[05/23/11 - 10:02 PM] Development Update: Monday, May 23 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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THE KENNEDYS (Reelz) - Jonathan Koch's Asylum Entertainment has inked a deal with the fledgling cable channel to develop original series. The company was behind the much-ballyhooed mini-series, which set ratings records for the network. Joel Surnow will serve as a consulting executive on the potential series, most likely a drama. Said pact however isn't limited to any genre.
NURSE JACKIE/UNITED STATES OF TARA (Showtime) - The pay channel has reportedly ordered a fourth season of its Edie Falco-led comedy "Nurse Jackie" while its Monday night companion "United States of Tara" won't be returning for another go-around. Through seven episodes this season, "Jackie" is averaging 536,000 viewers and a 0.2 rating among adults 18-49 with "Tara" at 326,000 viewers and a 0.1 rating among adults 18-49. Both series wrap their current seasons on June 20.
PEOPLE CITY (HBO, New!) - Novelist Sam Lipsyte is developing a new comedy at the pay channel about "a 25-year-old man hired by an eccentric New York couple to be their child's caretaker." He'll pen the effort and executive produce alongside Michael London ("Sideways") with Jocelyn Hays Simpson ("A Visit From the Goon Squad") on board as a co-executive producer.
PORT ROYAL (FX, New!) - Graham King's GK-tv and Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Entertainment are developing a new 17th century period drama at the cable channel about the Jamaican port's notorious rise as "the richest and wickedest city in the new world, and as a self-governing safe haven for cutthroat pirates, corrupt politicians and ruthless merchants." FX Productions and Fox International Channels are co-producing the project, which is based on an idea by Hurd who will executive produce alongside King, Tim Headington and Craig Cegielski. No writing or directing auspices however were given.
UNTITLED PHIL SPECTOR PROJECT (HBO) - Bette Midler and Jeffrey Tambor have both joined the cast of the Al Pacino-led biopic of Phil Spector. She'll play Linda Kenney Baden, Spector's defense attorney, with Tambor as Bruce Cutler, a fellow attorney. David Mamet is writing and directing the project, which will track the record producer's legal struggle, which ended in 2009 after being convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson.
WEEDS (Showtime) - Lindsay Sloane ("Help Me Help You") has scored a role on the veteran comedy. She'll play Maxeen, "a quirky conceptual artist in New York who takes a liking to Andy (Justin Kirk)," in at least six episodes this season, which premieres Monday, June 27.