[09/19/12 - 11:11 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, September 19
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!

AT EASE (NBC, New!) - Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener ("Happy Endings") have landed a put pilot commitment from the Peacock for a new documentary-style comedy about the "the relationships, jobs, bosses and social lives of a group of young people who happen to live and work on an active military base in the middle of a desert country that is just coming out of a war." Warner Bros. Television-based Jerry Bruckheimer Television is behind the single-camera project, with Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman executive producing alongside the duo. KristieAnne Reed will serve as a co-executive producer with Dan Conley, Aaron Hendricks and Martie Cook as consulting producers. (Deadline.com)

BATES MOTEL (A&E) - Olivia Cooke and Nicola Peltz have both landed roles on the upcoming drama, a contemporary exploration of the formative years of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), and the world they inhabit. Peltz will play Bradley Kenner, "a girl Norman takes a liking to at school who's described as bright and effortlessly sexy with a depth that makes her seem older than she really is," while Cooke is set as "the eccentric and extremely bright Emma, who has a disease that could take her life early and gives her a sense of adventure and that time is of the essence." Max Thieriot also stars in the Universal Television-based hour, from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin. (Deadline.com, THR.com)

CHOSEN (ABC, New!) - Screenwriter John August ("Frankenweenie") has sold a potential drama to the Alphabet which "explores how a family's life is upended when their 15-year-old daughter is identified as the reincarnated prophet of a mysterious South American religion." He'll write and executive produce the 20th Century Fox Television-based project, which has a penalty attached, alongside Josh Friedman ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"). (Deadline.com)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (HBO, New!) - Emmy-winner James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos"), Oscar-winner Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") and Oscar-nominee Richard Price ("The Color of Money") are set to team for a domestic take on Peter Moffat's U.K. series, which followed the journey of an individual through the justice system over the course of its five-episode season. Zaillian will helm the project, which has a pilot order, from a script by he co-wrote with Price. Gandolfini then will play Jack Stone, "a disheveled jailhouse lawyer wearing cheap suits and sandals, who trolls for clients at police precincts" with Rizwan Ahmed as his client, Naz, an American-born Pakistani. Also cast are Bill Camp as the lead detective on the case with Peyman Moadi and Poorna Jagannathan as Naz's parents. Executive producing are Gandolfini (Attaboy), Zaillian (Film Rites), Price, Moffat, Jane Tranter, Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong are executive producing for BBC Worldwide Productions with Garrett Basch serving as a producer. (Deadline.com)

DEREK (Netflix, New!) - The distributor has acquired Ricky Gervais's new series for the U.K.'s Channel 4, "a bittersweet one-off comedy drama about a group of outsiders living on society's margins." Gervais stars as the title character - a naively simple man who works in a nursing home - as well as wrote, directed and executive produced the pilot. Also starring are Kerry Godliman as his colleague and friend Hannah; Karl Pilkington as caretaker/bus driver Dougie; and David Earl as Derek's friend Kev who does not work in the home. Channel 4 aired the pilot back in April and subsequently commissioned the series, due sometime next year. (NYTimes.com)

GASLIGHT (ABC, New!) - Feature writer Michael Cooney ("Identity") has scored a script order from the Alphabet for a potential drama "set in a present-day Steampunk World in which three rival families battle for power and redemption in a re-imagined San Francisco." ABC Studios and Sander Moses Productions are behind the hour with the latter's Ian Sander and Kim Moses executive producing alongside Cooney. (Deadline.com)

LEGENDS (TNT) - David Semel ("Person of Interest") is on track to direct the drama pilot, about a deep-cover operative named Martin Odum, who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. Howard Gordon, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Alexander Cary and Jonathan Levin are executive producing the Fox 21-based hour, which is based on the book by Robert Littell. (Deadline.com)

MIDNIGHT, MASS (NBC) - The Peacock is taking a second stab at bringing John Rozum's comic book - about married occult experts Adam and Julia Kadmon as they deal with supernatural cases around America - to the small screen. Evan Daugherty ("Snow White and the Huntsman") is set to pen the adaptation, taking over for Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, who penned the previous 2009 take. Warner Bros. Television and Gerber Pictures are behind the hour with Bill Gerber serving as an executive producer and Daugherty co-executive producer. Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, who executive produced the aforementioned incarnation, are no longer attached. (Deadline.com)

MY INAPPROPRIATE LIFE (FOX, New!) - "Chelsea Lately" mainstay Heather McDonald is set to star in a potential comedy at the network based on her upcoming book of the same name. Dava Savel ("So Random!") will co-write the single-camera project alongside co-executive producer McDonald, which will track her life as a working mom with "parents who live next door; a stay-at-home husband who doesn't give an inch; a sister who keeps asking for one of her eggs; and a group of neighborhood moms who stopped talking to her when she took her kids to a stripper pool party in Vegas." Warner Bros Television is behind the half-hour with Savel, Werner Entertainment's Tom Werner and Mike Clements and Borderline Amazing's Chelsea Handler and Tom Brunelle also among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)

