[02/10/12 - 11:02 PM]
Development Update: Friday, February 10
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!

CHELSEA GENERAL (TNT) - Ving Rhames and Keong Sim have both been cast in the drama pilot, about the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. The former will play "a physically imposing former professional football player who now is the most celebrated trauma chief in the country" with the latter as "an abrupt but socially awkward neurosurgeon who performs his job with a searing intensity and relentless ambition." They join the previously cast Alfred Molina, Bill Irwin, Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan. Bill D'Elia is directing from a script by David E. Kelley. (Deadline.com, THR.com)

COUNTY (NBC) - Michael B. Jordan ("Friday Night Lights") is set to reteam with Jason Katims on the drama pilot, about "the lives of a group of young doctors, nurses, and administrators in a frenetic underfunded and morally compromising Los Angeles County Hospital." He's set as one of the interns, Travis ("from the neighborhood, put himself through eight years of school with zero help but rarely lets that show"). Aimee Garcia and Jason Ritter also star in the project, which is set up at Universal Television. (Deadline.com)

DADDY'S GIRLS (NBC) - Christine Woods ("Perfect Couples") and Brenda Song ("The Suite Life on Deck") are the first to board the comedy pilot, about a young doctor who returns home from Doctors Without Borders to find her father is seriously dating the "mean girl" from her high school. Woods will play the former woman, Penelope "Pen" Morton ("academic, responsible, guarded, brilliant but emotionally challenged"), with Song as her best friend Cricket ("imagine the dumb blonde girl from 'Glee' as an adult"). Director Pamela Fryman and writer Dana Klein are behind the multi-camera project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television. (Deadline.com)

DOWNWARDLY MOBILE (NBC) - John Goodman is set to star alongside Roseanne Barr in the comedy pilot, about Rose Davis (Barr), the proprietor of a mobile home park and surrogate mother to all of the unique people who live there in a challenging economy. He'll play Buzz ("think George Carlin as an ex-Marine"), a jack of all trades who regularly helps out Rose. Barr, John Argent and Eric Gilliland are behind the multi-camera project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television. Gail Mancuso is directing. (Deadline.com)

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER (NBC) - Kevin Bigley, Gil Ozeri and Aya Cash have booked the final principal roles on the comedy pilot, about the Fishers, a quirky family in the Chicago suburbs that has dinner together every - you guessed it - Friday night. Bigley will play eldest son Paul ("sells batteries over the internet; more immature, flashy and outgoing") with Ozeri as youngest Gary ("aspiring songwriter who writings jingles freelance for an ad agency; the more sensitive of the two"). Cash then rounds out the bunch as Lizzy, the family's cousin from Cleveland ("aiming to be a professor of criticism; little sympathy, at first, for her cousins"). Said trio joins the previously cast Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub as parents Barbara and Gene with David Koechner as their neighbor. Universal Television is behind the half-hour, which Ken Kwapis is directing from a script by Greg Daniels. (Deadline.com)

THE GILDED LILYS (ABC) - Sarah Bolger, Blythe Danner and Madeline Zima are the first to be cast in the pilot, a period drama set in 1895 about the family who owns New York's first true luxury hotel, the staff who work there and the people who pass through. Bolger will play the newly rebellious Violet Langton Lily ("virginally beautiful, her sparkling eyes reflecting a restless, vibrant soul") with Zima as her personal maid, Abigail Perkins. Danner then is set as Caroline Naughton Lily, a "ruthless but wickedly funny matriarch widow." Brian Kirk is helming the ABC Studios-based hour from a script by K.J. Steinberg. (Deadline.com)

GOLDEN BOY (CBS) - Ryan Phillippe ("Damages") has booked the lead role on the drama pilot, which tracks one man's meteoric rise from uniform cop at age 26 to police commissioner at 34. He's set as Walter William Clark, Jr., said fellow, in the project, which comes from the Warner Bros. Television-based Berlanti Television. Chi McBride and Kevin Alejandro also star while Richard Shepard is directing from a script by Nick Wootton. (Deadline.com)

THE GOODWIN GAMES (FOX) - Becki Newton ("Love Bites") has been cast in the single-camera comedy pilot, about three siblings who reconnect after the death of their father. She'll play middle child Coney - a classic nerd as a child, now an aging shot girl in Las Vegas - in the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which has now been greenlit for production. Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris co-wrote the script and are executive producing. (Deadline.com)

LEGION (Syfy, New!) - Scott Stewart's 2010 film, which "chronicled human race's battle for survival against God's legion of angels sent by him to bring on the Apocalypse," is being developed as a television series by the cable channel. Vaun Wilmott ("Sons of Anarchy") is on board to pen the small screen take for Sony Pictures Television and Bold Films. The latter's David Lancaster and Michael Litvak then will executive produce alongside Stewart, who's attached to direct. (Deadline.com)

LIVING LOADED (FOX) - Mike Vogel ("Pan Am") has scored the lead role on the comedy pilot, about "the loose partying blogger of the popular 'Living Loaded' blog who is forced to change his career plans when he becomes an NPR radio host." He'll play said fellow, Dan ("a manic, unkempt man in his 30's"), in the project, from co-creators Rob McElhenney and Rob Rosell, based on the Dan Dunn's book of the same name. FX Productions is producing while Vogel's casting is in second position to the ABC drama. (Deadline.com)

POLITICAL ANIMALS (USA) - Jimmy Wolk ("Lone Star") is the first to be cast in the upcoming drama, about Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady and current Secretary of State, who struggles to keep her family together while simultaneously dealing with the crises of the State Department. He'll play her son, Douglas Hammond ("his subdued good looks, piercing blue eyes and ruthless tenacity all reminiscent of a young Bobby Kennedy"), who serves as her chief of staff, the youngest in State's history. Greg Berlanti is behind the six-episode series, which is set up at Warner Horizon Television. (Deadline.com)

UNTITLED BILL ENGVALL PROJECT (TNT, New!) - Bill Engvall ("The Bill Engvall Show") is set to star in a potential drama at the cable channel about "a fish-out-of-water detective from Texas who transfers to the NYPD." John Tinker ("Hawthorne") is behind the hour, which he'll also executive produce alongside Engvall and Parallel Entertainment's J.P. Williams. No studio was indicated. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Henry Ian Cusick will guest as an FBI agent on "Fringe's" 19th episode this season (TVLine.com); Michael Ironside, Kirk Fox and Travis Schuldt will each turn up in upcoming episodes of "Community" (TVLine.com); Stephen Root is set to recur on "Boardwalk Empire" as Gaston Means, "a forger, swindler and murder suspect who became a Special Investigator for the United States Department of Justice under Attorney General Harry Daugherty" (TVLine.com); Mikaela Hoover will return as Jackie, Dave's (Zachary Knighton) very first rebound girl on "Happy Endings" (TVLine.com); Navid Negahban and David Marciano have both been upped to series regulars on "Homeland" (TVLine.com); and Jill Flint and Elizabeth Reaser are among the latest returning faces on "The Good Wife" (TVLine.com).

  [february 2012]  


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