[02/17/12 - 11:11 PM] Development Update: Friday, February 17 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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AMERICANA (ABC) - Anthony LaPaglia ("Without a Trace") has booked the lead role on the drama pilot, about a legendary fashion designer, his family and his business. He'll play said man, Robert Soulter, creator of the most iconic fashion brand in the world - Americana - which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Among the roles yet to be cast are his supermodel wife Sierra, his daughter Francesca and son Jesse. Phillip Noyce is helming the ABC Studios-based hour from a script by Michael Seitzman. (MovieHole.net)BAD GIRLS (NBC) - Jurnee Smollett ("The Defenders") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, which follows the ins and outs of a group of unlikely women in a federal prison. She'll play Gwen Delfino, "a famous rap star who lives the high life on the local club scene until she gets busted by the DEA and finds herself tossed into a women's prison without bail." Nancy Pimental is behind the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which is based on the long-running U.K. series of the same name. (Deadline.com)DEVIOUS MAIDS (ABC) - Ana Ortiz ("Ugly Betty") has booked a lead role on the drama pilot, about four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. She'll play one of them, Marisol ("intelligent and dignified"), who goes to work in the upscale neighborhood to try and acquit her son, who was recently convicted of murder. Dania Ramirez also stars in the ABC Studios-based hour, to be directed by Paul McGuigan from a script by Marc Cherry. (Deadline.com)THE DOVER AGENDA (Syfy, New!) - Brett Conrad ("Covert Affairs") has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about "a young man who is recruited by a future version of himself to work for a secret branch of Military Intelligence specializing in parapsychology and future tech." Barry Josephson ("Bones") is on board to executive produce the FremantleMedia-based project, the pilot for which would run 90 minutes, alongside Conrad. (Deadline.com)THE FRONTIER (NBC) - Erik Jensen ("Gravity") has been cast in the pilot, a period drama about a diverse group of people who set out from Missouri on an incredible adventure across the western landscape to Oregon in the 1840. He'll play Doctor Strong, a deeply religious member of the group who's traveling with his wife Hannah (Bridget Regan). Al Weaver, Ethan Embry, Gina Bramhill, Jake McLaughlin and Megan Ferguson also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which Thomas Schlamme is directing off a script by Shaun Cassidy. (Deadline.com)GO ON (NBC) - Julie White ("Transformers") is the first to board the single-camera comedy pilot, about an irreverent yet charming sportscaster who tries to move on from loss and finds solace from the members of his mandatory group therapy sessions. She'll play Laura (""recently widowed woman, not interested in all the stages of grief; anger and anger alone is working for her"), a member of the group. Scott Silveri penned the Universal Television-based half-hour, to be directed by Todd Holland. (Deadline.com)LAST RESORT (ABC) - Scott Speedman, Camille de Pazzis and Sahr Ngaujah have all joined the cast of the drama pilot, about the crew of a nuclear submarine, who, after disobeying a suspicious order become fugitives, take over the NATO listening array and declare themselves an independent nuclear nation. Speedman will play the ship's second-in-command, XO Sam Kendal ("sees all sides"), with Pazzis as Sophie Girard ("brilliant, a good heart; empathetic"), a European scientist in charge of the NATO listening array on the island of Sainte Marina; and Ngaujah as Julian Serrat ("cunning, ruthless, a dangerous friend, a more dangerous enemy"), the unelected ruler of all things underground in the port city of Soubourg. Martin Campbell is directing the Sony Pictures Television-based hour from a script by Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan. Andre Braugher, Autumn Reeser, Daisy Betts and Daniel Lissing also star. (Deadline.com, Twitter.com)LITTLE BROTHER (FOX) - Izabela Vidovic will round out the cast of the comedy pilot, about Tim (John Stamos), a man that finds out that he has a half-brother (T.J. Miller) he never knew about, who also happens to be an ex-con. She'll play Tim's daughter Sam ("a pint-sized ten-year-old girl") in the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television, director Shawn Levy and writer Mike Royce. Gillian Vigman and Rosa Salazar also star. (Deadline.com)LIVING LOADED (FOX) - Donald Sutherland has been cast in the single-camera comedy pilot, about Dan (Mike Vogel), a loose partying blogger who is forced to change his career plans when he becomes an NPR radio host. He'll play Dan's father Grant ("a refined but incredibly strong older gentleman; a serious presence"), the general manager of said station. Michael Marc Friedman also stars in the FX Productions-based half-hour, which comes from Rob McElhenney and Rob Rosell. (Deadline.com)MASH UP (Comedy Central, New!) - T.J. Miller is set to host a new half-hour stand-up series which "features performance by both established comics as well as up-and-comers as they act out their own material in hilarious, stylized recreations and sketches." Said effort is based on Miller's own special for the network of the same name, which bowed on March 11 and featured Matt Braunger, Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane and Kumail Nanjiani. The cable channel has ordered eight episodes of the project, which Miller will executive produce alongside Jordan Vogt-Roberts and 3 Arts Entertainment's David Miner and Dave Becky. (Deadline.com)NASHVILLE (ABC) - Australian actress Clare Bowen is the latest addition to the pilot, an ensemble drama about the Nashville music scene and its rising and fading stars. She'll play Scarlett O'Connor, "a fresh-faced new arrival in town" and the niece of Deacon Claybourne, lead guitar player for reigning Nashville queen Rayna James. Sam Palladio also stars in the hour, from ABC Studios and Lionsgate Television. Callie Khouri penned the script, to be directed by R.J. Cutler. (Deadline.com)ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES (ABC) - John Leguizamo, fresh from inking a development deal with the network, has signed on to star in the multi-camera comedy pilot, about two streetwise brothers and their aging grandfather as they concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires. He'll play older brother Del Trotter ("a short, overly confident bon vivant and scam artist") in the project, based on the U.K. series of the same name. In addition, Leguizamo's manager Jeff Golenberg - and presumably Leguizamo himself - will receive executive producer credits alongside co-creators Brian Bradley and Steven Cragg. (Deadline.com)SAVE ME (NBC) - Madison Davenport ("Shameless") has scored a role 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. She's on board as Emily ("well pierced, too much eyeliner, clearly nine miles of bad road"), Beth's rebellions teen daughter. Writer John Scott Shepherd and director Scott Winant are behind the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which also stars Alexandra Breckenridge, Heather Burns, Lamman Rucker and Michael Landes. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED MINDY KALING PROJECT (FOX) - Comedian Ed Weeks has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Mira (Mindy Kaling), a young doctor trying to navigate both her personal and professional lives. He's set as Jeremy Reed ("30, super hot and pretty, and total bad news in a Bradley Cooper kind of way"), a fellow doctor. Universal Television is behind the single-camera project, which was penned by Kaling. (Deadline.com)ZERO HOUR (ABC) - Scott Michael Foster ("Greek") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about Hank, a skeptical everyman who gets swept up in one of history's greatest conspiracies. The actor, who recently signed a talent holding deal with the network, will play Arron ("a 6-foot, man-shaped carnival"), a staffer at Hank's magazine, Modern Skeptic. Paul Scheuring penned the hour, which is set up at ABC Studios. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Cristian de la Fuente will reprise his role as Mary's (Mary McCormack) former fiancé Raphael Ramirez on "In Plain Sight," who returns to Albuquerque with a wife (fellow guest star Vanessa Evigan) in tow (TVLine.com).