LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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17TH PRECINCT (NBC) - "Battlestar Galactica" alum Jamie Bamber has joined the cast of the Ronald D. Moore-penned pilot, a police drama set in an alternate version of San Francisco where magic rules instead of science. He'll play Caolan (pronounced "kay-lawn") Longstreet, a detective who "projects a seriousness of purpose and deep focus." Stockard Channing also stars in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, to be helmed by Michael Rymer.
ARE YOU THERE VODKA, IT'S ME CHELSEA (NBC) - Laura Prepon ("That 70's Show") has been tapped for the title role on the comedy pilot, based on comedian Chelsea Handler's bestselling memoir of the same name. She'll play Chelsea Hanson, a 26-year-old version of Handler, then "a fresh-faced single cocktail waitress highly opinionated and open about her love to drink and have sex." Julie Larson and Dottie Dartland Zicklin co-wrote the multi-camera project, which is set up at Warner Bros. Television.
BRAVE NEW WORLD (NBC) - Ed Begley Jr. ("Gary Unmarried"), Nicholas Braun ("10 Things I Hate About You") and Will Greenberg ("Nathan vs. Nurture") are the first to board the pilot, a workplace comedy set at Pilgrim Village, a theme park that specializes in recreations of New England in 1637. Begley will play Dick Kenealy, the group's boss who "tries to run a tight ship, but he's largely ineffective." Greenberg then is set as Matt Koutnick, a 19-year-old who took at job at Pilgrim Village to support his mom and little brother after his father walked out; with Braun as Richard Allerton, an entitled douche who manages to have both his "nose in the air and his head up his ass at the same time." Sony Pictures Television is behind the half-hour, which was created by Peter Tolan.
COOPER & STONE (The CW) - John Wirth ("The Cape") has joined the drama pilot, about "about two smart young female detectives on Chicago's North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music, pop culture as they are solving homicides," as an executive producer. Laurie Arent penned the CBS Television Studios-based hour, which Wirth will serve as showrunner should it move forward to series. John Dahl is attached to direct.
LUCK (HBO) - Shaun Toub ("Iron Man") is set to recur on the upcoming Dustin Hoffman-led drama, about the owners, gamblers and jockeys at a horse racing track. He'll play Dr. Khan, "a local emergency room doctor with a surprisingly complicated backstory." Joan Allen, John C. McGinley, Michael Gambon, Patrick J. Adams and W. Earl Brown likewise have landed multi-episode arcs on the series.
MAGIC CITY (Starz) - Christian Cooke ("Trinity") and Steven Strait ("Stop-Loss") are both in final talks to join the cast of the upcoming drama, about the Miramar, "a hotel in the heart of sexy, exciting Miami at the dawn of the 1960s" and Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), its visionary leader, who "must deal with the Mob, his complicated family and a city in the midst of dramatic change as Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba, just 200 miles offshore." Cooke will play Danny Evans, Ike's youngest son, "a sweet young man who is attending law school while helping his dad"; with Strait as Stevie Evans, Ike's oldest son, "a high-living hedonist." Mitch Glazer created the project.
MY FRICKIN' FAMILY (ABC) - Jonathan Groff ("Happy Endings") has been tapped to supervise the comedy pilot, about a couple with a new baby and the culture clashes between its four very different grandparents. Erica Rivinoja wrote the project, which comes from ABC Studios. Groff will serve as an executive producer and ultimately showrunner should it land a series commitment.
PARTNERS (ABC) - Annie Wersching ("24") and Larry Gilliard Jr. ("The Beast") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about two female police detectives who are fiercely loyal to one another since they're also secretly half-sisters. She'll play one of the aforementioned ladies, Jesse-Lynn "Jess" Mancini, the more conservative of the two. Her partner Mattie Scott (Scottie Thompson) has the same mother, a secret they keep because regulations forbid siblings from working as partners. Gilliard then is believed to be playing Dr. J. Edward Allen Bernero is behind the ABC Studios-based hour, to be directed by Yves Simoneau.
POE (ABC) - Brad Kern ("Human Target") has been tapped to supervise the drama pilot, about Edgar Allan Poe, who works as a detective using unusual methods in 1840s Boston. He'll also serve as the project's showrunner should it move forward to series. Chris Hollier penned the Warner Bros. Television-based project and is a supervising producer. Alex Graves is directing.
REM (NBC) - Howard Gordon ("24") has signed on to executive produce the drama pilot, about a police detective living in two different realities following a horrible car accident: one in which his son lives, another in which his wife lives. He'll supervise Kyle Killen, who penned the pilot for 20th Century Fox Television. David Slade is directing. Separately, Gordon is behind the Showtime drama pilot "Homeland," which recently wrapped production.
RINGER (CBS) - Ioan Gruffudd ("Fantastic Four") and Mike Colter ("The Good Wife") are the latest additions to the drama pilot, about Bridget Cafferty (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a troubled young woman who, while on the run from the mob, hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy twin sister, Siobhan Marx, until she learns that her twin's life has a bounty on it as well. Gruffudd is on board as Siobhan's "impossibly handsome husband" Andrew Marx while Colter is set as Malcolm Howard, Bridget's "good looking, slightly bookish" sponsor at AA. Nestor Carbonell also stars in the project, which was created by Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder. Richard Shepard is directing for ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios.
TRUE BLOOD (HBO) - Daniel Buran ("Level 26: Dark Origins") has booked a seven-episode arc on the show's upcoming fourth season. He'll play Raoul, "the werewolf packmaster of Shreveport." No other specifics were given.
UNTITLED JOE PORT/JOE WISEMAN PROJECT (FOX) - Rob Huebel ("Childrens' Hospital") is the first to be cast in the comedy pilot, about Dave, "a headstrong patriarch who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family." He'll play Dave's "slightly off" brother-in-law Steven, who recently returned from a six month solo expedition to the Amazon. Joe Port and Joe Wiseman penned the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which Shawn Levy is attached to direct.
UNTITLED LIZ MERIWETHER PROJECT (FOX) - Max Greenfield ("Modern Men") and Jake M. Johnson (who starred in the Meriwether-penned "No Strings Attached") have both landed roles on the comedy pilot, about Jessica (Zooey Deschanel), "an optimistic but unlucky in love elementary school teacher who, after her most recent break-up, moves out of her apartment with her ex and moves in with three juvenile guys." They'll play two of the trio: beer-loving hunk Schmidt (Greenfield) and bartender Nick (Johnson). Jake Kasdan is helming the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour from a script by Meriwether.