7/29 development news

TV Arts

from the futon critic

24 (FOX) - Co-star Carlos Bernard is set to return for the show's fifth
season, however as always is the case with "24," it's not clear if
he'll be a series regular or only make a few appearances. His
character, Tony Almeida, was last seen helping Kiefer Sutherland's
character fake his death in order to escape deportation to China and
flee to Mexico. The producers have yet to provide details about "24's"
season five storyline.

AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC) - Creator/executive producer Jonathan Prince has
signed a multi-year development deal with Madison Road Entertainment,
the company which was responsible for the show's various onscreen
brandings this past season including Campbell's Soup, Kraft and Ford.
The pact calls for Prince to supervise the development of similarly
branding-friendly programs for the company.

THE CLOSER/INTO THE WEST (TNT) - The cable channel's six-part, 12-hour
mini-series "Into the West" concluded this past Friday to the tune of
3.6 million viewers, making it its least-watched installment to date.
Conversely, "The Closer" continued to impress with its July 18 airing
with 4.9 million viewers tuning in, good enough to beat USA's "Monk"
(4.5 million) among total viewers for all scripted programs on cable
last week. "Monk" however fared better among adults 18-49 with 1.9
million viewers versus "The Closer's" 1.7 million.

HBO ORIGINAL SERIES (HBO) - Both "Six Feet Under" and "Entourage" hit
season highs this past Sunday with 2.5 million and 2.1 million viewers
respectively tuning in. Lead-out "The Comeback" however continued to
struggle with just 995,000 viewers watching Sunday's episode.

THE LAW FIRM (NBC) - Like many of NBC's previous unscripted entries,
newcomer "The Law Firm" will be rebroadcast on the Peacock's cable
sibling Bravo. Last night's premiere will encore Sunday, July 31 at

late at night. Subsequent episodes will follow a similar pattern on

LOVE MONKEY (CBS) - Feature and TV producer Mark Johnson ("The
Guardian") has inked a multi-year overall deal with Paramount Network
Television to set up his Gran Via Productions up at the studio through
2007. Johnson was previously set up at Sony Pictures Television, where
he shepherded the Tom Cavanagh-led drama pilot "Love Monkey" this past
development season as part of a co-production with Paramount. That
pilot reportedly is still under consideration for a midseason order.
Under the terms of the pact, Johnson and his company chief Bryan
Seabury will develop new series projects for Paramount.

MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN (Sci Fi) - Bruce Campbell's latest effort
for the cable channel has been slated to premiere on Saturday,

describe the project: "Wealthy industrialist William Cole (Bruce
Campbell, the Evil Dead trilogy, Alien Apocalypse) winds up with part
of his brain replaced with gray matter from a Bulgarian cab driver. The
two couldn't be more different, but they share one thing: Both were
killed by the same woman. Brought back to life by a mad scientist
(Stacy Keach, TV's Mike Hammer, John Carpenter's Escape from L.A.),
William and his new brain-mate form an unlikely partnership to track
down their common nemesis. Bruce Campbell directed this SCI FI Pictures
original movie, and he's been presenting it personally on its smash-hit
nationwide tour, playing it to sold-out theaters in city after city. If
you haven't seen it in a theater near you, don't miss its television
premiere, only on SCI FI!"

MY KIND OF TOWN (ABC) - The Alphabet has quietly announced the

Back-to-back new episodes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" ("Nick
Family, Parts 1 & 2") will serve as a lead in to the show's debut while

"Town's" six-week run. Here's how ABC's press materials describe
"Town": "'My Kind of Town' is a relentlessly energetic primetime studio
show in which real American people in all of their imperfect and
awkward glory have the chance to become the stars of their own show for
one memorable night. Each week, 200 people from one small town come to
our New York City studio, where a lucky handful will participate in
individualized comedic games and gags for prizes tailored to their own
lives, interests and needs. One person from the group of 200 is chosen
to play the big end game, where they will shoulder the burden of either
winning or losing a huge prize for the other 199 audience members - all
of whom they will see every day for the rest of their lives. No

OVER THERE (FX) - 4.06 million viewers on average tuned into the
much-hyped premiere of Steven Bochco's "Over There," 2.4 million of
which fell into the key adults 18-49 demographic (1.8 rating/5 share).
Said young adult score marks the fifth most-watched basic cable
premiere in the key group, behind USA's "Dead Zone" (4.0 million), FX's
"The Shield" (3.0 million), TNT's "The Closer" (2.6 million) and FX's
"Rescue Me" (2.5 million). Overall, "Over There" was the most-watched

among men 18-34 (2.0/7) across all networks, broadcast and cable. An

adults 18-49).

