[12/16/20 - 11:49 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, December 16
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!

1899 (Netflix) - Emily Beecham is the first to be cast in the eight-episode drama, which "will revolve around a migrant steamship heading from London to New York. When the passengers discover another migrant boat adrift, their journey descends into horrifying nightmare." No details were given about her character. Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese are behind the project, which is set to begin production in the spring. (Deadline.com)
BRAND, THE (CBS, New!) - Kirk Rudell has sold a potential drama to the Eye about "a driven woman with a complicated personal life is suddenly thrust into the top position at her family's brand management firm and must contend with selling her ethically dubious clients' images while redefining her own." Alex Gibney and Kevin Plunkett of Jigsaw Productions will also executive produce for CBS Studios. (Deadline.com)
BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS (IMDb TV, New!) - Samantha Stratton has set up a half-hour dramedy at Amazon Studios about Ellie Brown, "a 15-year-old girl from a working-class town in West Virginia who earns a scholarship to the most elite boarding school in the country. When idealistic Ellie realizes the deck is already stacked against her, she finds herself lying, cheating, and stealing her way through the hallowed halls of the school - anything to claim a piece of the American dream denied to her friends and family back home." Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Terence Carter and David Boorstein of Westbrook Studios will also presumably executive produce with Jesse Uram producing. (Deadline.com)
DISASTERS, THE (The CW, New!) - Writer Derek Simon and director Lee Toland Krieger are spearheading a TV series take on M.K. England's novel, "set in a near-future where humans have colonized space to save Earth from climate crisis. It follows a group of washouts from Earth's prestigious military academy who are framed for treason and forced to go on the run to the Colonies to clear their names." John Sacchi of 5 More Minutes Productions and Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and David Madden of Berlanti Productions will also executive produce for Warner Bros. Television with Matt Groesch as a producer. (Deadline.com)
FOR ALL MANKIND (Apple TV+) - Michaela Conlin will recur on the upcoming season as Helena Webster, "a former pilot who is now an astronaut." (Deadline.com)
GUILTY PARTY (Paramount+) - Kate Beckinsale has signed on to star in the comedy series, about Beth Baker, a discredited journalist desperate to salvage her career by latching on to the story of a young mother sentenced to life in prison for maiming and murdering her husband, crimes she claims she didn't commit. She replaces Isla Fisher, who pulled out of the role over pandemic-related circumstances. (Deadline.com)
HEIRS (NBC, New!) - Carlos Portugal has sold a new drama to the network which "revolves around the heirs of a Latin American ex-dictator who face an unexpected dilemma when a young girl is kidnapped from their home on the night of their own daughter's lavish quinceaƱera." Davis Entertainment's John Davis, Jordan Davis and John Fox are also on board to executive produce for Universal Television. (Deadline.com)
HIGHTOWN (Starz) - The show's second season has tapped the following for recurring roles: Crystal Lee Brown as Janelle, "a physical therapist at a prison who gains trust with her patients"; Cecil Blutcher as Vernon, "an artsy-emo, sympathetic recovering addict"; Carlos Gomez as Rafael, "father of Jackie (Monica Raymund), [whose] past his glory days but always looking for a good time"; and Barbara Weetman as Callie, "Renee's mom, an aging beauty, rough around the edges, may be an ex-stripper herself." (Deadline.com)
LIZZIE MCGUIRE (Disney+) - Hilary Duff took to Instagram with the news her revival series is not moving forward at the streamer. Production on the project has been shut down since showrunner Terri Minsky was fired in January. (@hilaryduff)
MANIFEST (NBC) - Mahira Kakkar and Ali Lopez-Sohaili are the latest to recur on the new season as Dr. Aria Gupta, "a researcher working on a top secret study of the inexplicable phenomena surrounding Flight 828"; and Eagan Tehrani, "a Flight 828 passenger who has stayed off the grid since returning," respectively. (Deadline.com)
NIGHT COURT (NBC, New!) - John Larroquette is set to reprise his four-time Emmy-winning role of Dan Fielding in a follow-up to 1984-92 multi-camera comedy series, which "centers on the unapologetic optimist judge Abby Stone, daughter of the late Harry Stone, who follows in her father's footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics, most notably former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding (Larroquette)." Dan Rubin is set to pen the pilot script and executive produce alongside After January's Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch for Warner Bros. Television. Larroquette will receive a producing credit. (Deadline.com)
POWER BOOK III: RAISING KANAN (Starz) - Natalee Linez and Annabelle Zasowski have both scored recurring roles on the latest spin-off series as Jessica Figueroa, "a sharp and ambitious twenty-something who moves to South Jamaica, Queens from Baltimore"; and Nicole Bingham, "a rich Upper East Side prep school student," respectively. (Deadline.com)
SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS, THE (HBO Max) - Dylan Sprouse has joined the cast of the comedy series as Nico, a junior who interacts with co-stars Pauline Chalamet, Amrit Kaur, ReneƩ Rapp and Alyah Chanelle Scott, four roommates at Essex College, a prestigious New England university. (Variety.com)
SHARING THE WISDOM OF TIME (Netflix, New!) - Simona Ercolani and her production company Stand by Me have landed a four-part documentary series at the streamer based on the book by Pope Francis. Said effort "will see woman and men aged over 70 from around the world share their stories with young filmmakers under the age of 30 who are from the same country. The elders represent various ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and religions. It will also feature an exclusive interview with Pope Francis who will offer a unique point of view." (Deadline.com)
UNTITLED WAYNE BRADY PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Wayne Brady is attached to star in a hybrid comedy at the Eye about "a divorced couple who successfully co-parent in a blended multiracial family." The autobiographical project is being co-written by Brady, his ex-wife Mandie Taketa, as well as Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally. Said quartet will also executive produce for CBS Studios. (Deadline.com)
WECRASHED (Apple TV+) - Oscar winner Jared Leto is in early talks to star in the podcast-turned-limited series about the rise and fall of WeWork, with Glenn Ficarra and John Requa now set to direct. Leto would play Adam Newmann, the charismatic CEO who thought the company was going to change the world. (Deadline.com)
WIND OF CHANGE (Hulu, New!) - Alex Karpovsky is developing a potential series at the streamer based on the wild podcast of the same name, in which investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, "explores a rumor he heard from a source within the CIA: The agency was behind the 1990 international hit power ballad "Winds of Change." He will look at spies doing the unthinkable, a secret history of propaganda hidden in pop music and a maze of government secrets as he attempts to untangle one of the great mysteries of the Cold War." 20th Television is behind the project with Karpovsky, Radden Keefe, Jason Winer, Jon Radler, Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Sarah Geismer, Jenna Weiss-Berman, Max Linsky, Henry Molofsky, Liz Gateley, Chris Giliberti and Justin McGoldrick executive producing for Small Dog Picture Company, Crooked Media, Pineapple Street Studios and Spotify. (Deadline.com)
WYRD (FX, New!) - Emmy winner Matthew Rhys is set to star in a small screen take on Curt Pires and Antonio Fuso's comic series billed as "the story of the ultimate immigrant, an extraterrestrial in exile. It centers on Wyrd (Rhys) who was sent to earth in an attempt to better understand humanity. When his people don't come back for him, he's forced to assimilate - all while investigating paranormal activity and searching for a way home." Sheldon Turner is penning the adaptation with Rhys, Keri Russell, Vendetta Productions' Jennifer Klein and Dark Horse Entertainment's Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue also executive producing for 20th Television and FX Productions. (Deadline.com)

  [december 2020]  

· 1899 (NETFLIX)

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