[02/17/17 - 11:56 PM]
Development Update: Friday, February 17
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!

ALI SUMMIT, THE (Showtime, New!) - Jeff and Michael Zimbalist are spearheading "a civil rights-themed limited series about Muhammad Ali and his refusal to enter the military over objections to the Vietnam War." Said effort "explores the intersection of civil rights and sports that continues to resonate today and tracks the FBI's crusade against Ali, Jim Brown and other black leaders in the lead-up to Ali's arrest for draft evasion at the peak of his boxing career." Brown, Monique Brown, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Joe Roth will executive produce alongside the Zimbalists, who will write and direct. (Deadline.com)
ALIENIST, THE (TNT) - Matthew Shear (Mistress America) is the latest to board the upcoming drama as Police Sergeant Lucius Isaacson, "an extremely intelligent, focused man whose medical studies have helped hone his expertise in criminal science. Bright, pleasantly likable with a passion for his work, he believes that bones provide the most accurate information when it comes to forensics. He joins his twin brother Marcus in helping unravel a disturbing mystery." (Deadline.com)
BLUE BLOODS (CBS) - Isaiah Washington will drop by the show's upcoming 150th episode as ESU Deputy Chief Travis Jackson, "who, on the eve of his mandatory retirement, goes up against Frank with an age-discrimination suit against the department." (Deadline.com)
BLUEGRASS/BLOOD RED (ABC) - Saidah Ekulona is the latest addition to the drama pilot as Velma Winemiller, "a church lady who runs the local bed and breakfast with her sister, Inez." (Deadline.com)
CASUAL (Hulu) - Maya Erskine will recur on the new season as Rae, "a young woman from New York, into FX makeup and magic, the latest Airbnb guest of Alex." (Deadline.com)
DOOMSDAY (ABC) - Jack Davenport is the latest to be cast in the drama pilot as Warren Moore, "a well-known intellectual playwright turned middle-brow action screenwriter. Member of the former Doomsday Project think tank, he is imaginative and creative and sees the world like a story which helps him think like (and even empathize with) the enemy." (Deadline.com)
GOOD DOCTOR (ABC) - Antonia Thomas has scored the female lead on the drama pilot, about Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with Savant syndrome who is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. She'll play Claire Browne, "a strong-willed, caring and talented doctor who forms a special connection with Shaun while wrestling her own challenges." (Deadline.com)
HANNAH ROYCE'S QUESTIONABLE CHOICES (CBS) - James Earl has been cast in the comedy pilot, about a woman who has made some interesting choices throughout her life - namely, having three different kids with three different men - but all have led her to having a very unique, loving, blended family. He'll play J.L., "the well-meaning, disorganized father of Hannah's son, Jamie." (Deadline.com)
HEELS (Starz, New!) - Writer Michael Waldron and director Kyle Patrick Alvarez are developing an eight-episode series "set in the outrageous world of independent professional wrestling." The Paramount Television-based project "is the story of two brothers and rivals - one a villain, or "heel," in the ring; the other a hero, or "face." Real conflicts play out in fake matches as they war over their late father's wrestling promotion, vying for national attention in small-town Georgia." LBI Entertainment's Julie Yorn, Chris Donnelly and Patrick Walmsley also serve as executive producers. (Deadline.com)
HOWARD'S END (Starz) - Julia Ormond, Philippa Coulthard, Joseph Quinn, Rosalind Eleazar and Alex Lawther have all been cast in the limited series, which explores the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn of the century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts. They'll play Ruth Wilcox, Helen Schlegel, Leonard Bast, Jacky and Tibby, respectively. (Deadline.com)
KILLER INSTINCT (CBS) - Bojana Novakovic has signed onto the drama pilot, about Dylan Reinhart (Alan Cumming), a former CIA operative who has since built a normal life as a gifted professor and writer but is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose. She'll play Lizzie, "a top detective with the NYPD who approaches Dylan to help with a case." (Variety.com)
LAS REINAS (ABC) - Sonia Braga, Chris Brancato and Liz Friedlander have all signed onto the drama pilot, about Sonya De La Reina, a detective who is forced to confront her past when a case compels her to reconnect with her estranged family: the most powerful criminal outfit in Miami. Braga will play Sonya's grandmother Gabriella De La Reina, "the head of one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the world." Brancato then will serve as showrunner with Friedlander slated to direct. (Deadline.com)
