[12/14/11 - 11:01 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, December 14 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BEAT THE REAPER (HBO, New!) - Feature writers Brian Koppleman and David Levien ("Ocean's Thirteen") have landed a new drama at the cable channel about "a young ER doctor whose life is upended when a patient comes through his ward that recognizes the internist from his old life - when he used to work for a notorious crime family." Said effort is based on Josh Bazell's book of the same name with Appian Way's Leonardo DiCaprio and LBI Entertainment's Rick Yorn executive producing alongside Koppleman, Levien, Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Julie Yorn as well as Regency Television's Arnon Milchan, Bob Harper and Hutch Parker. Originally conceived as a feature vehicle for DiCaprio, the TV incarnation subsequently found a home at HBO where Koppleman and Levien are also on board to direct. (Deadline.com)BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (NBC) - Emmy-winner Stephen Hopkins ("The Life and Death of Peter Sellers") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, set in a near future society "where humans co-exist with mechanical androids that look like people but are treated like second-class citizens." He'll work from a script by Michael McDonald, who is executive producing for ABC Studios and Universal Television. (Deadline.com)BFF (TBS) - Elizabeth Ho ("Melissa & Joey") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Mark (Jay Malone), a family man who quits his day job and returns to the neighborhood where he grew up where he reunites with his former best friend, Roland (David Neher). She'll play "Mark's enthusiastic and positive wife Annie who welcomes Roland into their family." Barry Bostwick and Julie Hagerty also star in the Warner Horizon Television-based half-hour, from co-creators Ben Wexler, Ross Novie and Jay Rondot. (Deadline.com)THE CLIENT LIST (Lifetime) - Colin Egglesfield ("Melrose Place") has joined the cast of the Jennifer Love Hewitt-led drama, about a Texas housewife (Hewitt), who, after being deserted by her husband, is left in deep financial straits and takes a job at a seemingly traditional day spa where massages aren't the only services on the menu. He'll play the brother-in-law of Hewitt's character in the hour, which comes from Sony Pictures Television and creator Jordan Budde. (Deadline.com)HOME COURT (FOX, New!) - Saladin K. Patterson ("Psych") has sold a potential comedy to the network about "wealthy pro basketball star and single father who's afraid he's spoiling his over-privileged children and decides to move his kids into his sister's modest house in the multi-cultural working class community on the other side of town." Said half-hour comes from Universal Cable Productions and Prospect Park with Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry and Rob Carliner executive producing alongside Patterson. (Deadline.com)I LOVE JENNIE (CMT, New!) - Jennie Garth has booked a new reality series at the cable channel in which the "Beverly Hills, 90210" alumnus and her family - husband Peter Facinelli and their three kids - move from Los Angeles to a seven-acre farm in Central California. Electus and Facinelli Films are co-producing the series, which has an eight episode order, with Garth, Facinelli, Ben Silverman, Jimmy Fox, Rick Ringbakk, Craig Armstrong and Rob de Franco among the executive producers. Said half-hour will debut in April. (EW.com)LUCY'S BLUFF (ABC Family, New!) - Aaron Tracy ("Fairly Legal") has snagged a script order from the cable channel for a new drama about "a powerful governor who falls ill and asks his estranged daughter to return home from college to secretly run the state and convince the public that her father is still in charge." Universal Cable Productions and Prospect Park are behind the hour, which Jeff Kwatinetz, Paul Frank, Rich Frank, Andrew Lenchewski will executive produce alongside Tracy. (Deadline.com)MELISSA & TYE: A NEW REALITY (CMT, New!) - Former "The Bachelor" and "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Melissa Rycroft is set to star in a new eight-episode reality series at the cable channel. Said half-hour will feature Rycroft and her husband Tye Strickland as she relocates to Los Angeles to pursue her Hollywood career while managing a long-distance relationship with her husband. Ryan Seacrest Productions is behind the project with Seacrest, Jayson Dinsmore and Eliot Goldberg serving as executive producers. Look for the series to roll out in April. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED KATE WARNE PROJECT (USA, New!) - Adam Sussman has sold a potential period drama to the cable channel about Kate Warne, the first female detective in the U.S. who also worked as a spy for the Union government during the Civil War. Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour, the pilot of would track her efforts as part of the infamous Pinkerton Detective Agency to uncover a plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1856. John Glenn, Deborah Spera and Maria Grasso are executive producing via the latter's One Two Punch Productions with Sussman serving as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED JOHN SCOTT SHEPHERD PROJECT (USA, New!) - John Scott Shepherd ("Life or Something Like It") has landed a potential drama at the cable channel about "a recently divorced, laid back, stay-at-home dad who must return to his previous career as a vice cop, where his violent ways got him remanded to intensive therapy and anger management." Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry also serve as executive producers for Universal Cable Productions and Prospect Park. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Jamie-Lynn Sigler will guest on ABC's "Last Man Standing" as Ed's (Hector Elizondo) daughter who "arrives on the scene with lots of suggestions on how to improve her dad's sporting goods store" (TVGuide.com); plus Jane Fonda will recur on Aaron Sorkin's upcoming HBO drama, set behind the scenes at a fictional cable news network, as the CEO of said network's parent company (TVLine.com).