[04/20/12 - 11:22 PM]
Development Update: Friday, April 20
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!

DEFIANCE (Syfy) - Mia Kirshner and Fionnula Flanagan are the latest to board the near future drama, about a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Kirshner will play Kenya, "the self-assured, dauntless town madam whose unvarying devotion to the town of Defiance has inexorably woven her into many of its complicated affairs," with Flanagan as Nicky, "the popular ex-mayor of the town whose intrinsic expertise from her years on the job have made her a trusted mentor to her successor, Amanda (Julie Benz)." Graham Greene, Grant Bowler, Jaime Murray, Stephanie Leonidas and Tony Curran also star in the Universal Cable Productions-based project, from writer Rockne S. O'Bannon and director Scott Charles Stewart. (Deadline.com)

GO ON (NBC) - The Peacock has ordered the Matthew Perry-led comedy pilot - about an irreverent yet charming sportscaster, who after his wife dies, finds surprising solace from the members of his support group - to series. Scott Silveri is behind the Universal Television-based half-hour, which also stars Allison Miller, Bill Cobbs, Julie White, Khary Payton, Laura Benanti and Suzy Nakamura. Todd Holland directed and executive produced alongside Silveri and Dark Toy's Karey Burke. (Deadline.com)

[UPDATED!] Here's NBC's official description:

Misery loves company. Unless you're sportscaster Ryan King (Matthew Perry, "Friends," "Mr. Sunshine") who thinks misery should just be left alone. After taking some time off, Ryan - who recently lost his wife in a car accident - is now ready to get back to work. And while he seems like his same old charming, cocky self, his boss won't set him back on the air until he seeks counseling. So, Ryan reluctantly joins a support group with one goal in mind: get in, get out and get back on the radio as quickly as possible. Played by the fast-talking, sarcastic, and charismatic Perry, Ryan gives grief a real run for its money. Within one day of group therapy, he hijacks the meeting and suddenly the downtrodden are cajoled into playing a game of "who's got the best sob story?" And in no time all of them are battling it out, trying to one-up each other's despair. Now, this is fun! Ryan's total lack of interest in healing might be just what this group needs - and maybe, exactly what he needs to move on with his life. Also starring are Tony winner Julie White ("Transformers"), Bill Cobbs ("The Muppets," "Night at the Museum"), Suzy Nakamura ("Dodgeball"), Khary Payton ("General Hospital") and Allison Miller ("Terra Nova").

From the Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Scott Silveri ("Perfect Couples," "Friends") comes a new series that proves grief can be good. Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") and Karey Burke ("Free Agents," "Miss/Guided") also serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Holland. "Go On" is a production of Universal Television, Dark Toy Entertainment and Silver & Gold Productions.

THE LIFE & TIMES OF TIM (HBO) - The pay channel has once again pulled the plug on the animated comedy. The show's third season averaged a very modest 123,000 viewers during its 10-episode run. HBO previously axed the series in June of 2010 before issuing a resurrection two months later. (@SteveDildarian)

SECOND GENERATION WAYANS (BET) - Tatyana Ali ("Love That Girl") has joined the cast of the freshly ordered comedy, a scripted take on the lives of siblings Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans and George O. Gore II. She'll play Maya, "Damien's quick-witted personal assistant who struggles to keep the guys in line." Devon Shepard, Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez are the executive producers. (Deadline.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Mariska Hargitay has signed on for a potential 14th season of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," a pact valued at about $500,000 per episode (THR.com); Amber Tamblyn is the latest "House" alum set to return for the show's May 21 finale (TVLine.com); Lifetime has passed on its Melanie Griffith-led drama pilot "American Housewife," which she executive produced alongside her husband Antonio Banderas (Deadline.com); and Tim Minchin is set to recur on the next season of "Californication" as a mad-as-a-hatter rock star who enlists David Duchovny's Hank to pen the book for the musical based on "A Crazy Little Thing Called Love," Hank's maligned film adaptation of his book "God Hates Us All" (Deadline.com).

  [april 2012]  


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