[01/24/14 - 11:48 PM] Development Update: Friday, January 24 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!
AGATHA (A.K.A. UNTITLED TOM DONAGHY PROJECT) (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Tom Donaghy ; D: TBA) - Tom Donaghy's drama - about "a former convict turned big city criminologist who is brought in to help local police - including her estranged chief detective father - crack a case involving a perplexing disappearance" - has received a pilot order from the network. Mark Gordon and Nicholas Pepper are also on board to executive produce the hour via their ABC Studios-based The Mark Gordon Co. with Michael McDonald likewise executive prouducing. (Deadline.com)THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Stephanie Savage; D: TBA) - The Alphabet's small screen take on Lily Koppel's best-selling novel - which "tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race" - has been ordered to pilot. Stephanie Savage penned the script and is executive producing alongside her Fake Empire partners Josh Schwartz and Len Goldstein for ABC Studios. Michael London of Groundswell Productions likewise will executive produce. (Deadline.com)CABOT COLLEGE (FOX/Universal; W: Matt Hubbard; D: Pamela Fryman) - Margaret Cho ("Drop Dead Diva") is the latest addition to the multi-camera comedy pilot, about a women's college that begins accepting men for the first time in its history. She'll play Laura Thibault, "the president of Cabot College who made the difficult decision to admit men into the school. She's further described as a divisive figure on campus and does her best to be welcoming of the male freshmen but is often irritated by their antics." The cast also includes Bonnie Dennison, Brandon Jones, Fortune Feimster and Jack Cutmore-Scott. (THR.com)THE COMEDIANS (FX/FTS; W: Ben Wexler, Billy Crystal, Larry Charles & Matt Nix; D: Larry Charles) - Matt Oberg, Stephnie Weir and Megan Ferguson have all been cast in the comedy pilot, about a superstar veteran comedian (Billy Crystal) who is reluctantly paired with a younger, edgier comedian (Josh Gad) for a late-night comedy sketch show. Oberg will play Mitch, "the head writer of the sketch show who's eager even weirwhen he's being bulldozed by Billy"; with Weir as Kristen, "the anxiety-ridden producer of Billy and Josh's sketch show, who frequently finds herself caught in the middle of their arguments"; and Ferguson as Esme, "a no-nonsense PA who is mostly over it all, including Billy." (Deadline.com)FIFTH WHEEL (UNTITLED CREVELLO & NIEDERMEYER PROJECT) (NBC/ABC Studios; W: Elena Crevello & Heidi Niedermeyer; D: TBA) - Heidi Niedermeyer and Elena Crevello's multi-camera comedy - about "a young woman who confronts her new reality after her last single friend gets engaged" - has scored a pilot commitment from the Peacock. Said duo will serve as supervising producers with Mark Gordon and Andrea Shay of the ABC Studios-based The Mark Gordon Co. executive producing. (Deadline.com)THE FLASH (The CW/Warner Bros.; W: Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns & Greg Berlanti; D: David Nutter) - Rick Cosnett ("The Vampire Diaries") and Danielle Panabaker ("Necessary Roughness") have both been cast in the drama pilot, a small screen take on the DC Comics hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a Central City assistant police forensics investigator-turned-superhero. He'll play Detective Eddie Thawne, "a recent transfer to the Central City Police Department, whose past is a mystery and who harbors a dark secret"; while she's set as Caitlin Snow, "a highly intelligent bioengineering expert who lost her fiancé during an explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs." Jesse L. Martin also stars. (Deadline.com)GRACEPOINT (FOX; W: Chris Chibnall; D: James Strong) - Georgina Rylance will round out the cast of the event series, a gripping crime drama which follows the tragic and mysterious death of a young boy found dead on an idyllic beach surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff-face, from where he may have fallen. She'll play Gemma, "a flirty woman who owns the town's hotel where Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant) is staying, and with everything going on in Gracepoint she could be bankrupt by the end of the year." Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver, Jessica Lucas, Josh Hamilton, Kendrick Sampson, Kevin Rankin, Kevin Zegers, Madalyn Horcher, Michael Pena, Nick Nolte and Virginia Kull also star. (Deadline.com)INTRUDERS (BBC America; W: Glen Morgan; D: Eduardo Sanchez & Daniel Stamm) - Mira Sorvino and James Frain have both landed roles on the upcoming John Simm-led series, a contemporary, chilling, paranormal drama set in the moody Pacific Northwest. As strange, apparently unrelated events start happening, multiple story-lines - a missing wife, an assassin covering his crimes, a child on the run - begin to intertwine to reveal a conspiracy that will forever change our understanding of human nature. She'll play said wife with Frain as Richard Shepherd, "a murderer on a 