjoys and abuses his power." The pair join the previously cast Jorge Garcia and Sarah Jones. Bryan Wynbrandt, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Steven Lilien are all behind the Bad Robot Productions/Warner Bros. Television-based hour, to be directed by Danny Cannon.
BIRD DOG (TNT) - Wynn Everett ("The Event"), William Ragsdale ("Justified") and Suzy Nakamura ("10 Things I Hate About You") have all booked roles on the drama pilot, about Gail McGrath (Eliza Dushku), "a police officer in a small town whose NYC cop father becomes her partner." Everett will play a journalist with Ragsdale as a local deputy and Nakamura as the local medical examiner. Mike Robe is writing and directing the hour for Warner Horizon Television.
BRAIN TRUST (TBS) - Michael Urie ("Ugly Betty"), Jed Rees ("The Chris Isaak Show") and Lindy Booth ("October Road") have joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Detective Billy Doyle (D.B Sweeney), "whose career and life have hit rock bottom after he accidentally ends his partner's career. Doyle's life gets turned around, however, when a recent murder case gets unexpected and unconventional help from three hyper-smart geniuses from a private think tank." They'll play the aforementioned geniuses, professors Franklin Gordon, Nelson Kirby and Monica Ashton. Dean Devlin and Marco Schnabel are the executive producers.
EARLY BIRD (NBC) - Rodney Rothman ("Help Me Help You") is looking to redevelop his 2005 book ("Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement") turned single-camera comedy at the network. Timm Sharp toplined the original incarnation, about a writer who was fired from his dream TV writing job and finds himself chilling out at a retirement village where he loves the laid-back lifestyle. Bill Macy, Larry Hankin, Luis Avalos, Renee Taylor and Robert Culp also starred in the pilot, which was helmed by Paul Feig. 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Media Studios will once again co-produce the updated take with Rothman writing and executive producing.
FAMILY OWNED (ABC, New!) - Al Madrigal ("Gary Unmarried") is set to star in a "multiethnic, multigenerational family comedy" at the network about "a son (Madrigal) who takes over the family food truck business." Tony Gama-Lobo and Rebecca May ("King of the Hill") are behind the half-hour, which is set up at ABC Studios. Warren Littlefield ("My Generation"), who's based at the studio, is also attached as an executive producer.
THE POST-GRADUATE PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Actor Steve Carell ("The Office") has sold a script to the Peacock for a potential single-camera comedy described as "a sweet and nostalgic take on the period of Carell's early life as a mail carrier and centers on a small-town post office frequented by a quirky but tight-knit group of local twentysomethings." Carell and Thom Hinkle ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart") will executive produce the half-hour for Carell's Universal Media Studios-based Carousel Television.