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[03/06/15 - 11:49 PM]
Development Update: Friday, March 6
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!


ADVOCATE, THE (ABC/WBT; W: Sheldon Turner; D: Michael M. Robin) - Joy Bryant, Coby Bell and Freddie Thorp are the latest to board the drama pilot, about Francis "Frankie" Reese (Kim Raver), a tough, resourceful and at the top of her game type-A business woman, who, after a medical scare in which she was dangerously misdiagnosed, leaves her career behind to become a relentless advocate for anyone caught in the chaotic and ever-changing maze that is modern medicine. She'll play Frankie's partner, Dr. Ryan Clarke, "a brilliant doctor who meets Frankie by chance, helps her out of a tight spot and subsequently opens a patient advocacy firm with her hard-driving new friend"; with Bell as Chris Holiday, "who is trying to keep the medical firm afloat"; and Thorp as Frankie's 16-year-old son, Tommy. Elliot Knight also stars. (Deadline.com)


ALL STARS (ABC/20th; W: Judah Miller; D: TBA) - Efren Ramirez ("Napoleon Dynamite") has booked a role on the single-camera comedy pilot, about a Tony Award-winning mother (Megan Hilty) and a cerebral, risk-averse father blessed with a natural-born athlete for a son. He'll play Jose Luis, "one The Three Bears - three large men (of varying sizes) who are Irene's (Hilty) gay Greek chorus. They are the one thing in the suburbs that remind Irene of her days living in Manhattan." (Deadline.com)


BRAINY BUNCH, THE (ABC/20th; W: Lizzie & Wendy Molyneux; D: Jamie Travis) - Actress Melanie Griffith and director Jamie Travis have both signed onto the single-camera comedy pilot, in which parents Kip and Mona Lisa Mitchell (yet to be cast) find themselves raising their extraordinarily intelligent kids with limited life and social skills. She'll play Mona Lisa's mom Celeste, "a former pageant queen who has graciously invited her daughter's family to live with her in Orange County." (Deadline.com)


BROAD SQUAD, THE (ABC/ABCS; W: Bess Wohl; D: Coky Giedroyc) - Lauren Ambrose, Michael Gaston, Kenneth Mitchell and Alberto Frezza have all been cast in the drama pilot, a fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston's first female patrol officers in 1978. She'll play Eileen Pearce, one of the four female rookie cops alongside the previously cast Rutina Wesley, Charlotte Spencer and Cody Horn; with Gaston as Captain Donahue, "who oversees his boys' club precinct with a take-charge affability"; Mitchell as Jim Pearce, "a police officer, now sidelined due to an injury, and Eileen's supportive husband"; and Frezza as Frank Butler, "a rookie cop on the BPD, a charming ex-high school football star who found a higher calling." (Deadline.com)


DEAD PEOPLE (The CW/WBT; W: Tom Kapinos; D: TBA) - Alexandra Chando ("The Lying Game") has been cast in the drama pilot, about Floyd Hale (Andrew J. West), a down-on-his-luck, semi-alcoholic but roguishly charming cab driver who after a near-death experience, he suddenly has the ability to interact with ghosts, including his late ex-wife who he has never gotten over. She'll play said woman, Pearl, "described as perceptive, sweet and funny and a perfect match for Floyd." (THR.com)


HEART MATTERS (NBC/Universal; W: Jill Gordon; D: Robert Duncan McNeill) - Shelley Conn ("The Lottery") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, a medical soap that follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere (Melissa George), one of the rare female heart transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. She'll play Millicent: "she and Alex are not exactly rivals but they do not get along." Dave Annable also stars. (Deadline.com)


MADAME X (HBO, New!) - Anna Paquin ("True Blood") is set to star in a potential mini-series at the pay channel based on Kate Manning's book "My Notorious Life," billed as "a love story, a family saga, and the confessions of a charismatic and passionate woman who changed the lives of countless others" in Victorian New York City. She'll play Axie Muldoon, "one of the wealthiest and controversial women of her day, who helped her husband build a thriving midwife business and defied the law in the name of women's reproductive rights." Writer Julia Hart (The Keeping Room) and director Lynn Shelton (Your Sister's Sister) are spearheading the project with Paquin and her CASM partner Stephen Moyer executive producing alongside Jack Black and Priyanka Mattoo of Electric Dynamite; and Cerise Larkin and Mark Larnin of Untold Pictures. (Deadline.com)


OF KINGS AND PROPHETS (ABC/ABCS; W: Adam Cooper & Bill Collage; D: Jeffrey Nachmanoff) - Maisie Richardson-Sellers ("The Originals") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, billed as an epic biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny. She'll play Michal, "the youngest child of King Saul (Ray Winstone)" who is caught between her love for David and love for her father. (Deadline.com)


PEOPLE ARE TALKING (NBC/Universal; W: D.J. Nash; D: Pamela Fryman) - Mark-Paul Gosselaar ("Franklin & Bash") is the latest addition to the multi-camera comedy pilot, about a white and a black couple and examines sex, race and everything else your parents told you never to talk about. He'll play Mitch, "a neurotic guy who tends to overthink things, which is completely offset by his optimism, humor and likability." The cast also includes Bresha Webb, Brooke Ishibashi and Tone Bell. (THR.com)


