[11/14/12 - 11:07 PM] Development Update: Wednesday, November 14 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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GEORGE WASHINGTON (NBC, New!) - Oscar-winning writer David Seidler ("The King's Speech") and director Barry Levinson ("Rain Man") are developing a period drama at the Peacock billed as "an intimate look at the enigmatic leader who became the father of a nation on one side of the Atlantic and a terrorist on the other, a man to be eliminated at all costs by the British Crown." Said hour is based Ron Chernow's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography "Washington: A Life" with Levinson directing from a script by Seidler. They'll likewise executive produce alongside Tom Fontana, Carnival Films & Television's Gareth Neame and Baltimore Pictures' Jason Sosnoff for Universal Television. (Deadline.com)IQUIT (NBC, New!) - Austin Winsberg ("Jake in Progress") has sold a new single-camera comedy to the Peacock about "five friends from UC Berkeley, who - seven years after graduation - find their lives affected in wildly different ways by the Internet: from a guy who made millions selling an app, to a girl who is famous on YouTube (but still works at the local burrito place), to a wannabe politician whose life has been completely ruined by Facebook." Universal Cable Productions-based Hypnotic is behind the half-hour with the company's Doug Liman, David Bartis, Gene Klein and Lindsay Sloane executive producing alongside Winsberg. (Deadline.com)RAKE (FOX) - "Rescue Me" co-creator Peter Tolan has been tapped to oversee the Greg Kinnear-led drama, about criminal defense lawyer Cleaver Greene (Kinnear), who's "brilliant, iconoclastic and innately self-destructive with a mind-numbing lack of discretion and a total inability to pause before speaking his mind." Peter Duncan, who co-created the original Australian drama, is penning the hour, which has a pilot production commitment. Paul Attanasio was previously attached as the showrunner but had to bow out due to other commitments. Sony Pictures Television and Essential Media are co-producing with Richard Roxburgh and Ian Collie also among the executive producers. (Deadline.com)SAGA (ABC, New!) - Andrew Miller ("The Secret Circle") has booked a potential drama at the Alphabet about "when the author of a best-selling book series goes missing before she can complete the final installment in her epic fantasy saga, a family of fans discovers she's been kidnapped into the very real world of her books and attempts to rescue her." ABC Studios is behind the hour with Full Fathom Five's James Frey and Todd Cohen and Amblin Television's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank executive producing alongside Miller. (Deadline.com)TEXAS RISING (History, New!) - Ted Mann ("Hatfields & McCoys") is developing a six-hour mini-series at the cable channel about "the formation and rise of the Texas Rangers, the oldest law enforcement organization in North America." He'll write the potential project with fellow "Hatfields & McCoys" alum Leslie Greif executive producing via his Thinkfactory Media banner. It's understood said effort will cover its origins "triggered by a call-to-arms penned by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 as well as its role during Texas' secession from the U.S. during the Civil War." (Deadline.com)WHEN THE WOMEN COME OUT TO DANCE (USA) - Bryan Greenberg ("How to Make It in America") and Stephanie Sigman ("Miss Bala") are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about "a Miami businessman (Greenberg) who, contemplating a run for political office, tries to increase his chances of being elected by marrying a Colombian woman (Sigman) who is on the run from her troubled past." Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton are behind the project, which is based Elmore Leonard's short story of the same name. Doug Liman and David Bartis are executive producing via their Universal Cable Productions-based Hypnotic banner alongside Falacci and Heuton. Kevin Bray will helm the pilot, production of which was contingent on casting said leads, with Leonard's granddaughter, Megan Freels, and her producing partner Melanie Donkers serving as consulting producers. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Billy Dee Williams will appear as himself on an upcoming episode of "Modern Family" while Nathan Lane's Pepper is also set to return (EW.com); Rumer Willis is bound for "Hawaii Five-0" as "a cute young bank teller interested in a date with Bergman (Masi Oka), but then her bank is held up in a botched robbery" (EW.com); and Chad Michael Collins has been cast as Gerhardt, a younger brother of David Anders's Dr. Whale on "Once Upon a Time"(TVLine.com).