[10/12/11 - 11:05 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, October 12 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BEYOND REPAIR (FOX, New!) - Sameer Asad Gardezi ("Mr. Sunshine") has sold a new comedy to the network about "a family-run business with a very dysfunctional relationship at the center." Gardezi penned the half-hour and will serve as a co-executive producer for 20th Century Fox Television and FishBowl Worldwide Media. Vin Di Bona, Susan Levison and Bruce Gersh are also on board as executive producers. (Variety.com)EATING WITH THE ENEMY (HBO) - Actor-turned-writer Pat Healy has been tapped to pen the docudrama, which stars James Gandolfini as Bobby Egan, "a Hackensack, N.J., restaurant owner who forged a relationship with the North Korean United Nations mission in upper Manhattan and went on to play an important role as a liaison in U.S.-North Korean relations." Said effort is based on Robert Egan and Kurt Pitzer's book of the same name, subtitled "How I Waged Peace With North Korea From My BBQ Shack in Hackensack." Gandolfini, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong are among the executive producers for Tribeca Productions and Attaboy Films with Kurt Pitzer and Kimberly Levin serving as co-producers. (Variety.com)GIRLFRIEND SEASON (CBS, New!) - Feature writers Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair ("A Many Splintered Thing") have sold "an observational romantic comedy that follows six people, a young married couple and their friends" to the Eye. No other auspices were given for the Generate-based half-hour. (Deadline.com)IN LIKE FIN (ABC, New!) - Alexi Hawley ("Castle") has sold a new drama to the Alphabet, inspired by the life of David Blaine, about "an illusionist who is pulled into action in a covert government sting." Warren Littlefield is on board to executive produce the hour, which presumably is set up at ABC Studios. Blaine himself however is not attached to the project. (THR.com)LEARN JUST ENOUGH TO GET LAID (FOX, New!) - Jim and Steve Armogida ("The Return of Jezebel James") have booked a new comedy at the network based on Tyler DeAngelo and Brad Emmett's book of the same name "that explores love and sex for the modern man." Sony Pictures Television and FishBowl Worldwide Media is behind the half-hour with the latter's Vin Di Bona, Susan Levison and Bruce Gersh executive produce alongside the duo. (Variety.com)LEGIT (FX, New!) - Australian comedian Jim Jefferies is set to star in a new comedy at the cable channel about "a misanthrope (Jefferies) trying to go legit." Jefferies and Peter O'Fallon ("The Protector") co-wrote and will executive produce the project, which has a pilot presentation order, with O'Fallon directing. Lisa Blum, Jefferies's manager, will also receive a producing credit. (Deadline.com)RAISING BLIND (FX, New!) - Ben Younger ("The Boiler Room") and Jay Longino ("Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation") are developing a new drama at the cable channel set in the world of underground gambling. John Dahl ("Rounders") is attached to direct the potential hour from a script by the duo based on a story by Josh Marchette, Longino and Younger. Said quartet will also executive produce alongside Vin Diesel and David Ortiz of One Race Films. (Deadline.com)SCENT OF THE MISSING (TNT) - Tricia Helfer and Gerald McRaney are set to star in the drama pilot, about a search-and-rescue officer braves the harshest conditions with her best friend and partner, a Labrador retriever. Helfer will play said officer, Susannah, with McRaney as her father Jerry. Carol Mendelsohn, Melissa R. Byer and Treena Hancock are all behind the CBS Television Studios-based hour, which is based on the book by Susannah Charleson. Barry Josephson and Julie Weitz also serve as executive producers alongside the trio. (Deadline.com)STEP-DAN (FOX, New!) - Dan Lagana ("Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous") has sold a new multi-camera comedy to the network based on his real-life experience of "being a young step-dad and centers on a twenty-something guy's relationship with his older wife and her young son." Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, which Lagana will write and serve as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)THICK AS THIEVES (FOX, New!) - Screenwriter Aaron Stockard ("The Town") has booked a potential drama at the network billed as "a blue collar soap set in Boston." 20th Century Fox Television-based Chernin Entertainment is behind the hour with the company's Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope executive producing alongside Stockard. (Deadline.com)TRENDING (The CW, New!) - Feature writer Gren Wells ("A Little Bit of Heaven") has booked a new drama at the netlet about "26-year-old Lissa Bennett whose job is to search for the newest and hottest emerging trends in order to keep her corporate clients ahead of the curve but finds it difficult to predict the trends in her love life as well." Said hour, from CBS Television Studios, is inspired by the Cynthia Langston's novel "Bi-Coastal Babe." Katherine Heigl and Nancy Heigl then will executive produce via their Abishag banner alongside Lakeshore Entertainment's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi as well as Daniel Rosenberg. (Deadline.com)UNDER CONSTRUCTION (ABC, New!) - Ashley Tisdale ("Hellcats") is set to star in a semi-autobiographical comedy at the Alphabet about "a young woman whose independence is put on hold when she is forced to move back home while her father renovates her recently purchased money pit along with her life." David Holden ("Accidentally on Purpose") is penning the multi-camera project and will serve as a co-executive producer alongside Tisdale and her Blondie Girl Productions (Bravo's "Miss Advised") partner Jessica Rhoades. RelativityREAL's Tom Forman is also on board as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JUDITH MCCREARY PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Judith McCreary ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") has sold a new drama to the Peacock inspired by the life of Tony Ciaglia, a tormented man who eventually found purpose in the most unlikely way - by connecting with serial killers. Ciaglia is the focus of Pete Earley's upcoming tome "The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers." Universal Television is producing. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED WILLIAM WILKERSON PROJECT (Lifetime, New!) - The life of The Hollywood Reporter founder William Wilkerson - "who founded the trade paper in 1930 after losing a lot of money in the Wall Street crash, also owned The Flamingo Hotel and nightclub Ciro's and eventually became indebted to the mafia as a result of his compulsive gambling" - is set to be the focus of a potential drama at the cable channel. Robert C. Cooper ("Stargate Universe") is on board to pen the project, which comes from Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil and Graham King's GK TV. The latter's Craig Cegielski presumably will executive produce alongside King, Cooper and Depp, the latter of which is open to appearing on the series. (TBIVision.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - The Peacock has ordered six additional scripts for its new Thursday drama "Prime Suspect"(Deadline.com); Gaius Charles will visit "Pan Am" as "an African-American soldier who opens Laura's (Margot Robbie) eyes to the world" (TVLine.com); cast members of ABC's "Cougar Town" will make uncredited, non-speaking appearances in at least 13 other shows while the comedy awaits its midseason return (USAToday.com); plus Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart will each direct upcoming installments of their ABC Family series "Melissa & Joey"(THR.com).