ROSEWOOD (FOX/20th; W: Todd Harthan; D: Richard Shepard) - Jaina Lee Ortiz and Maggie Elizabeth Jones are both bound for the Morris Chestnut-led drama pilot, about Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr., the top private pathologist in all of Miami. She will play Karissa Villa, "a former NYPD detective who recently moved back to Miami and ends up helping Dr. Rosewood"; with Jones as Millie, "Rosewood's neighbor and an aspiring chef who spends a lot of time with him and very regularly provides him with insight beyond her years." (Deadline.com)


RUSH HOUR (CBS/WBT; W: Bill Lawrence & Blake McCormick; D: Jon Turteltaub) - Aimee Garcia and Jessika Van have both scored roles on the drama pilot, a small screen take on the film franchise about a stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer (Jon Foo) assigned to a case in Los Angeles, where he's forced to work with a cocky black LAPD officer. Garcia will play Didi Diaz, "a sergeant with the LAPD who chose to leave the streets once she became a mom; Carter's former partner who knows him better than most people and is not afraid to call him out"; and Van as "Det. Lee's (Foo) younger sister Kim, one of the few female officers with the Hong Kong Police Department." (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED JOHNNY KNOXVILLE PROJECT (ABC/ABCS; W: Johnny Knoxville & Victor Fresco; D: Michael Fresco) - Julie Ann Emery and Brad Carter are the first to be cast in the single-camera comedy which follows the exploits of 12-year-old Johnny navigating the "outlaw culture" of his family and small hometown of Knoxville, TN. She'll play Genevieve, "Johnny's shamelessly narcissistic and caring mother"; while Carter is set as "Jukebox" Johnson Jr, "an employee of his father Ray's tire shop, who got his name from stealing from a jukebox right in front of the store owner." (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED O'SHANNON & WARREN PROJECT (CBS/CBSP; W: Dan O'Shannon & Peter Warren; D: Pamela Fryman) - Kelly O'Sullivan ("Sirens") is the first to land a role on the comedy pilot, about a group of friends and family at three different times in their lives. She'll play Katie, "a fun, feisty and likable woman who's been a fireball her entire life. She is soon to be married, and we see her throughout the vibrant and wild days of her past." (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED SUZANNE MARTIN PROJECT (NBC/Universal; W: Suzanne Martin; D: James Burrows) - Carlease Burke ("Switched at Birth") has been tapped for a role on the multi-camera comedy pilot, which chronicles how things backfire for recent empty-nesters (Patrick Warburton, Carrie Preston) when their children and their parents move back home. She's set as Alice, "Bob's (Stacy Keach) second wife and Mike's mother." Miranda Cosgrove and Mia Serafino also star. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED TOMMY JOHNAGIN PROJECT (CBS/WBT; W: Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker & Tommy Johnagin; D: TBA) - Talia Tabin ("Parks & Recreation") has been cast in the multi-camera project, which revolves around a stand-up comic (Tommy Johnagin) raising a family in a small Midwestern town. She will play Stacy, "Tommy's younger sister, and a single mom with a 2-year-old son." JoAnna Garcia Swisher also stars. (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - Chris Chalk has been cast as Lucius Fox on "Gotham" while Jada Pinkett-Smith's Fish Mooney will depart at the end of the current season (Deadline.com); and David Witts and Lindsay Pearce are both bound for ABC Family's "Recovery Road" as Craig, "the counselor at Springtime Meadows, though not a recovering addict himself," and Rebecca, "Maddie's (Jessica Sula) childhood friend who blames her for everything that's gone wrong in her life, since Maddie was the one who revealed that Rebecca had an addiction" (Deadline.com).






  [march 2015]  
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· ADVOCATE, THE (ABC)
· BRAINY (ABC)
· BROAD SQUAD (ABC)
· CROWDED (NBC)
· DEAD PEOPLE (CW)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DIVA THE DOC AND THE JOC, THE (ABC)
· FRANKLIN & BASH (TNT)
· GOTHAM (FOX)
· HEARTBEAT (NBC)
· KNOXVILLE (ABC)
· LOTTERY, THE (LIFETIME)
· LYING GAME, THE (ABC FAMILY)
· MADAME X (HBO)
· NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (FOX)
· OF KINGS AND PROPHETS (ABC)
· ORIGINALS, THE (CW)
· PARKS & RECREATION (NBC)
· RECOVERY ROAD (FREEFORM)
· ROSEWOOD (FOX)
· RUSH HOUR (CBS)
· SIRENS (USA)
· SWITCHED AT BIRTH (FREEFORM)
· TRUE BLOOD (HBO)
· TRUTH BE TOLD (NBC)
· UNTITLED O'SHANNON & WARREN PROJECT (CBS)
· UNTITLED TOMMY JOHNAGIN PROJECT (CBS)





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