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[10/05/15 - 11:52 PM]
Development Update: Monday, October 5
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!


808, THE (FOX, New!) - Sheldon Turner has sold a new drama to the network billed as "a sexy soap set against the backdrop of Maui surf culture, which centers on two feuding families." The project, which takes its name from the Hawaii area code, is set up at Sony Pictures Television with Vendetta Productions' Jennifer Klein also serving as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)


CHEER STARS (ABC Family, New!) - The cable channel has ordered 10 episodes of a new hour-long unscripted series which "follows members of a champion cheerleading team as they set out to defend their title." Corus Entertainment is behind the project, due to air next summer. (Deadline.com)


CONVICTION (ABC, New!) - Liz Friedman ("Elementary") and Liz Friedlander ("Stalker") have scored a put pilot commitment from the Alphabet for a new drama about Carter Morrison, "the brilliant but rebellious daughter of a Clinton-like political family who is forced into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles' newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team of lawyers, investigators and forensic experts, has two weeks to examine cases where there's credible suspicion that the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime." Entertainment One-based the Mark Gordon Co. is behind the project, with ABC Studios is in talks to join as a co-financier. Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper will likewise executive produce with Friedlander directing from a script she co-wrote alongside Friedman. (Deadline.com)


DAY I TURNED UNCOOL, THE (NBC, New!) - Lauren Miller Rogen and Alanna Thompson have set up a new comedy at the Peacock about "five best friends who've crossed the line from Pabst to Pinot and realize they're officially uncool." Said effort is based on Dan Zevin's book of the same name, subtitled "Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-up." KatzSmith Productions' David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith will executive produce the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour with Miller Rogen and Thompson as co-executive producers. (Deadline.com)


GRAVES (Epix/Lionsgate; W/D: Joshua Michael Stern) - Roger Bart and Callie Hernandez have both booked roles on the upcoming comedy, about a former President of the United States. Twenty years after his presidency, former President Richard Graves (Nick Nolte) has the epiphany that his policies have damaged the country for decades and so, with his young assistant (Skylar Astin), he goes on a Don Quixote-like journey to right his administration's wrongs just as his wife (Sela Ward), the former First Lady, decides to follow her own political ambitions. He'll play Lawrence Mills, "a long-established D.C. speechwriter, who worked as the Graves administration's director of communications"; while she's set as Samantha, "a tattooed, free spirit who's waiting tables in a small Santa Fe coffee shop when President Graves enters her life and finds her take on the world to be what's lacking in his." (Deadline.com)


JANUS (ABC, New!) - Writer Kevin O'Hare and director Thor Freudenthal (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) are looking to import the Austrian drama about "a large pharmaceutical corporation that will stop at nothing to protect its image and maximize profits. Protagonist Leo is a forensic psychologist married to a pharmaceutical researcher. After his son is diagnosed as a psychopath, Leo refocuses his life to seek answers on how to help. When a rash of murder-suicides breaks out, he teams with a homicide detective and together they discover a shocking link between the victims and shadowy medical trials conducted by Janus." EuropaCorp Television is behind the project with the company's Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros presumably executive producing alongside O'Hare and Freudenthal serving as a co-executive producer. (Deadline.com)


LETTERS TO BEYONCE (NBC, New!) - Austen Earl ("The Millers") has sold a new comedy to the Peacock about "an overweight, middle-aged schoolteacher who has lost pretty much everything and decides to reclaim her life by drawing inspiration from an unlikely hero." CBS Television Studios-based Amigos de Garcia Productions is behind the project, with the company's Greg Garcia likewise executive producing. (Deadline.com)


NANCY DREW (CBS, New!) - Joan Rater and Tony Phelan are developing a contemporary take on Edward Stratemeyer's iconic literary character, "now in her 30s, who is a detective for the NYPD where she investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills, all while navigating the complexities of life in a modern world." CBS Television Studios-based The Dan Jinks Company is behind the project with Dan Jinks executive producing and Nick Nantell serving as a producer. (Deadline.com)


NEXT CHAPTER, THE (ABC, New!) - Austin Winsberg ("The Sound of Music Live!") is set to team with novelist Nicholas Sparks for a new comedy about "top-selling romance novelist Ben Diamond who goes through a divorce and not only begins to question his belief in love, but he also must learn to date again and live on his own - all while dealing with the pressures of his public persona as the world's most foremost expert on love." The Warner Bros. Television-based project is loosely based on Sparks's own experiences as a newly single man. Nicholas Sparks Productions' Theresa Park will also executive produce. (Deadline.com)


PACK, THE (FOX, New!) - Chadd Gindin ("The Millers") has likewise set up a new comedy at the network about "a millennial who escapes his sports-obsessed small town in Wisconsin to achieve his big-city dreams - only to end up becoming a regular at a Green Bay Packers bar in Manhattan where he'll learn that who you're rooting for is not nearly as important as who you're rooting with." Greg Garcia also serves as an executive producer via his CBS Television Studios-based Amigos de Garcia Productions. (Deadline.com)


SHOOTER (USA/Paramount/UCP; W: John Hlavin; D: Simon Cellan Jones) - Tembi Locke ("Eureka") has been cast in the book-turned-feature-turned-drama pilot, about Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe), an off-the-grid former Marine sniper who is coaxed into action to thwart the killing of the President. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he must call upon all the skills he acquired as a decorated Marine sharpshooter to avoid capture while hunting down and exposing the traitors who set him up. She'll play Claire Hopkins, FBI Special Agent in Charge. (Deadline.com)


