[04/05/12 - 11:14 PM] Development Update: Thursday, April 5 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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CASSANDRA FRENCH'S FINISHING SCHOOL FOR BOYS (MTV) - Michael Lehmann ("Heathers") has been tapped to direct the pilot, about a 22-year-old overachiever who gets her dream job as a lawyer for a Hollywood studio but can't find a guy ready for a real, mature relationship that decides to lock one up in her basement in order to train him to become the perfect gentleman. He'll work from a script by Eric Garcia, who likewise penned the novel upon which the project is based. Krysten Ritter also serves as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)CULT (The CW) - Andrew Leeds ("Bones") has been cast in the drama pilot, about Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a production assistant on a wildly popular television show named "Cult," who teams with Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis), a journalist blogger, to investigate the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life. He'll guest star as Kyle Segal, the current executive assigned to the show. Alona Tal and Robert Knepper also star in the Warner Bros. Television-based project, from director Jason Ensler and writer Rockne S. O'Bannon. (Deadline.com)DOWNWARDLY MOBILE (NBC) - Jason Antoon, Kendra Jain and Hector Duran will round out the cast of the comedy pilot, about Rose Davis (Roseanne Barr), the proprietor of a mobile home park and surrogate mother to all of the unique people who live there in a challenging economy. They'll play various tenants: Antoon as the stay-at-home dad of his and Sheila's (Romy Rosemont) wild child daughter, Skar (Jain); and Duran as Ricky, a shy and timid but sweet 13-year-old boy whom Rose takes under her wing. Greg Cromer, John Goodman, Mary Birdsong and Salli Richardson-Whitfield also star in the project, from 20th Century Fox Television and co-creators Barr, Eric Gilliland and John Argent. Gail Mancuso is directing. (Deadline.com)DRUNK HISTORY ACROSS AMERICA (Comedy Central, New!) - The cable channel has ordered a pilot presentation for a potential comedy based on the award-winning Funny or Die series of shorts, featuring historical reenactments presented by a besotted narrator. Writer Derek Waters and director Jeremy Konner are behind the project, which Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy will executive produce via their Gary Sanchez Productions banner alongside the duo and Owen Burke. Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Jack Black, Don Cheadle, Michael Cera, Zooey Deschanel, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jason Ritter and Danny McBride were among the actors featured in the series. (Deadline.com)OH F---, IT'S YOU (CBS) - David Walton ("Bent") has booked the male lead on the comedy pilot, about a notorious womanizer who, after surviving a health scare, realizes that "the one" is his ex-turned-gal pal/business partner (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), who's already engaged to a nice guy (Ryan Gaul). He'll play said fellow Nick Miller ("good looking in an easy-going kind of way"), taking over for the previously cast Bryan Greenberg. Said role is formally in second position to Walton's duties on the NBC comedy, which is not expected to return. Director James Burrows and co-creators Greg Berlanti and Greg Malins are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which also stars Greg Grunberg and Matt Cook. (Deadline.com)STARS EARN STRIPES (NBC, New!) - Dick Wolf and Mark Burnett are set to team for a new competition series at the Peacock in which celebrities attempt the rigors of military training - from a staged hostage rescue to correctly placing a laser target atop a mountain. The project will likewise pay a tribute to our troops and first responders by bringing said tasks a spotlight. As for specifics, each of the nine planned participants will be paired with a trainer whose job it is to prepare them for the rigors of the weekly challenge at a top-notch, secret military training facility. Wolf and Burnett executive produce the project with David Hurwitz. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Jimmy Smits has been tapped for a season-long arc on "Sons of Anarchy" as a Latino gangbanger with an exit strategy who becomes a dangerous mentor for Charlie Hunnam's Jax (Deadline.com); feature writers Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins have inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios (Deadline.com); Chris Caldovino will recur on "Boardwalk Empire" as Tonino, a driver and strong arm (Deadline.com); Cassandra Freeman likewise will turn up on VH1's "Single Ladies"(Deadline.com); Seth Peterson will return to "Burn Notice" as Michael's (Jefferey Donovan) troubled brother Nate for five episodes (Deadline.com); Peri Gilpin is bound for the season finale of "CSI" as the wife of Ted Danson's D.B. Russell, while executive producer Don McGill has inked a new three-year overall deal with producer CBS Television Studios (EW.com,Deadline.com); "House" executive producers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend have signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, ending their run at Universal Television (Deadline.com); Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio will guest on the season finale of "Grimm" as the latest weekly anatgonist (TVLine.com); and "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" will make the exodus from Planet Green to the Cooking Channel following the former's rebranding to Destination America (THR.com).