PAGING DR. FREED (USA) - Dorian Missick ("Southland") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about two gynecologist brothers - David (Kyle Howard) and Jonathan (Joel David Moore) - who inherit their father's thriving medical practice after he suffers a heart attack during an attempt at "playing" doctor with his young secretary. He'll recur as "an anesthesiologist and friend of the Freed brothers who attended medical school with David." Annie Potts and Leslie Grossman also star in the Fox 21-based project, from director Marc Buckland and writer Michael Feldman. (Deadline.com)

RECKLESS (CBS, New!) - "What About Brian" creator Dana Stevens has landed a potential drama at the Eye "set in Charleston where sex and crime walk hand in hand as two adversaries, a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a Southern city attorney, struggle to hide their attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal that threatens to implode the city." CBS Television Studios is behind the hour with Ian Sander and Kim Moses of Sander Moses Productions also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)

RESTLESS VIRGINS (Lifetime, New!) - Vanessa Marano ("Switched at Birth") and Charlie Carver ("Desperate Housewives") are set to star in a small screen take on Abigail Jones and Marissa Miley's book of the same name, about a sex scandal which rocked venerable Massachusetts prep school Milton Academy during the 2004-05 school year. Marano plays "a scholarship student and the editor of the school newspaper who exposes a sex tape made by the senior hockey players that blows the lid off the controversy"; while Carver is set as "one of the students embroiled in the scandal - a wealthy and calculating senator's son." Jason LaPeyre is directing from a script by Andrew Cochran with production slated to begin in Vancouver next month. (Deadline.com)

THE WHITE QUEEN (Starz) - Tom McKay ("Hatfields & McCoys") has joined the cast of the 10-episode period drama, the thrilling story of the women caught up in the ongoing conflict for the throne in 1464 England. He'll play Jasper Tudor, "who schemes with Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) to make her son Henry the future king." Said effort, from director James Kent and writer Emma Frost, is based on Philippa Gregory's trilogy "The Cousins War." Rebecca Ferguson, Amanda Hale and Faye Marsay co-star as Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville, respectively. (Variety.com)

WITCHES OF EAST END (Lifetime) - Rachel Boston and Killian Gardiner have both boarded the drama pilot, about a mother (Julia Ormond) and her two adult daughters (Boston, Jenna Dewan) - both of whom unknowingly are their family's next generation of witches - who lead seemingly quiet, uneventful modern day lives in Long Island's secluded seaside town of North Hampton. Boston will play eldest sister Ingrid with Ditomasso as Freya's (Dewan) future brother-in-law. Patrick Heusinger also stars in the Fox 21-based hour, from Maggie Friedman. (TVLine.com)

AND IN OTHER NEWS... - TLC is in talks to pick up NBC's recently axed "Who Do You Think You Are" (Bloomberg.com); Eddie Cibrian will guest on two episodes of "Hot in Cleveland" as Joy's (Jane Leeves) dream man, "an animal-loving, sexy fireman" (TVLine.com); F. Murray Abraham is bound for "Homeland" as "a brilliant intelligence operative [who] has worked all over the world for the Special Activities Division of the CIA" (EW.com); Florence Henderson will drop by "Happily Divorced" as the mother of D.W. Moffett's Elliott (TVLine.com); Tom Sizemore, Hamash Linklater and Alex Karpovsky will all guest on the 300th episode of "Law & Order: SVU" (TVLine.com); "Supernatural" alums Mark Pellegrino, Todd Stashwick and Colin Ford are slated to visit creator Eric Kripke's new drama "Revolution" (TVLine.com);

Andrew Leeds is the latest actor to book a top-secret role on "Grey's Anatomy" (TVLine.com); Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will guest on "The Vampire Diaries," her self-proclaimed favorite show (TVLine.com); Jake McDorman will recur on "Shameless" as "the supervisor in a family-run business where Fiona (Emmy Rossum) works" (THR.com); Michael Gross will guest on "CSI" as the president of the University where D.B. Russell's (Ted Danson) son is enrolled (TVGuide.com); Meshach Taylor will play "a homeless Vietnam vet who helps the team identify a killer" on "Criminal Minds" (TVGuide.com); and Julian Sands is set as "a diabolical international adversary who gives Reese (Jim Caviezel) a run for his money" on "Person of Interest" (TVGuide.com).

  [september 2012]  


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