PATH OF DESTRUCTION (A.K.A. STRATOSPHERE) (Sci Fi) - The cable channel
has confirmed that in addition to "Man With the Screaming Brain" (see
above), fellow Saturday night original "Path of Descruction" will also

describes the project: "All life on earth is threatened with extinction
when an industrial accident releases an aggressive and destructive
strain of self-replicating nanotech 'bots into the atmosphere. A
reporter and a scientist must race to stop the "death storm" that is
literally devouring everything in its path. Danica McKellar (Winnie on
TV's The Wonder Years), David Keith (Sabretooth, Deep Shock, Epoch and
Epoch: Evolution), and Chris Pratt (from the WB's Everwood) star."

THE PRINCES OF MALIBU (FOX) - The Fox Reality Channel has snagged the
rights to the short-lived FOX series, which was pulled after just two
episodes last week. It's understood the remaining four episodes will

beginning this weekend.

THAT '70S SHOW (FOX) - Actor Josh Meyers ("Mad TV") has inked as
six-figure talent holding deal with FOX, in addition to joining the
cast of the network's "That '70s Show" this fall (read the story). The
pact calls for FOX to develop a new project around the actor with
Meyers's reps at Principato-Young serving as executive producers. It's
not clear however if the new project is targeted for the 2006-07 season
or later. Meyers spent the past development season as part of
Carsey-Werner's failed FOX pilot "Peep Show."

UNTITLED R.J. CUTLER PROJECT (FX) - The cable channel reportedly has
wrapped production on a new "30 Days"-esque reality series which
chronicles the lives of a white family and a black family as they live
together under the same roof for six weeks. Originally announced more
than a year ago (read the story), the R.J. Cutler-created project has
since added Ice Cube's Cube Vision Productions as a co-producer. While
FX and Cutler have yet to confirm details about the series, it won't
feature a competitive aspect, choosing instead to be a fly-on-the-wall
type of documentary, a la Cutler and Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days." The
untitled project is being targeted for a 2006 premiere date with the
exact number of episodes still to be determined.

Cool"), Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Amy Madigan
("Carnivale"), Shaun Toub ("Crash") and Stephen Root ("NewsRadio") are
all set to star in the Alphabet's six-hour, $30-$40 million
mini-series, which will detail the events of the recent terror attacks
against the United States, including those on 9/11, the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing, the U.S.S. Cole and the disrupted millennium
attacks. Keitel will play F.B.I. agent (and Al-Qaeda expert) John
O'Neill, who died when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on
9/11, with Heaton as Barbara Bodine, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen who
clashed with O'Neill; Madigan as a top C.I.A. analyst; Toub as the
F.B.I. informant who helped bring down the first WTC attack; and Root
as famed White House terrorism guru Richard Clarke. Production recently
began in Toronto on the project with David L. Cunningham ("To End All
Wars") directing from a script by Cyrus Nowrasteh ("Into the West")
with Marc Platt executive producing. Serving as advisers to the
production are former New Jersey Gov. Tom Keane and former ABC News
anchor John Miller. As for specifics about the project, it's understood
part one will focus on the 1993 bombing of the WTC; part two on two
U.S. embassy bombings, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole and a plot to
disrupt millennium celebrations; and part three on the planning for the
9/11 attacks. Platt also has said he isn't aiming for Hollywood-style
over dramatization but rather a factual account using the 9/11
Commission Report as the basis. He also confirmed they won't be casting
actors for Osama bin Laden, President Clinton or President Bush,
choosing rather to use news footage of the trio.

WITHOUT A TRACE (CBS) - Roselyn Sanchez ("Kojak") has booked a
recurring role on the veteran procedural drama. She'll play a former
cop who joins the show's F.B.I. missing-persons squad after Anthony
LaPaglia's character decides his crisis-plagued team needs help, a role
which could be upped to series regular. Her first appearance is set for
the show's third installment this season.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters
I am *so* there! 

Bruce Campbell is **GOD**!!!1! 

Man. They are just afraid to rerun "Grey's Anatomy" aren't they?
(I could insert a snarky comment here, but I'm fighting the urge...) 

<Ian raises eyebrows>

I guess the question is - who's Sanchez gonna be replacing: Marianne 
Jean-Baptiste or Poppy Montgomery? (I'd guess the former, but who