[04/04/12 - 11:04 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, April 4
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!

1600 PENN (NBC) - Martha MacIsaac ("Greek") has joined the cast of the pilot, a single-camera comedy about a dysfunctional First Family where Skip (Josh Gad), the out-of-control oldest son, returns home and becomes not only it's biggest liability but also the glue holding everyone together. She'll play eldest daughter Becca ("overachiever and perfectionist who puts a ton of pressure on herself; helped raise her siblings"), taking over for Brittany Snow. Said change was made following yesterday's table read as the producers "opted to make a creative change with a younger and darker-looking Becca." Jon Lovett, Josh Gad and Jason Winer co-created the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which Winer will direct from a teleplay by Lovett. Amara Miller, Andre Holland, Benjamin Stockham, Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman also star. (Deadline.com)

BEING MARY JANE (A.K.A. SINGLE BLACK FEMALE) (BET) - Lisa Vidal ("The Event") has joined the cast of the Gabrielle Union-led drama pilot, about "successful talk show host Mary Jane Paul (Union) looking to one day become the No. 1 nightly news anchor while searching for Mr. Right." She'll play her friend Kara, the lead producer of the show. Aaron D. Spears and Richard Roundtree also star in the project, from writer Mara Brock Akil and director Salim Akil. (Deadline.com)

COUNTER CULTURE (ABC) - Briga Heelan ("Cougar Town") has booked a role on the comedy pilot, about three aging sisters - Nonie (Delta Burke), Billie (Kerri Kenney) and Joyce (Margo Martindale) - running their family diner together in West Texas. She's guest star as Jill ("cute, sweet as pie, love crafts and sewing; is simple, but in no way dumb"), Joyce's daughter-in-law. Writer Stephnie Weir and director Ted Wass are behind the ABC Studios-based half-hour, which also stars Doris Roberts, Ken Howard and Luis Guzman. (TVLine.com)

HEMLOCK GROVE (Netflix) - Australian actress Penelope Mitchell is the latest addition to the upcoming drama, "a gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town." She's set as Letha Godfrey, Roman's (Bill Skarsgard) cousin, in the project, which also stars Famke Janssen and Landon Liboiron. Brian McGreevy, Deran Sarafian, Eli Roth, Eric Newman, Lee Shipman, Mark Verheiden and Michael Connolly are among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)

OH F---, IT'S YOU (CBS) - Bryan Greenberg has departed the comedy pilot, about Nick, a notorious womanizer who, after surviving a health scare, realizes that "the one" is his ex-turned-gal pal/business partner Wendy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), who's already engaged to a nice guy, Warren (Ryan Gaul). Casting is underway to find a new Nick on the Warner Bros. Television-based project, a decision that was made following today's table read. Greg Grunberg and Matt Cook also star in the half-hour, from director James Burrows and co-creators Greg Berlanti and Greg Malins. (Deadline.com)

MALIBU COUNTY (ABC) - Jeffrey Nordling ("Body of Proof") has landed a role on the comedy pilot, about a woman (Reba McEntire) who divorces her broke, cheating rock star husband and moves her family from Nashville to the only asset she has left - a little house in Malibu. He'll guest as said husband, Russell Howard, in the project, which John Pasquin is directing from a script by Kevin Abbott. Jai Rodriquez, Juliette Angelo, Justin Prentice, Lily Tomlin and Sara Rue also star. (Deadline.com)

THRILLSVILLE (HBO, New!) - Rob Thomas, Ira Glass and Owen Wilson are set to team for a potential drama at the pay channel about "a man who deals with a midlife crisis by rescuing two kidnapped kids in Mexico." The project, to be penned by Thomas, is based on a "This American Life" segment from March 2010 about James Spring, "a San Diego meth smuggler-turned-advertising copywriter [who] detailed the story of how the approach of his 40th birthday inspired him to do something significant to help others." Said effort ultimately led him to a new career investigating missing persons cases. Thomas, Glass and Wilson then will executive produce alongside Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk, Regina Lee and Alissa Shipp. (Variety.com)

UNTITLED LOUIS CK/SPIKE FERESTEN PROJECT (CBS) - Ryan Hansen ("Friends with Benefits") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a group of young people working to achieve their creative dreams amid tough financial times. He'll guest star as Mitch, the stoner musician roommate of Dan Byrd's Fred. Said role, originally a regular, is in second position to his duties on the FOX comedy pilot "El Jefe," in which he plays the lead. Ashley Tisdale and Patti Murin also star in the project, from CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. Andy Ackerman is directing. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Sera Gamble is stepping down as showrunner of "Supernatural," to be replaced by show alum Jeremy Carver, who will likewise exit his series "Being Human" (Deadline.com); Tahmoh Penikett will drop by the season finale of "Castle" as a yet-to-be-revealed character detailed as "cold, calculated and has a military background" (TVLine.com); Mikaela Hoover will guest on "Anger Management" as the ditzy 23-year-old date of Charlie Sheen's character (TVLine.com); and longtime recurring players Campbell Scott and Brooke D'Orsay have both been upped to series regulars on "Royal Pains" (TVGuide.com).

  [april 2012]  

· 1600 PENN (NBC)

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