[03/21/13 - 11:16 PM] Development Update: Thursday, March 21 By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:
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BACKSTROM (CBS/20th; W: Hart Hanson; D: TBA) - Mamie Gummer ("Emily Owens, M.D.") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, based on Leif G.W. Persson's literary hero Everett Backstrom (Rainn Wilson), a homicide detective/equal-opportunity misanthrope. She'll play Portland Police Detective Nicole Carlton ("adept at suppressing her emotions, sad, competent, beautiful") alongside the previously cast Beatrice Rosen, Camryn Manheim, Dennis Haysbert, Kristoffer Polaha, Page Kennedy and Thomas Dekker. (Deadline.com)DADS (FOX/20th; W: Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild; D: Mark Cendrowski) - Tonita Castro ("Go On") has signed onto the comedy pilot, about two successful video game developers - family man Warner (Tommy Dewey) and perpetually single Eli (yet to be cast) - who have their lives turned upside down when their nightmare dads (Martin Mull, Peter Riegert) unexpectedly move in with them. She'll play Eli's maid Edna, "a hard-drinking, outspoken woman whose mastery of English is quite modest but she always manages to make her caustic opinions understood." The multi-camera project also stars Brenda Song. (Deadline.com)GETTING ON (HBO) - Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer's comedy - about the put-upon nurses in a women's geriatric extended-care wing of a down-at-the-heels hospital - has been given a six episode order by the pay channel. Said effort is based on Jo Brand, Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine's U.K. series of the same name, who are likewise executive producing alongside Olsen and Scheffer - via their Anima Sola Productions - as well as Geoff Atkinson and BBC Worldwide Productions' Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner. Miguel Arteta directed the pilot, which stars Alex Borstein, Laurie Metcalf and Niecy Nash in the principal roles. (Deadline.com)HALT & CATCH FIRE (AMC; W: Chris Cantwell & Chris Rodgers; D: Juan José Campanella) - David Wilson Barnes (HBO's "You Don't Know Jack") has been cast in the pilot, a period drama set in the early 1980s about the personal computing boom as told through the eyes of a visionary (Lee Pace), an engineer (Scoot McNairy) and a prodigy (Mackenzie Davis) whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. He'll play Joe's (Lee Pace) foil Dale Barnes, IBM's SVP of Sales for North America. Kerry Bishe and Toby Huss also star. (Deadline.com)HELLFJORD (Showtime, New!) - Writer/director Tommy Wirkola (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) is developing a domestic take on his Norwegian comedy, about a disgraced Oslo police officer who, after a freak horse accident, is banished to serve out his last three months on the force in the remote and strange fishing town of Hellfjord. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay of Gary Sanchez Productions are also on board to executive produce the potential half-hour. Original creators Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen and Zahid Ali will pen the script and executive produce via their Tappeluft Pictures banner. (Deadline.com)HOLDING PATTERNS (NBC/Universal; W: Justin Spitzer; D: TBA) - Luka Jones ("Up All Night") has been tapped for a role on the multi-camera comedy pilot, about a group of friends whose lives completely change after they survive a plane crash on their way to a destination wedding. He's set as Lindsey ("big, dufus-y and sweet"), the brother of the previously cast Chyler Leigh's Leah, who regrets they aren't closer. Said role in presumably in second position to his fellow NBC comedy. Humphrey Ker and Kate Lang Johnson also star. (Deadline.com)KEEP CALM AND KAREY ON (ABC/20th; W: Andrea Abbate; D: Gail Mancuso) - Ashley Williams ("How I Met Your Mother") has scored a role on the comedy pilot, about Karey (Kelly Preston), the clean-nosed black sheep in a family of petty thieves, drug addicts and narcissists who decides to raise her prison-bound brother's kids along with her adopted black son and give them the normal lives they deserve. She'll succeed Majandra Delfino as Karey's sister Penny, an aspiring singer. Jane Seymour and Steve Talley also star in the single-camera project. (Deadline.com)UNDATEABLE (NBC/Warner Bros.; W: Adam Sztykiel; D: Scott Ellis) - Matthew Wilkas (Gayby) is the latest addition to the comedy pilot, about new roommates - man-child Danny Beeman (Chris D'Elia) and chronic over-thinker Justin Zip (Brent Morin) - who bond over their foibles with the opposite sex. He's on board as Brett ("gay and prohibitively picky about everything"), one of Justin's fellow "undateable" friends. Aly Michalka, Bianca Kajlich, Rick Glassman and Ron Funches also star in the multi-camera half-hour. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED CRAIG ROBINSON PROJECT (NBC/Universal; W: Owen Ellickson; D: Steve Pink) - Jane Adams has exited the single-camera comedy pilot, about an impulsive, good-hearted musician (Craig Robinson) who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school. She had been set to play Jeanette, his stressed-out junior high principal who's almost always in damage-control mode. Said decision was made after the pilot's table read. Amanda Lund, Amandla Stenberg and Larenz Tate also star. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - FOX has pushed filming of its aircraft carrier drama pilot "The Wild Blue" to off-cycle due to casting and production issues (Deadline.com); MTV has passed on its comedy pilot "Hot Mess" following creator Lauren Iungerich's exit from the project (Deadline.com); Kevin Dunn has been promoted to series regular on the upcoming season of "Veep"(Deadline.com); former "How I Met Your Mother" supervising producer Robia Rashid has inked an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television; Robert Gossett has joined Nadine Velazquez and Jonathan del Arco as the latest series regulars on "Major Crimes"(Deadline.com);
Ray Wise will guest on "Perception" as "a high-powered CEO at the center of an investigation after his business is accused of poisoning a small town" (Deadline.com); Sean Faris will recur on "Pretty Little Liars" as a newly arrived Pennsylvania state police officer (TVGuide.com); Bob Newhart is bound for "The Big Bang Theory" as the former host of Sheldon's favorite science show as a kid (TVLine.com); and F. Murray Abraham will visit "Elementary" as "a devious hitman whose targets appear to have been killed by natural causes or unfortunate accidents" (THR.com).