[02/17/21 - 11:38 PM]
Development Update: Wednesday, 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!

61ST STREET (AMC) - Holt McCallany, Aunjanue Ellis, Killian Scott and Andrene Ward-Hammond have all been cast in the Courtney B. Vance-led legal drama. McCallany will play Lieutenant Tardelli, "a Chicago police lieutenant running a hard, dirty squad"; with Ellis as Martha Roberts, "a candidate for alderman on the South Side who is very skilled at telling the voting public that her drive and ambition will be placed at their service"; Scott as Rocco Andretti, "a legacy Chicago police officer"; and Ward-Hammond as Norma Johnson, "a cleaning lady at the local courthouse and a dedicated mother to her two sons, Moses (Tosin Cole) and Joshua (Bentley Green)." Production on the series begins next month in Chicago for a 2022 premiere. (Deadline.com)
ALL OR NOTHING: JUVENTUS (Amazon, New!) - Juventus, one of Italian soccer's most successful clubs, is reportedly the focus of a new installment of the sports documentary franchise. It's understood the series has been covering the current season, in which "Cristiano Ronaldo is in the Juventus squad this season and is spearheading the club's bid for trophies both domestically and in European competition." No auspices were given. (Deadline.com)
CONSTANTINE (HBO Max, New!) - Guy Bolton is spearheading a reboot series featuring DC Comics hero John Constantine - "a British exorcist and occult detective who hunts the supernatural" - which will see the character as "a young Londoner" and cast as a diverse lead. A pilot script has been completed in anticipation of a writers' room opening in March. J.J. Abrams is also on board to executive produce via his Warner Bros. Television-based Bad Robot Productions. Matt Ryan originated the small screen role in the short-lived NBC series of the same name, a role which has since migrated to "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" where he is a series regular. Keanu Reeves played John Constantine in the 2005 feature film. (Deadline.com)
HARLEM (UNTITLED TRACY OLIVER PROJECT) (Amazon) - Whoopi Goldberg and Jasmine Guy will both recur on the upcoming comedy, which follows the lives of four black women - friends from their college days at NYU - as they navigate sex, relationships and chasing their dreams. Goldberg will play Elise Pruitt, "the brilliant, intense new department head at Columbia University with a warmth that has a fragile on/off switch"; while Guy is Patricia, "Quinn's wealthy mom who wants her daughter to give up her seemingly failing career as a designer and just settle down." (Deadline.com)
HIVE (Amazon, New!) - Donald Glover has signed a multiple-year, eight-figure overall deal with Amazon Studios, ending his run at FX Productions, his home since 2017. The pact is "believed to include a content channel of sorts that will spotlight Glover's work and other curated content on Amazon's Prime Video hub." Already in the works is the previously announced "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," due in 2022, as well as "Hive," which is "rumored to revolve around a Beyonce-like figure." Janine Nabers is behind the latter, which reportedly has Malia Obama among the writers. Said development won't affect Glover's work on "Atlanta," which begins filming in March on seasons three and four back-to-back. (THR.com)
LEGACIES (The CW) - Courtney Bandeko will recur on the current season as Finch, "a student at Mystical Falls High School who is no stranger to getting into trouble. While a loner by nature, that all changes when she meets a transfer student who understands her in a way that no one ever has." (Variety.com)
MODERN LOVE (Amazon) - Minnie Driver is the first to be cast in the anthology series' second season. No specifics about her role were released. (Variety.com)
MOM (CBS) - The veteran comedy will sign off after eight seasons on Thursday, May 6. "Since its premiere, Mom has touched people's lives by sensitively tackling weighty yet relatable topics, with a perfect, deft touch," said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment. "Mom redefined what a comedy can be, and we are proud to have been the network home to this wonderful series. We are deeply grateful to Chuck Lorre and his tremendously creative production team, helmed by Gemma Baker and Nick Bakay, and the amazingly talented cast, led by the phenomenal Allison Janney." (Deadline.com)
NATIONAL PARKS (ABC) - Angel Parker will star opposite Billy Campbell in the drama pilot as Ava Longridge, "the ISB's smart and inquisitive Intelligence Analyst who gathers and studies evidence to create assessments of potential targets and threats inside the parks." (Deadline.com)
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (NCIS) - The series will also call it quits after seven seasons and 155 episodes on Sunday, May 16. "From the start, NCIS: New Orleans was able to distinguish itself with its New Orleans authenticity," said Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment. "From the colors and music to the vibrancy and stories you can only find in the Big Easy. Thanks to the amazing talents of the producers, writers, cast and crew, NOLA has played a key role on our schedule. We're pleased to give it a big sendoff and that viewers will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their favorite characters as the final season wraps." (Deadline.com)
NEGLECTED MURDERESSES (AMC, New!) - Edward Gorey's novel - described as "a black comedy that tells the story of twelve enterprising, fictitious female killers, who use particularly unique methods to off their victims" - is being developed as a TV series at the cable channel and AMC Studios by bigbaldhead's Norman Reedus, JoAnne Colona and Amanda Verdon. No writer was indicated. (Variety.com)
SEARCH FOR WONDLA, THE (Apple TV+, New!) - Skydance Animation has scored a two-season order from the streamer for an animated series based on the books by Tony DiTerlizzi as part of a multiyear partnership "to deliver kids and families animated theatrical features and TV series." Lauren Montgomery is behind the adaptation with Chad Quant, DiTerlizzi and Gotham Group also serving as executive producers as are Skydance's David Ellison and John Lasseter. (Deadline.com)
TRUE STORY (Netflix) - The Kevin Hart/Wesley Snipes-led limited series has cast Tawny Newsome as Billie, "a talented comedy writer who works for Kid"; Paul Adelstein as Todd, "Kid's longtime manager"; Will Catlett as Herschel, "this jack-of-all-trades bodyguard is a constant presence in Kid's life"; Chris Diamantopoulos as Savvas, "part of the same close knit family that knows no limit"; Billy Zane as Ari, "coldly unfazed by the nature of his job"; Lauren London as Monyca, who is "faced with new challenges of co-parenting a child with Kid"; Ash Santos as Daphne, "an outgoing young woman who joins Carlton and Kid at a VIP afterparty that continues to an eventful night"; and John Ales as Nikos, who "will stop at nothing to make sure his brothers Savvas and Ari are safe." (Deadline.com)
UNTITLED FOWLER & KASHER PROJECT (Showtime, New!) - Comedians Moshe Kasher and Jermaine Fowler are set to team for a single-camera comedy at the pay channel "set in 1997. In South Central Los Angeles, the heart of West Coast gangster rap, a group of teenage social outcasts attempts to solve the mystery of the murder of their hero, Biggie Smalls." 3 Arts Entertainment's Michael Rotenberg and Josh Lieberman will also executive produce for CBS Studios. (Deadline.com)

  [february 2021]  


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