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[02/07/12 - 10:51 PM]
Development Update: Tuesday, February 7
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!


ANGER MANAGEMENT (FX) - Noureen DeWulf ("Hawthorne") has been cast in the upcoming Charlie Sheen-led comedy, about "a former baseball player with anger issues who winds up as an unconventional anger management therapist." She'll play one of the members of his therapy group, "a spoiled rich girl who was sent to a court-appointed anger management classes after shooting her boyfriend who cheated on her." Selma Blair and Shawnee Smith also star in the Lionsgate Television-based project. (Deadline.com)


CULT (The CW) - Jessica Lucas has scored a lead role on the drama pilot, about "an inquisitive, young female production assistant on a wildly popular television show called 'Cult' who, after a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, joins a journalist blogger in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life." She'll play the former, Skye Yarrow ("late 20s, smart-cute"), in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which comes from writer Rockne S. O'Bannon and director Jason Ensler. (Deadline.com)


EL JEFE (FOX) - Michael Patrick Jann ("Emily's Reasons Why Not") is set to helm the comedy pilot, about "an upper-middle class 30-year-old guy who finally gets booted out of his dad and step-mom's house and moves in with his cleaning woman's family since he had nowhere else to go." David Guarascio and Moses Port co-wrote the half-hour for Sony Pictures Television. (Deadline.com)


THE FAMILY TRAP (A.K.A. UNTITLED MANDY MOORE PROJECT) (ABC) - The Mandy Moore-led comedy - about newlyweds who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in her hometown bringing her closer to her needy and high maintenance family - has been ordered to pilot by the Alphabet. Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub penned the single-camera project, which Shawn Levy will direct for 20th Century Fox Television. Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements will also executive produce alongside said auspices with Moore's manager John Leshay serving as a producer. (Deadline.com)


FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER (NBC) - Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub are on track to star in the comedy pilot, about a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night. They'll play the clan's parents, Barbara ("has trouble fitting into the society of mature, responsible middle-aged women because her sons and husband suck her into their shit") and Gene (whose "inappropriate behavior and disconnection from modernity has only increased" with retirement), respectively. David Koechner also stars as their neighbor, "a lonely weirdo with an odd fixation on Barbara." Ken Kwapis is directing the Universal Television-based half-hour from a script by Greg Daniels. (Deadline.com)


MISTRESSES (ABC, New!) - The Alphabet has given a straight-to-series pickup for a domestic take on the U.K. drama, which follows the lives of four female friends and their involvement in an array of illicit and complex relationships. The original, from S.J. Clarkson and Lowri Glain, ran for seasons on BBC One from 2008 to 2010 with BBC America carrying the series in the States (the finale for which airs tomorrow night). Lifetime previously shot a pilot for the project in 2008, which starred Brooke Burns, Camille Sullivan, Holly Marie Combs, Rochelle Aytes and Sarah Glendening. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan directed from a script by Melissa Carter for Fox 21. As for the new incarnation, K.J. Steinberg penned the script for ABC Studios with Bob Sertner and Ecosse Films' Douglas Rae also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)


SAVE ME (NBC) - Michael Landes and Alexandra Breckenridge have each scored roles on the comedy pilot, about Beth Harper (Anne Heche), a woman who lets herself go while in a broken marriage goes through a transformation where she becomes the best version of herself and creates miracles along the way. He'll play her husband Tom ("40-ish and real-world handsome"), a manager at an upscale hotel; while she's set as Carly Brugano ("hot without any effort"), "a laid-off high school student counselor with a master's in psychology who works as a concierge at Tom's hotel and serves as his therapist and lover." John Scott Shepherd is behind the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, to be directed by Scott Winant. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED JOHN LEGEND PROJECT (Showtime, New!) - John Legend is set to host and executive produce a backdoor pilot special for the pay channel which "features top artists from different genres who discuss their careers and perform an original musical collaboration before live studio audience." Jesse Dylan directed the pilot, which recently taped at the historic EastWest Studios in Los Angeles with Faith Hill ("You're The One Whose Waiting") and B.o.B ("Ghost in the Machine") among the guests. Hill and B.o.B likewise performed a live rendition of "Son of a Preacher Man" alongside Legend. Get Lifted Film Co.'s Mike Jackson; Tollin Productions' Michael Tollin; Station3's R.D. Robb and Tom Carter; and Wondros' Priscilla Cohen are executive producing alongside Legend. (Deadline.com)


WHITE VAN MAN (ABC) - Kyle Bornheimer ("Perfect Couples") has been tapped to topline the comedy pilot, based on the U.K. series about "a man who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father." His casting lifts said contingency off the pilot's production. In addition, Michael Fresco has signed on to direct the single-camera project, from writer Bobby Bowman and the ABC Studios-based Mark Gordon Co. Bornheimer and his brother Ryan previously sold a comedy pitch to ABC earlier this development cycle that didn't move forward. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED HILARY WINSTON PROJECT (NBC) - Adam Shankman ("Rock of Ages") has signed on to direct the comedy pilot, about "a shy, focused woman who, after being dumped by her fiance, leans on her co-workers to help her come out of her shell and plot her revenge." He'll work from a script by Hilary Winston, who's executive producing via Jamie Tarses's Sony Pictures Television-based FanFare banner. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Bailee Madison, Noah Bean and Roger Daltrey are among the latest actors set to stop by "Once Upon a Time" (Variety.com, TVLine.com, EW.com); Ryan Murphy confirmed on "Watch What Happens Live" that Jessica Lange will return in some capacity for "American Horror Story's" second season, which will take place on the East Coast in a horror institution (BravoTV.com); Stephen Lang has booked a three-episode arc on "In Plain Sight" as the troubled father of Mary McCormack's Mary Shannon (TVGuide.com).






  [february 2012]  
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· AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX)
· ANGER MANAGEMENT (FX)
· CULT (CW)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· EL JEFE (FOX)
· EMILY'S REASONS WHY NOT (ABC)
· FAMILY TOOLS (ABC)
· FAMILY TRAP, THE (ABC)
· FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER (NBC)
· HAPPY VALLEY (NBC)
· HAWTHORNE (TNT)
· IN PLAIN SIGHT (USA)
· MISTRESSES (ABC)
· MISTRESSES (LIFETIME)
· MISTRESSES (BBC AMERICA)
· ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC)
· PERFECT COUPLES (NBC)
· SAVE ME (NBC)
· UNTITLED JOHN LEGEND PROJECT (SHOWTIME)
· WATCH WHAT HAPPENS: LIVE (BRAVO)









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