[04/15/11 - 10:05 PM] Development Update: Friday, April 15 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BIG MIKE (A&E) - Co-creators Ed Decter and John Strauss have inked a two-year overall deal with producer Sony Pictures Television. The pact, financial details of which weren't released, calls for the duo to develop new series for the studio, including the aforementioned Greg Grunberg-led pilot for A&E. Separately, the pair serve as showrunners on the upcoming fourth season of Universal Cable Productions/USA's "In Plain Sight" and are set to do the same on season five.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) - A.J. Cook has closed a deal to return to the veteran crime procedural. She'll appear in the show's upcoming sixth season finale on May 18 and continue on full time in season seven. As previously reported, Cook departed the series in June after her option was not picked up. She subsequently appeared in three installments, the most recent of which aired last month. Still to be determined: the future of co-stars Paget Brewster, Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore, who aren't locked up for season seven.
DAMAGES (DirecTV) - Griffin Dunne is set to recur on the show's upcoming fourth season, which "revolves around a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the CEO of a military security firm (played by John Goodman) over an incident in a war zone." He'll play "a foreign correspondent who's looking to write a story about the embattled company." Bailey Chase, Chris Messina, Dylan Baker and Judd Hirsch likewise are set to turn up on the new season, due this summer on DirecTV.
INSIDE DHS/THE PITCH (AMC, New!) - The cable channel has ordered eight one-hour episodes of two new reality series as part of its new "Docu-Stories" brand. First up is "Inside the DHS," from Pilgrim Films & Television, a look behind the scenes of the Department of Homeland Security. Then there's "The Pitch," from Studio Lambert, which follows real-life ad agencies competing for accounts. Craig Piligian is executive producing the former, due in the fourth quarter of this year, with Eli Holzman and Stephen Lambert overseeing the latter, due sometime next year - potentially alongside the new season of "Mad Men."