[09/19/11 - 10:50 PM] Development Update: Monday, September 19 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 BAKKEN (ABC, New!) - Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne have sold a potential drama to the Alphabet about a "North Dakota town where a huge oil reserve has been discovered, turning poor farmers into multimillionaires overnight." Said hour is on track to be set up at ABC Studios with Flame Ventures' Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson also executive producing. (Deadline.com)THE BRIGHT SIDE (Comedy Central, New!) - Chris Bishop and Dave Koechner are developing a single-camera comedy at the cable channel about an unscrupulous life coach. Koechner himself will potentially star in the half-hour which Bishop is writing. Flame Ventures' Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson also serve as executive producers. (Deadline.com)CHOPS (The CW, New!) - Feature writer Captain Mauzner ("Factory Girl") has booked a potential drama at the netlet billed as "Felicity" in the world of the restaurant business in New York. Said hour is being executive produced by chef/restaurateur Mario Batali alongside Mauzner and Flame Ventures' Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson. (Deadline.com)A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT (Lifetime, New!) - Terry McMillan's best-selling novel, about a truth-telling, trash-talking Las Vegas matriarch and her family, is being developed as a telefilm at the cable channel. Steven Tolkin is attached to direct the project from a script by Shernold Edwards with Tolkin and Bill Haber executive producing for the latter's Ostar Productions. (Variety.com)EMPEROR (TNT, New!) - Jonathan Hensleigh ("Armageddon") is spearheading a potential Ray Liotta vehicle at the cable channel. Said hour, which comes from Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson's Flame Ventures, is billed as a mafia drama. No other specifics were given. (Deadline.com)EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS PONG (NBC, New!) - Roger Bennett and Eli Horowitz's book is being developed as a single-camera comedy at the Peacock. Michael Colton and John Aboud ("Leverage") are spearheading the Sony Pictures Television-based adaptation, which will track "a table tennis star living in the past who tries to survive in the real world." Justin Lin, who has a first-look deal with the studio, will also executive produce alongside FishBowl Worldwide Media's Susan Levison, Vin Di Bona, Bruce Gersh. (THR.com)THE FIXER (NBC, New!) - Wayne Kramer ("The Cooler") is developing a new drama at the Peacock based on the life of top New York attorney Edward Hayes. Universal Television is behind the hour, originally set up last season, which also comes from former HBO executive Colin Callender and Flame Ventures' Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson. (Deadline.com)GATEWAY (TNT) - Cam Gigandet ("Twilight") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about three brothers bound by duty, honor and self-preservation who take a stand in 1880s Colorado. He'll play one of the trio, Jake, "who step in to save their town when their sheriff father is murdered, pitting them against a corrupt cattle baron determined to make the town his own." Danny Cannon is directing the Warner Bros. Television-based hour from a script by Bruce McKenna. (Deadline.com)LIVE SHOT ACTION (FOX, New!) - James Solomon and Michael Lucas have landed a script commitment from the network for a new drama about a foreign correspondent who's an action junkie journalist. Former CNN president Jonathan Klein is among the executive producers of the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, alongside Flame Ventures' Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson. (Deadline.com)LIVE TALKING GIRLS (TV Land, New!) - Linda Bloodworth-Thomason ("Designing Women") is developing a new multi-camera comedy at the cable channel set behind the scenes of a "View"-type daytime talk show. Said half-hour comes from Flame Ventures with the company's Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson presumably executive producing alongside Bloodworth-Thomason. (Deadline.com)ON THE VERGE OF GREATNESS (CBS, New!) - Following a bidding war with ABC and NBC, Tom Gormican and Jake Kasdan's single-camera comedy has found a home at the Eye with a penalty attached should it not go to pilot. 20th Century Fox Television is behind the half-hour, which is billed as a twentysomething ensemble comedy. Kasdan is attached to direct from a script by Gormican with the duo executive producing alongside 3 Arts Entertainment's Howard Klein and Oly Obst with Melvin Mar producing. (Deadline.com)SCRUPLES (ABC, New!) - Bob Brush and Mel Harris are spearheading a follow up to the 1978 novel-turned-1980 mini-series of the same name, about the staggeringly luxurious life of a Beverly Hills boutique and the people who work in it. They duo will also executive produce the Warner Bros. Television-based project alongside actress Natalie Portman and her producing partner Annette Savitch as well as Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson of Flame Ventures.
Following the success of the original CBS
mini-series, which starred Lindsay Wagner, Barry Bostwick, Connie Stevens and Kim Cattrall, a pilot was shot in 1981 for a potential series incarnation featuring a different cast that didn't move forward. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED MELISSA MCCARTHY/BEN FALCONE PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Fresh off her Emmy win, Melissa McCarthy ("Mike & Molly") has booked another comedy at the Eye about "a woman in her mid-40s who has a spectacular midlife crisis." She'll co-write and executive produce the multi-camera project alongside her husband Ben Falcone for Warner Bros. Television. No other details were given. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Elizabeth Perkins, Mark Moses and Maggie Wheeler will all guest on the December 19 episode of "The Closer"(EW.com); Peter Berg will go in front of the camera on NBC's "Prime Suspect" as Maria Bello's ex, a married Deputy Chief (EW.com); Billy Ray Cyrus will play dad to Justin Deeley's Austin on "90210"(EW.com); Chuck Liddell will turn up as himself on "Hawaii Five-0," where he'll fight Alex O'Loughlin's McGarrett in a charity match (EW.com); Dean Norris will guest on "Castle" as a hostage negotiator tasked with rescuing the title character (Nathan Fillion) and his mother (Susan Sullivan) from a bank heist gone wrong (TVLine.com); Jack Coleman will play kidnapper to Brigid Brannagh on "Criminal Minds"(TVLine.com); plus D.J. Qualls will visit "Supernatural" as a quirky, laid-back hunter (Zap2It.com).