[02/18/11 - 10:26 PM]
Development Update: Friday, February 18
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!

ARE YOU THERE VODKA, IT'S ME CHELSEA (NBC) - Comedian Lauren Lapkus and Natalie Morales ("White Collar") have both landed roles on the comedy pilot, about Chelsea Hanson (Laura Prepon), "a fresh-faced single cocktail waitress highly opinionated and open about her love to drink and have sex." Morales will play Ivory, Chelsea's longtime friend, a second generation Cuban-American who is "proud of her heritage, but even producer of her unaccented English." Lapkus then is believed to be playing Dee Dee, a "bubbly, sheltered" woman whom Chelsea and Ivory share an apartment with. Dottie Zicklin and Julie Ann Larson penned the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which is based on Chelsea Handler's memoir of the same name. It's understood Handler herself will play Sloane, Chelsea's very pregnant sister, in the project, to be directed by Gail Mancuso.

COUNCIL OF DADS (FOX) - Diane Farr, Patrick Breen and Ken Howard have all been cast in the comedy pilot, about Michael Wells, a terminally ill man who, just before he dies, enlists four of his guy friends from all aspects of his life to become a "council of dads" to his two young children. She'll play his wife, Catherine, with Howard as his father, Burt ("imposing, former military, not to be screwed with"). Breen then is set as one of the council: "Feelings Dad" Jerry Klein, Michael's former therapist who actually helped him with the idea for the council. Anthony and Joe Russo are directing the Sony Pictures Television-based project from a script by Peter Tolan.

THE DOCTOR (CBS) - Eva Amurri ("Californication") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about Emily Campbell (Christine Lahti), a mother who reconnects with her two adult children when she joins the family medical practice in Hartford, Connecticut. She'll play Natasha ("26 and with a flair for drama"), Emily's daughter. David Nutter is directing from a script by Rina Mimoun for Warner Bros. Television.

GEORGETOWN (ABC) - Jimmy Wolk ("Lone Star") is the first to board the drama pilot, about the young people behind the power brokers of Washington, D.C. He'll play the "handsome, effortlessly charming" Andrew Pierce, the youngest Presidential speech-writer on record, an idealistic-turned-cynic. Will Fetters penned the hour for the Warner Bros. Television-based Fake Empire, while Mark Piznarski has been tapped to direct.

HOME GAME (CBS) - Jenn Proske ("Vampires Suck") has scored a role on the Rob Riggle-led comedy, about a retired NFL player who returns home to his wife (Constance Zimmer) and three teenage daughters. She'll play their eldest, Tess ("innocent and carefree, gorgeous"), in the project, which comes from co-creators Christopher J. Nowak and Warren Bell. CBS Television Studios is producing.

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (CBS) - Dave Foley ("Kids in the Hall") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about Alan (David Hornsby), an uptight guy learning to live his life with the help of his old high school classmate. He'll play Jerry, Alan's rumpled magazine editor/friend whose desperation comes across like Jack Lemmon in "Glengarry Glenn Ross." Hornsby penned the half-hour for CBS Television Studios. Nancy Lenehan also stars.

THE LAST DAYS OF MAN (ABC) - Tim Allen has officially joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a guy fighting for his manhood in a world of women. He'll play the guy in question, also named Tim, with a wife, Vanessa; three kids - Kristin, Howie and Eve (ages 22, 17 and 15); and a job at a demolition company. Jack Burditt penned the half-hour for 20th Century Fox Television. Becky Clements, Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy also serve as executive producers for their 21 Laps-Adelstein Productions, as do Allen and his managers Richard Baker and Rick Messina.

LITTLE IN COMMON (FOX) - Rob Corddry ("Childrens Hospital") and Paula Marshall ("Gary Unmarried") are on track to star in the comedy pilot, about three families in Austin, Texas united through their kids' little league sports. They'll play Dennis and Ellie Weller, one of the couples, who recently relocated from San Jose, California. He's the new middle school principal, an aging progressive hipster, while she's a former school counselor turned stay-at-home mom/blogger for a parenting website. Rob Thomas penned the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, to be helmed by Adam Bernstein.

THE LYING GAME (ABC Family) - The cable channel is reportedly close to ordering the drama pilot - about Emma (Alexandra Chando), a kind-hearted foster kid who finds out she has an identical twin sister, Sutton, who was adopted by wealthy parents, only to go missing under mysterious circumstances - to series. Warner Horizon Television and Alloy Entertainment are behind the hour, which Mark Piznarski directed from a script by Charles Pratt, Jr. It's understood options on the actors were extended until today in order for a deal to be worked out. Gina Girolamo and Leslie Morgenstein also serve as executive producers.

