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[02/20/20 - 11:26 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, February 20
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!


AMERICAN AUTO (NBC) - Harriet Dyer has scored the lead role on the single-camera comedy pilot as Sadie, "an ambitious type-A head of communications at Payne." The Justin Spitzer-penned project "is set at the headquarters of a major American automotive company in Detroit, where a floundering group of executives try to rediscover the company identity amidst a rapidly changing industry." (Deadline.com)
AMERICANAH (HBO Max) - Executive producer Danai Gurira has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. The pact calls for her to develop new series projects for the studio. (Deadline.com)
BOUNDLESS (Amazon, New!) - Simon West is attached to direct a four-part series at the streaming service which "will tell the story of Juan Sebastián Elcano and Ferdinand Magellan's epic voyage around the world after they set sail from Spain 500 years ago." Mono Films and Kilima Media are behind the project, due in 2021, which Amazon will co-produce with Spanish broadcaster RTVE. Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga is the producer. (Deadline.com)
CORTES (Amazon) - Tenoch Huerta and Yoshira Escárrega have both been cast in the Javier Bardem-led limited series as Moctezuma, "the Emperor of the Aztecs"; and Marina, "strategic partner, translator and consort to Hernán Cortés," respectively. (Deadline.com)
EMPIRE (FOX) - Cindy Herron-Braggs, Terry Ellis and Rhona Bennett - also known as En Vogue - will drop by the show's March 17 episode, which also marks Taraji P. Henson's directorial debut. (Variety.com)
FLIGHT ATTENDANT, THE (HBO Max) - Bebe Neuwirth is set to recur on the upcoming thriller as Diana Carlisle, "a senior partner at the law firm where Annie (Zosia Mamet) works. Graceful and hard like polished marble, she's a real mentor to Annie." (Deadline.com)
HARLEM'S KITCHEN (ABC) - Delroy Lindo is in negotiations to star in the drama pilot as Ellis Rice, "Executive Chef and patriarch, who runs a successful restaurant with his wife and three daughters. But an unexpected death thrusts the family into turmoil and puts the restaurant's future in jeopardy as long-buried secrets are revealed." Said talks come as the actor is bowing out of "The Good Fight" after its upcoming fourth season. In addition, Stephen Williams is set to direct from a script by Zahir McGhee. (Deadline.com)
JURY DUTY (A.K.A. WE THE JURY) (CBS) - Jack Cutmore-Scott is the first to be cast in the hybrid comedy pilot as John "Hutty" Huttman, "a charismatic natural leader and winner in every way, who isn't happy about being made an alternate juror, so he's going to make it fun for himself." (Deadline.com)
LA BREA (NBC) - Michael Raymond-James, Karina Logue and Zyra Gorecki are the first to be cast in the high-concept drama pilot, in which "when a massive sinkhole mysteriously opens in Los Angeles, it tears a family in half, separating mother and son from father (Raymond-James) and daughter (Gorecki). When part of the family find themselves in an unexplainable primeval world, alongside a disparate group of strangers, they must work to survive and uncover the mystery of where they are and if there is a way back home." Raymond-James and Gorecki will play the aforementioned Gavin Wolcott and Izzy Wolcott with Logue as Marybeth Hill, "a police officer with strong opinions." Additionally, Thor Freudenthal has been tapped to direct from a script by David Appelbaum. (Deadline.com)
MACGYVER (CBS) - Jeri Ryan has booked a season-long arc on the series as Mac's aunt Gwendolyn Hayes, "an ex-DXS agent who was presumed dead. Mac never knew she existed but Gwen was always keeping track of her nephew's life in the shadows. She is now the presumed head of Codex, the organization that the Phoenix has been hunting this season." (TVInsider.com)
POWER, THE (Amazon) - Rainn Wilson has signed onto the Naomi Alderman adaptation as Daniel Dandon, "the self-righteous and self-important Governor of Washington and constant thorn in Margot's [Leslie Mann] side. But when the Day of the Girls arrives, Dandon's position begins to look decidedly precarious." (Variety.com)
REBEL (ABC) - Ariela Barer is the latest addition to the Katey Sagal-led drama pilot as Ziggie: "The rebellious adopted daughter of Aiden and Rebel, Ziggie is going through a bad patch. She got hooked on pain medication after an injury, but has been drug-free for the last 72 days. A teenager who needs to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings on a very regular basis, Ziggie is vulnerable as hell and needs her mother - only her mother is busy-busy-busy with her latest cluster of tormented clients." (Deadline.com)
RENO 911! (Quibi) - Niecy Nash (Williams), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Johnson), Cedric Yarbrough (Jones), Carlos Alazraqui (Garcia), Ian Roberts (Junior), Joe LoTruglio (Rizzo) and Mary Birdsong (Kimball) are all bound for the show's revived seventh season. They'll reprise said roles alongside co-creators Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney-Silver. (Deadline.com)
SHANTARAM (Apple TV+) - The Charlie Hunnam-led drama is on the hunt for a new showrunner while production is on hiatus due to the monsoon season in India. Creator Eric Warren Singer, who "had fallen behind on scripts," will remain as an executive producer. (Deadline.com)
THIRTYSOMETHING(ELSE) (ABC) - Melanie Mayron and Polly Draper will reprise their roles of Melissa Steadman and Ellyn Warren, respectively, on the sequel series pilot. (Deadline.com)
WILD CHILD (ABC, New!) - Writer Emily Kapnek and director Dean Holland are set to team for a single-camera comedy at the Alphabet, "centering on New York City teenager Lennon Cochrane, whose life is turned upside down when she stumbles on a family secret." Quintessa Swindell has been tapped as the lead in the project, which has a pilot order. Swindell's Lennon is "creative, rebellious, and endlessly indulged by her mother. Lennon rarely heard the word no growing up. Raised to believe she could do anything, Lennon never worried about fitting into any conventional box. Lennon found music early and it became the primary outlet for her self-expression. When her city life is upended, Lennon struggles to adjust to her new circumstances." Kapnek penned the script from a story with Holland and will likewise executive produce via her ABC Studios-based Specifica Productions. (Deadline.com)





  [february 2020]  
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· AMERICAN AUTO (NBC)
· AMERICANAH (HBO MAX)
· BOUNDLESS (AMAZON)
· CORTÉS Y MOCTEZUMA (AMAZON)
· DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (TFC)
· EMPIRE (FOX)
· FLIGHT ATTENDANT, THE (HBO MAX)
· GOOD FIGHT, THE (CBSAA)
· HARLEM'S KITCHEN (ABC)
· JURY DUTY (CBS)
· LA BREA (NBC)
· MACGYVER (CBS)
· POWER, THE (AMAZON)
· REBEL (ABC)
· RENO 911 (QUIBI)
· SHANTARAM (APPLE TV PLUS)
· THIRTYSOMETHING(ELSE) (ABC)
· WILD CHILD (ABC)





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