[06/09/11 - 11:46 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, June 9
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!

THE CLOSER (TNT) - Mark Pellegrino ("Being Human") is set to recur on the show's upcoming final season, which premieres Monday, July 11 on the network. He'll play Gavin Q. Baker III, "a gay, former city attorney-turned-partner in a private law firm which specializes in defending police officers who has never lost a case." Said arc is understood to last at least five episodes.

DEXTER (Showtime) - Molly Parker ("Swingtown") is the latest to score a role on the upcoming sixth season of the pay channel series. She'll play Lisa Marshall, the sister of fellow addition Colin Hanks's character, Travis, "a brilliant expert on ancient artifacts who somehow becomes linked to a series of grisly murders in Miami."

DISH NATION (Syndication, New!) - Twentieth Television has booked a six-week test run for a new "TMZ"-esque series on the Fox owned-and-operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit and Baltimore. The half-hour effort, premiering July 25, will feature highlights from the top moments of four drive-time radio teams: Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill (The Big Show with Scott & Todd on New York's WPLJ), Rick Smiley (Rick Smiley Morning Show on Atlanta's WHTA), Blaine Fowler and Allyson Martinek (Blaine & Allyson on Detroit's WDVD and DJ Felli Fel (Los Angeles' Power 106). No producing auspices however were given.

HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix) - Robin Wright is in early talks to star in the upcoming Kevin Spacey-led original series, a political thriller based on Michael Dobbs's book turned U.K. mini-series of the same name. She'd presumably play the female lead in the project, from Media Rights Capital, Spacey's Trigger Street Productions and director David Fincher.

THE KID (TBS, New!) - Donald Todd ("Samantha Who?") is spearheading a new dramedy at the cable channel about "the relationship between a pro golfer - a young but socially awkward prodigy trying to live up to the hype others have generated around him - and his caddy - both on and off the course." Actor David Morse, Jim "Bones" Mackay (Phil Mickelson's longtime caddie), Sports Illustrated writer Michael Bamberger and Jay Hass all conceived the hour alongside Todd, who will pen the script and executive produce with Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin. Warner Horizon Television is producing.

NO SECRETS (HBO) - Rowan Joffe ("The American") has been tapped to pen the Charles Ferguson-helmed docudrama, a look at the story behind Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks site which aims to "collect and disseminate via the Internet private, secret and classified information from anonymous sources." Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are also on board to executive produce the project, which is based on Raffi Khatchadourian's New Yorker article of the same name (subtitled "Julian Assange's Mission for Total Transparency"). They'll join previously announced executive producers Joshua Maurer and Alixandre Witlin of City Entertainment, David Stern of KippSter Entertainment as well as Ferguson himself with Audrey Marrs serving as a co-executive producer and Timothy Prager as a co-producer.

THE OFFICE (NBC) - Co-star/showrunner Paul Lieberstein has inked a massive three-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios. The pact covers his duties on the veteran comedy as well as calls for him develop new projects for the studio. Financial details weren't specified.

SKINS (MTV) - The cable channel has passed on a second season of the much-ballyhooed series. "Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn't connect with a US audience as much as we had hoped," MTV said in a statement. "We admire the work that the series' creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the show for MTV, and appreciate the core audience that embraced it." In total, the show's 10-episode freshman run averaged 1.395 million viewers and a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49. Said numbers nevertheless were above its subsequent replacement on Monday nights: season two of "Hard Times of RJ Berger" which averaged just 963,000 viewers and 0.4 rating among adults 18-49.

TOUCH (FOX) - Danny Glover is the latest addition to the Kiefer Sutherland-led drama, about an unassuming baggage handler at JFK (Sutherland) who discovers that his autistic, mute son (David Mazouz) can predict events before they happen. He'll play Arthur DeWitt (formerly Boris Podolsky in the original script), an Andre Gregory-esque professor who posits that "cellular energy, microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, these hold the answers to a new and higher state of consciousness for mankind." Tim Kring is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, to be directed by Francis Lawrence.

ZACH STONE IS GONNA BE FAMOUS (MTV) - Caitlin Gerard and Armen Weitzman have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the title character (Bo Burnham), "a recent high school graduate who is opting out of college to pursue the new American dream: becoming famous with no particular talent whatsoever [by] hiring a camera crew to shadow and film his everyday life." They'll play Amy, Zach's girlfriend "who is heading off to Brown and is almost the girl next door," and Greg, his "nebbish best friend who also edits all of his video footage," respectively. Burnham and Dan Lagana co-wrote the half-hour, which is likewise executive produced by 3 Arts Entertainment's Dave Becky.

  [june 2011]  


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