PARTNERS (ABC) - Michael Beach ("Sons of Anarchy") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about two female police detectives (Scottie Thompson, Annie Wersching), who are fiercely loyal to one another since they're also secretly half-sisters. He'll play Carl Hickman, Ray Henry's (Kenneth Mitchell) wise-cracking partner in the project, which also stars Larry Gilliard Jr. Yves Simoneau is directing the ABC Studios-based hour from a script by Edward Allen Bernero.

PLAYBOY (NBC) - Jenna Dewan-Tatum ("Step Up") and Leah Cudmore ("Runaway") are both on board the pilot, a period drama set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. They'll play two of the Bunnies - presumably Alice ("a bit awkward, married, takes care of everyone but herself") and Janie ("life of the party, naughty, carefree, but that hint of a Southern accent suggests she's running away from something"), respectively. Laura Benanti, Amber Heard and Naturi Naughton also star in the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour from writer Chad Hodge and director Alan Taylor.

RIP CITY (TV Land, Exclusive!) - Kevin Christy ("quarterlife") and Toby Huss ("King of the Hill") have booked the final principal roles on the pilot, a workplace comedy set at a regional beverage manufacturer and distributor. Christy will play Elliott, "the Dick Cheney of office politics" who always wants more power than he has; with Huss as Ronnie, "a clueless teddy bear of a guy." Anne Meara, Barry Watson, Christine Taylor and Sherri Shepherd also star in the half-hour, which taped last night at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City. Gil Junger directed from a script by Terri Minsky.

THE RIVER (ABC) - Eloise Mumford ("Lone Star") is likewise the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about a state-of-the-art research vessel on a quest to find a missing TV explorer in the Amazon. She'll play Lena Landry ("fearless, abrasively competent"), a helicopter pilot attached to the expedition whose father, the TV explorer's cameraman, is also missing. Michael Green penned the hour for ABC Studios with Jaume Collet-Serra attached to direct.

ROOKIES (CBS) - Leelee Sobieski, Judy Marte, Tom Reed and Stark Sands have all been cast in the Robert De Niro-produced drama pilot, about six NYPD rookies who balance their personal lives with learning the beat on the streets of Manhattan: Tonya Perez ("tough, attractive Dominican woman"), Ray "Lazarus" Brightman ("some hard miles on his face but athletic"), Basir "Kiterunner" Khan ("Afghani-born, trim, wired, unsmiling"), Kenny McCormack ("slightly built, calm, intelligent-eyed"), Jayson "The Franchise" Toney ("ex-NBA point guard, tall, muscular") and Gen "White House" Perry ("golden-haired Cali girl, tall, surfer athletic"). Sobieski and Marte will play the women - Perez and Perry, respectively - with Reed as Khan and Sands as McCormack. Richard Price penned the CBS Television Studios-based hour, to be directed by James Mangold.

TAGGED (FOX) - B.J. Bales and Lindsey Kraft have both scored roles on the pilot, a workplace comedy set at the Los Angeles County's coroner's office. He'll play Wayne Williams, a pathologist and a churchgoing type, while she's on board as Susan Cromwell, an attractive pathologist who is an emotional basketcase. Gary Cole and Tommy Dewey also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, from co-creators David Guarascio and Moses Port.

TWO BROKE GIRLS (CBS) - Kat Dennings ("Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist") has booked a lead role on the comedy pilot, about two struggling waitresses at a Brooklyn diner - Max ("cool, street smart, tough on the outside") and Caroline ("pretty, book smart, tough on the inside") - who aspire to open their own cupcake shop. She'll play the former of the duo in the half-hour, which comes from co-creators Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings. Warner Bros. Television is producing.

UNTITLED PETER KNIGHT PROJECT (CBS) - Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") is in talks to direct the comedy pilot, about the young people who work at a high-powered venture capital firm. Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Studios are behind the half-hour, from writer Peter Knight and Happy Madison Productions.

UNTITLED SUSANNAH GRANT PROJECT (CBS) - Patrick Wilson ("Angels in America") has been tapped for the lead role on the drama pilot, about Michael Halstead, an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife, Anna Lindberg, dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the hereafter. Susannah Grant is behind the CBS Television Studios-based hour, which Jonathan Demme is attached to direct and executive produce.
THE VAMPIRE DIAIRES (The CW) - Joseph Morgan (ABC's upcoming "Ben Hur") has been cast as the much-ballyhooed Klaus, the original vampire, in the series. No other details were given or when his first episode will air.

  [february 2011]  

· NYC 22 (CBS)

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