LOOMING TOWER, THE (Hulu) - Michael Stuhlbarg and Bill Camp have both been cast in the drama, based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book. Stuhlbarg will play Richard Clarke, "the counter-terrorism czar of the Clinton Administration"; while Camp is set as Robert Chesney, "an FBI veteran with John O'Neill's counter-terrorism unit in New York." (THR.com)
PERFECT CITIZEN (CBS) - Paris Barclay is on board to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, the former general counsel for the NSA who, after his involvement as a whistleblower in an international scandal, embarks on a new career at a storied law firm in Boston. (Deadline.com)
RESIDENT, THE (FOX) - Phillip Noyce is set to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, about an idealistic young doctor as he begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident who pulls the curtain back on all of the good and evil in modern day medicine. (Deadline.com)
SACKETT SISTERS, THE (NBC) - Busy Philipps has been tapped for one of the title roles on the comedy pilot, about two estranged sisters, Mandy (Philipps) and Sutton, who perform a Sully Sullenberger-esque act of public heroism, then are forced to navigate their new found notoriety together. (Deadline.com)
SCALPED (WGN America) - Alex Meraz (Suicide Squad) has snagged a role on the comic book series-turned-drama pilot, which "power, loyalty and spirituality in a community led by the ambitious Chief Lincoln Red Crow as he reckons with Dashiell Bad Horse (Meraz), who has returned home after years away from the reservation. Merez's Dashiell was exiled from the Rez by his mother at age 13 and returns home after 15 years as a criminal with a mysterious agenda. His return sets him on a violent path of self-discovery about his place on the Rez and on a collision course with both his estranged mother and Red Crow." (Deadline.com)
THIS IS US (NBC) - Jeremy Luke has scored a recurring role on the hit drama as Darryl, "one of Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) best friends growing up. He is a sweet blue collar kid who idolizes Jack." (Deadline.com)
TRUSTEE, THE (ABC) - Michael Cudlitz has scored a role on the drama pilot, about Eliza Radley (Meaghan Rath), a very good, but slightly reckless narcotics detective who finds out that Amanda Jones, her police station's "trustee" - a nonviolent felon assigned to help cops with odd jobs, filing, custodial work - has insight into a case she's trying to crack, and the two women are forced to team up. He'll play Timothy Waits, "a wry and sardonic police captain who has learned to appreciate Radley's (Rath) unorthodox policing methods." (Deadline.com)
UNIT ZERO (ABC) - Kimberly Hébert Gregory has scored a role on the drama pilot as Brianna "Brie" Pierce, "the motorcycle-riding best friend to Jackie (Toni Collette) and fellow CIA agent." (Deadline.com)
UNTITLED GRANDY & KALING PROJECT (NBC) - Anders Holm and Andy Favreau have scored the lead role on the comedy pilot, about Vince (Holm), a charismatic gym owner with no ambition who lives with his younger brother Michael (Favreau), a gorgeous idiot; their simple life of women and working out is put on hold when the teenage son of the former is dropped off on their doorstep by Priya (Mindy Kaling), one of his old high school flings. Additionally, Michael Spiller is slated to direct and executive produce. (Deadline.com)
UNTITLED PAUL WILLIAM DAVIES PROJECT (ABC) - Britne Oldford, Ben Rappaport and Anna Deavere Smith are the first to be cast in the drama pilot, which follows brand new lawyers in the Southern District of New York Federal Court working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country, all as their personal lives intersect. Oldford will play Sandra Black, "a sensible, fiercely intelligent and independent new public defender who was driven to the law because of an injustice perpetrated on her family when she was a child"; with Rappaport as Seth Oliver, "a smart and reasonable but inexperienced recent law school grad about to start his career as a prosecutor"; and Smith as Tina Krissman, "the tough, intimidating, no-nonsense SDNY court clerk." (Deadline.com)
VALOR (The CW) - Matt Barr has booked the male lead on the drama pilot, about a U.S. Army base that houses an elite unit of helicopter pilots trained to perform clandestine international and domestic missions. He'll play Leland Gallo, "an aging hipster meets flyboy." Additionally, Michael Robin is slated to direct. (Deadline.com)

  [february 2017]  


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