LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BARABBAS (ReelzChannel) - Billy Zane has booked the title role on the mini-series, which explores the story of a man whose life was spared because of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Compagnia Leone Cinematografica is behind the project, which is based on Par Lagerkvist's novel. Production begins shortly in Tunisia. (Deadline.com)
BATTLE ROYALE (The CW, New!) - The netlet is reportedly in preliminary talks to import the cult Japanese film franchise as a television series, in which teenagers in a totalitarian state fight for survival in a government-imposed competition. It's understood Koushun Takami's novel, upon which the films are based, would be optioned as part of said efforts. No other details were given. (LATimes.com)
D-RAW (Comedy Central, New!) - Comedian/YouTube star Deshawn Raw is set to star in a new comedy pilot at the cable channel featuring Deshawn and his diverse group of friends "as they make fun of themselves and their lives in Rancho Cucamonga." Chris Rock is on board to executive produce the project alongside Raw and J.P. Minot, the latter of which will direct. (Deadline.com)
INFAMOUS (NBC) - Wes Brown ("Hart of Dixie") has joined the cast of the midseason drama, about Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good), a police detective who goes undercover to solve the murder of her childhood best friend, the heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire. He'll take over for Neil Jackson as Julian Bowers - the sweet, sexy, bad boy, sex-addicted youngest son - whom Joanna was once involved. Ella Rae Peck, Katherine LaNasa, Laz Alonso, Marin Hinkle, Tate Donovan and Victor Garber also star in the project, from creator Liz Heldens. (TVLine.com)
AND IN OTHER NEWS... - "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Eric Dane plans to depart the medical drama after "several episodes in order to ensure [Dr. Mark Sloan] gets a proper farewell" (TVLine.com); Ivan Sergei has booked an arc on "The Mentalist" as "a tough, handsome agent who comes off as hotheaded at times, but overall is a good guy" while Jim O'Heir will guest on the season premiere as "a hotel manager who may have some valuable information" (EW.com, TVGuide.com); Jon Seda has landed three episodes on "Chicago Fire" as the detective brother of Monica Raymund's character while Meghann Fahy will also recur as "the very sexy but very engaged assistant" to Eamonn Walker's Chief Wallace Boden (Deadline.com, TVLine.com); Ashley Williams will continue to reprise her role as Victoria for several episodes on "How I Met Your Mother" this season (TVLine.com); Carrie Preston is bound for "Royal Pains" as "a successful romance novelist who brings her college-bound daughter to HankMed to treat her for mysterious symptoms" (TVLine.com); Kevin Brown will turn up on "Castle" as an auction hunter in a "Storage Wars"-inspired episode (EW.com); Julian Morris has been cast as Prince Phillip, "the prince who's seeking to awaken Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger)," on "Once Upon a Time" (EW.com); Jenna Dewan is the latest actress set for the new season of "American Horror Story" (EW.com); Virginia Madsen has booked a three-episode arc on "Hell on Wheels" as Hannah Durant, the wife of Colm Meaney's character (Deadline.com); Mido Hamada will recur on "Homeland" as "an active-duty tough Hezbollah commando" (Deadline.com); and Liza Lapira won't continue as a series regular on "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" however the actress has inked a talent holding deal with ABC and ABC Studios (Deadline.com).