LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BLOODLINES (NBC, New!) - David Graziano ("Terra Nova") has booked a new drama at the Peacock about Bird Benson, "a young woman abandoned at birth by an ancient line of mercenaries, brigands and killers who must learn to defeat her own mother in armed combat if she ever wants to lead a normal life." Universal Television-based Film 44 is behind the hour with the company's Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey executive producing alongside Graziano. (Deadline.com)
INSTANT MOM (Nickelodeon) - Duane Martin, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Sydney Park, Tylen Williams and Damarr Calhoun have all been cast in the comedy pilot, which stars Tia Mowry as a 25-year-old party girl who trades in Cosmos for carpools when she marries an older man with kids. Martin will play said fellow, Charlie, with Ralph as Maggie, the mother of Mowry's character. Park, Williams and Calhoun then are set as the kids, Gabrielle, James and Aaron. Warren Bell and Jessica Butler co-wrote the half-hour and executive produce alongside Kapital Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan. (Deadline.com)
MERLIN (Syfy) - The U.K. import will come to a close after its upcoming fifth season on the cable channel, which premieres Friday, January 4 at 10:00/9:00c. "This is the [season] where the storylines truly reach their apex," co-creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy told EW.com. "We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot." Producers Shine and FremantleMedia Enterprises however are reportedly in the early stages of developing potential spin-offs set within the show's universe. (Deadline.com, EW.com)
SIXTH FAMILY, THE (Cinemax, New!) - David Graziano ("Terra Nova") likewise has sold a potential drama to the pay channel about "the changing face of organized crime in the wake of 9/11" with the title being a riff on "New York's Five Families, the city's infamous Italian mafia clans." Warner Horizon Television is behind the hour, set in South Brooklyn, which he'll write and executive produce. (Deadline.com)
TROPHY WIFE (ABC) - Natalie Morales ("Parks & Recreation") has boarded the comedy pilot, about "reformed party girl Kate (Malin Akerman), who finds herself with an insta-family when she falls in love with Brad (Bradley Whitford), a successful charmer with a quirky sense of humor who has three manipulative kids and two judgmental ex-wives (Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins)." She's set as Meg, Kate's best friend in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, from director Jason Moore and co-creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins. (Deadline.com)
AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Melinda Page Hamilton and Matt Cedeno will recur on Lifetime's "Devious Maids" as "a cold-blooded and controlling housekeeper" and "a successful recording artist," respectively (Deadline.com); Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel have closed deals to reprise their roles as Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence on the Disney Channel pilot "Girl Meets World," from "Boy Meets World" creator Michael Jacobs (TVLine.com); Kimberly Williams-Paisley's Peggy Samper has been upped to series regular on ABC's "Nashville" (Deadline.com); Cee Lo Green is bound for "Anger Management" as "a heightened version of himself" (TVLine.com); supermodel Catrinel Marlon has been cast as David Hodges's (Wallace Langham) fiancée on "CSI" (TVGuide.com); Tom Arnold will visit "Hot in Cleveland" as a fixer lawyer who doesn't always do things legally (TVGuide.com); and Disney Channel is developing a sequel to the 2000 "Wonderful World of Disney" telefilm "Life-Size," starring Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan (Variety.com).