THESE FINAL HOURS (FOX, New!) - Writer/director Zak Hildizactch is looking to bring his Australian feature to the small screen. Said effort is "set after a world-ending meteor strike, follows three siblings in the San Francisco Bay Area as they race to get to their estranged father's bomb shelter that can withstand the end of days. The series tackles the question of not only what would you do, but how would you want to remember yourself if the world was ending." EuropaCorp Television's Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros also serve as executive producers of the project, which has a penalty attached, with Liz Kearney, who produced the original film, as a producer. (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED LENA WAITHE PROJECT (Showtime/Fox 21; W: Lena Waithe; D: Clark Johnson) - Tosin Cole and Kiki Layne are the latest additions to the drama pilot, a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African American male in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death. He'll play Brandon, "whose mother is an alcoholic (Olivia Dawson), his brother Coogie is a street criminal, but Brandon is a dishwasher at a fancy upscale restaurant, and hopes to pass the test to be an assistant cook"; while she's set as Keisha, "Kevin's (Alex Henderson) older sister, who is also the current object of Emmett's (Tequan Richmond) affection, and doesn't much care about the fact that he already has three children by three other women." (Deadline.com)


UNTITLED NEW COUPLES DANCING SHOW (FOX, New!) - Stijn Bakkers and Toby Gorman have set up a new dance competition series which will highlight the lives of real-life couples who, each week, will participate in intensive training, rehearsals and live performances, until one couple is crowned the winner. Said effort comes from FremantleMedia North America and Five Six Seven with the former's Jennifer Mullin also serving as an executive producer.


UNTITLED NICOLE BYER PROJECT (MTV; W: Nicole Byer; D: TBA) - Sophie von Haselberg, Fahim Anwar and Rachel Hilson have all signed onto the comedy pilot, about a young adult (Nicole Byer) who is forced to move in with her sister (Kimrie Lewis-Davis) and four kids in the suburbs after causing a fire in her New York City apartment. Aunt Nicole will offer her own brand of advice to her sister's kids while trying to get her life back on track. Von Haselberg will play Tess, "who's fun, unambitious, and always down for an adventure"; with Anwar as Sidd, "who's been one of Nicole's closest friends since elementary school"; and Hilson as Emily, "the oldest of Sarah's children, already well aware of the power of her considerable charms, and not afraid to flaunt what she's got." (Deadline.com)


WILDING, THE (USA/UCP; W: Silka Luisa; D: Ciarán Foy) - Jordana Spiro ("The Mob Doctor") is the first to be cast in the two-hour backdoor pilot, about a typical, loving blended family seeking a fresh start after their 17-year-old daughter, Kayla, is released from a mental health institution following ten years of treatment. She's on board as Margaret Hayes, "a psychiatrist whose teenage daughter has been diagnosed with a delusional disorder, though Kayla's true condition makes her the one patient Margaret can't save." (Deadline.com)


AND IN OTHER NEWS... - The CW has commissioned five additional scripts from newcomer "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and sophomore entry "iZombie," both of which have 13-episode orders (Deadline.com); "The Wizard of Lies" writer Samuel Baum has signed a two-year exclusive cable writing and producing deal with HBO (Deadline.com); Kevin Rankin has joined the cast of FOX's "Lucifer" as Malcolm Graham, "a decorated detective with an ends-justify-the-means approach to the law" (Deadline.com);

Ben Geurens has been upped to series regular on "Reign" as Gideon Blackburn (TheWrap.com); Adrian Pasdar will drop by "Rosewood" as "a doctor with decidedly questionable motives" (EW.com); truTV has ordered 10 additional episodes of its David Spade-produced prank show "Fameless" (Variety.com); and Martin Mull will visit "Life in Pieces" as "a recent widower who Joan (Diane Wiest) invites to Thanksgiving dinner" in an episode penned by Mull's daughter, Maggie (Variety.com).






  [october 2015]  
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· 808, THE (FOX)
· CHEER SQUAD (FREEFORM)
· CHI, THE (SHOWTIME)
· CONVICTION (ABC)
· CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (CW)
· DAY I TURNED UNCOOL, THE (NBC)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· DREW (CBS)
· ELEMENTARY (CBS)
· EUREKA (SYFY)
· FAMELESS (TRUTV)
· GRAVES (EPIX)
· IZOMBIE (CW)
· JANUS (ABC)
· LETTERS TO BEYONCE (NBC)
· LIFE IN PIECES (CBS)
· LOOSELY EXACTLY NICOLE (FACEBOOK)
· LUCIFER (NETFLIX)
· MILLERS, THE (CBS)
· MOB DOCTOR, THE (FOX)
· NEXT CHAPTER, THE (ABC)
· PACK, THE (FOX)
· REIGN (CW)
· ROSEWOOD (FOX)
· SHOOTER (USA)
· SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE!, THE (NBC)
· STALKER (CBS)
· THESE FINAL HOURS (FOX)
· UNTITLED NEW COUPLES DANCING SHOW (FOX)
· WILDING, THE (USA)
· WIZARD OF LIES, THE (HBO)





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