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[02/11/11 - 10:31 PM]
Development Update: Friday, February 11
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our signature "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!


17TH PRECINCT (NBC) - Stockard Channing ("The West Wing") is the first to board the drama pilot, a police procedural set in a world where magic rules instead of science. She'll play Mira Barkley, a veteran detective on the cusp of retirement who's asked to transfer back to homicide to mentor Jimmy Travers (yet to be cast), a burgeoning detective. Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour, which Michael Rymer is directing from a script by Ronald D. Moore.


AMONG THE SPIRITS (Syfy, New!) - Steve Valentine and Paul Chart's graphic novel, about Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle solving mysteries in 1920s, is being developed as a potential drama series at the cable channel. The duo are co-writing the small screen take for Entertainment One and executive producing alongside Daniel J. Frey. Said effort would then follow Houdini and Doyle "who, with the help of a female cop, try to solve bizarre murders and strange occurrences that look like hauntings and other supernatural events using steampunk technology."


BIG MIKE (A&E) - Anthony Ruivivar ("The Whole Truth") and Nicole Ari Parker ("The Deep End") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about Mike O'Bannon (Greg Grunberg), a plus-sized homicide detective in a world where plus-sized is a minus. Ruivivar is set as Mike's partner/childhood friend, Armando Romero, an ex-Marine who - much to Mike's chagrin - has the annoying ability to eat twice his weight in food every day and not gain a single pound. Parker then will play Grace Peterson, the duo's smart, efficient lieutenant, the youngest to hold said post in San Diego history. In addition, Paris Barclay ("In Treatment") has been tapped to direct the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which was co-created by Ed Decter and John Strauss. Ken Leung also stars.


HOME GAME (CBS) - Rob Riggle ("Gary Unmarried") has been tapped for the lead role on the comedy pilot, about a retired NFL player who returns home to his wife (Constance Zimmer) and three teenage daughters. He'll play Mark, the man in question, who's loosely based on former NFL star Mark Schlereth. Riggle was previously attached to a comedy from Robert Smigel that didn't move forward to the pilot stage. Christopher J. Nowak and Warren Bell co-wrote the multi-camera project, which comes from CBS Television Studios.


IDENTITY (ABC) - Wentworth Miller ("Prison Break") and Orlando Jones ("The Evidence") are reportedly in talks to join the cast of the drama pilot, a procedural set at the Identity Crimes Division, the FBI's first cyber-crime unit mixed with traditional investigators. Miller would play John Bloom, a former undercover agent who's reluctantly drafted to the team, with Jones as Anthony Wareing, a prideful, ambitious agent. John Glenn penned the hour for ABC Studios.


LIVE TO DANCE (CBS) - The Paula Abdul-led competition series won't be returning for a second season, TVLine.com reports. Wednesday's finale posted a modest 4.706 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49, well behind its broadcast competition. A CBS spokesperson however maintains that no final decision has been made.


SMALLVILLE (The CW) - Michael Rosenbaum has closed a deal to reprise his role of Lex Luthor in the show's May 13 series finale. "It feels like the stars are aligning, literally. We couldn't be more excited about having Michael back," executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson told TVLine.com. "And as far as the way he returns... there'll be no doubt about how Lex becomes the great rival in Clark Kent's life. He is the villain of the story." Rosenbaum himself added that, "I'm simply doing it for all of the fans out there who made Smallville the great success it is... I appreciate all of their passion, their relentlessness and even their threats. Ha ha. I can't wait to hug the old crew back in Vancouver one last time and see all of my old friends once again..... Oh, and for Lex to become the badass he's destined to be."


TAGGED (FOX) - Gary Cole ("Entourage") is the first to be cast on the comedy pilot, a workplace ensemble set at the Los Angeles County's coroner's office. He'll play James Percy, a "stiff, serious, professorial type and the most respected man in the building." David Guarascio and Moses Port co-wrote the half-hour, which is set up at Sony Pictures Television.


UNTITLED MORGAN SPURLOCK PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Oscar-winners Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana ("Brokeback Mountain") are developing a potential series at the pay channel billed "a big-canvas Texas political drama." Said hour is based on an idea by Morgan Spurlock who will executive produce alongside McMurtry, Ossana, Adam Shulman, Jennifer Berman, The Shuman Co.'s Larry Shuman and Warrior Poets' Jeremy Chilnick.






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· 17TH PRECINCT (NBC)
· AMONG THE SPIRITS (SYFY)
· BIG MIKE (A AND E)
· DEEP END, THE (ABC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· ENTOURAGE (HBO)
· EVIDENCE, THE (ABC)
· GARY UNMARRIED (CBS)
· HOME GAME (CBS)
· IDENTITY (ABC)
· IN TREATMENT (HBO)
· LIVE TO DANCE (CBS)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· SMALLVILLE (CW)
· TAGGED (FOX)
· UNTITLED MORGAN SPURLOCK PROJECT (HBO)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WHOLE TRUTH, THE (ABC)









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