[12/09/11 - 10:51 PM] Development Update: Friday, December 9 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AGAINST THE WALL (Lifetime) - The cable channel has pulled the plug on the Rachael Carpani-led drama. "I'd like to thank @lifetimetv, the #AgainstTheWall writers and the Amazing fans of Against The Wall but unfortunately we've been canceled," co-star Brandon Quinn posted to his Twitter account earlier today. The show's 13-episode run averaged 1.636 million viewers and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49, ahead of the recently axed "The Protector" (1.294 million viewers, 0.3 adults 18-49 rating in prime airings) but behind the network's staples "Army Wives" (3.615 million viewers, 1.2 adults 18-49 rating) and "Drop Dead Diva" (2.264 million viewers, 0.7 adults 18-49 rating).
THE BLUE LAGOON (Lifetime) - Neil Meron and Craig Zadan's revival of Henry De Vere Stacpoole's book-turned-feature film franchise - about "a boy and a girl marooned on a tropical island, where they grow up together, fall in love and discover sexuality" - has been greenlit by the cable channel. Lifetime originally put the project into development in March of 2004 with Heather Rutman and Matt Heller tapped to write the script. Sony Pictures Television and Judith Verno's Peace Out Productions are likewise behind the film, which Verno will executive produce alongside Storyline Entertainment's Meron and Zadan. Production is set to begin this February in Puerto Rico as casting is underway. (Deadline.com)CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP (ABC) - The celebrity incarnation of the series is now set to premiere Monday, January 2 at 10:00/9:00c following the season premiere of "The Bachelor." "Swap" will then settle into its regular Tuesday, 9:00/8:00c slot the following night.
DREAM CITY (HBO, New!) - Eddie Murphy is on track to play Marion Barry in a biopic of the former Washington, D.C. mayor from director Spike Lee and writer John Ridley. Said effort is based on Washington journalists Tom Sherwood and Harry Jaffe's 1994 book of the same name, subtitled "Race, Power and the Decline of Washington, D.C." HBO previously optioned the book nearly a decade ago but the resulting project - starring Jamie Foxx and executive produced by Chris Rock - didn't come to fruition. Barry served four terms as mayor of D.C. despite infamously being videotaped smoking crack cocaine in a hotel room during an FBI sting operation, eventually serving six months in federal prison on a misdemeanor drug possession conviction. He currently serves on the D.C. Council, representing one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Lee and Ridley, who are also working on the network's drama pilot "Da Brick," will also executive produce. (WashingtonPost.com)THE MOMENT (USA, New!) - Former NFL MVP Kurt Warner is set to host a new reality series at the cable channel focusing on personal reinvention and life transformation. Charlie Ebersol and Justin Hochberg are behind the project, which is set to roll out in the second quarter of next year. The pilot was shot in Los Angeles earlier this year. No other specifics were given. (Variety.com)THE NATE BERKUS SHOW (Syndication) - Sony Pictures Television and Harpo Studios plan to wrap the series after its current second season. "After careful consideration, we have decided that The Nate Berkus Show will not return for a third season in the fall," said the companies said in a joint statement. "We are grateful for the hard work and heart that Nate, [executive producer] Corin Nelson and their entire team have poured into the show, and we're very proud of what they've delivered." Berkus himself also released a statement saying, "I'm incredibly proud of my hard working and talented staff, and proud of the show we were able to produce every day." (BroadcastingCable.com)A SMILE AS BIG AS THE MOON (ABC) - The Alphabet has booked its second Hallmark of Hall of Fame production for Sunday, January 29 at 9:00/8:00c. John Corbett and Jessy Schram topline the film, based on the true story of Mike Kersjes, "a high school football coach and special-education teacher who teams up with fellow teacher Robynn McKinney (Schram) to achieve an impossible dream: to take a group of special-ed children to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama." Cynthia Watros also stars as Space Camp Director Deborah Barnhardt. James Sadwith directed from a script by Tom Rickman, based on Kersjes's memoir (with Joe Layden) of the same name. Brent Shields and Dan Paulson are the executive producers.
AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Diane Neal will guest on "A Gifted Man" as a defense attorney who grills Michael (Patrick Wilson) about a patient's brain tumor which he says caused him to become a firebug (TVLine.com); Alanis Morissette will turn up on NBC's "Up All Night" as a hip-hop legend from Ava's '90s band, Sound LLC (TVLine.com); Lowe's has pulled its advertising on TLC's "All-American Muslim" after "hearing the concerns we received through emails, calls, through social media and in news reports" (THR.com); plus Caspar Zafer and Nathaniel Buzolic will recur on "The Vampire Diaries" as Klaus' (Joseph Morgan) other Original brothers (TVGuide.com).