20-year secret mission who claims to be an FBI agent." (Deadline.com)THE MONEY PIT (NBC/Universal; W: Justin Spitzer; D: TBA) - Justin Spitzer's small screen take on the 1986 feature - starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as "a newlywed couple that navigates the challenges of modern romance while their house crumbles around them" - is heading to pilot at the Peacock. Said multi-camera comedy comes from Universal Television with Amblin Television's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank also serving as executive producers. (Deadline.com)MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Jeff Lowell; D: TBA) - Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) is the first to be cast in the pilot, a romantic comedy about a couple from the point of view of the man and the woman whose unspoken thoughts we can hear via voiceover. She'll play Dana, additional details of which weren't given. (Deadline.com)ODYSSEY (NBC/Universal; W: Adam Armus, Kay Foster & Peter Horton; D: Peter Horton) - Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ("Lost") has boarded the cast of the drama pilot, about three families who are torn apart when a stranded female soldier (Anna Friel), a disillusioned corporate attorney and a disrespected political activist are pulled into the same shocking international military conspiracy. He's set as "the commanding officer of a private military operator working with the U.S. Army who is ordered into Mali to clean up after Worthington's unit stumbles on and kills Abdule Abbas." Jake Robinson and Nate Mooney also star. (Deadline.com)TIN MAN (NBC/Universal; W: Ehren Kruger; D: D.J. Caruso) - Kathleen York, Kristen Connolly and Kara Killmer are the latest additions to the drama pilot, a futuristic thriller centering on robot Adam Sentry (Patrick Heusinger), who is accused of the first-degree murder of his creator, Charles Vale. York will play Wendy, "the idealized version of the perfect spouse to come home to"; with Connolly as Katie Piper, "a public defender forced to fight for Adam's cause"; and Killmer as Athena True, "Vale's synthetic robotic companion, a gorgeous and provocative seductress modeled to exactly resemble Vale's late wife." Shaun Toub also stars in the project. (Deadline.com)UNTITLED RICHARD LAGRAVENESE PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Oscar-nominee Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) has snagged a pilot order from the Alphabet for a new drama "set in New York and revolves around the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others." ABC Studios is behind the hour with Erwin Stoff, Ilene Staple and Wren Arthur executive producing alongside LaGravenese. (Deadline.com)WARRIORS (ABC/ABC Studios; W: Chris Keyser; D: TBA) - Chris Keyser's drama - which "follows the best and brightest of active duty military doctors and nurses as they practice trailblazing medicine on critically wounded warriors returning home from Afghanistan, on military families and veterans, as well as administering to Washington's government elite" - likewise has received a pilot commitment from the Alphabet. Mandeville Films and Television's David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks are also executive producing the ABC Studios-based project with Steven Baigelman, who was the original writer on the project, also serving in some capacity. (Deadline.com)AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Mike Sikowitz has been tapped as showrunner of the Sony Pictures Television-based comedy pilot "The McCarthys" at CBS (Deadline.com); Ben Affleck has pulled out of directing the FOX drama pilot "The Middle Man" due to scheduling issues with Zack Snyder's Batman vs. Superman movie, placing production on hold for the time being (Deadline.com); Stephen Fry has been cast in "24: Live Another Day" as Prime Minister Trevor Davies, "a strong and charismatic leader whose friendship with President Heller (William Devane), and the Anglo-American alliance itself, come under tremendous pressure because of personal and political crises" (Deadline.com);
Brian Grazer's Imagine Television has signed a new two-year deal with 20th Century Fox Television (Deadline.com); "True Detective" creator Nic Pizzolatto has signed a two-year overall deal with HBO, paving the way for a potential second season of the series (Deadline.com); Ian Kahn has been cast as George Washington on AMC's upcoming Revolutionary War drama "Turn"(TVLine.com); Kathryn Prescott is set to recur on "Reign" as "a kitchen servant who, as part of an annual castle tradition, finds a bean in her slice of cake and becomes queen for a day" (TVLine.com); Charlotte Ross will guest on "Nashville" as "a sober alcoholic who formerly worked as a back up singer on Rayna's tours" (TVLine.com); Paul James is bound for "Grey's Anatomy" as a character who "comes to the hospital to assist with research" (TVLine.com); and Kyle Bornheimer will visit "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" as "a cop from another precinct who used to date Santiago (Melissa Fumero)" (TVGuide.com).