Stockard Channing and Kurt Fuller have joined ABC’s single-camera pilot starring Mandy Moore and directed by Shawn Levy. The project, written by Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub, centers on newlyweds Annie (Moore) and Ben, who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in Annie’s hometown bringing her closer to her needy and high-maintenance family. Channing and Fuller will play Annie’s parents: her warm and devoted and sometimes overbearing and manipulative mother Barbara and good-natured dad Steve.
Jay Mohr has joined the CBS pilot Applebaum, directed by Chris Columbus. Based on Ayelet Waldman’s Mommy Track Mysteries series of books, Applebaum centers on Juliet Applebaum (Rachelle Lefevre), a former public defender who becomes a private investigator to keep from being bored to death as a stay-at-home mom. Mohr, repped by Gersh and manager Barry Katz, will play Juliet’s partner at the PI agency, a gun-toting, conspiracy theorist whose garage doubles as the agency’s office. Mohr, who recently recurred on ABC’s Suburgatory, just wrapped the feature Burt Wonderstone.
EXCLUSIVE: Producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have acquired film rights to Other Desert Cities, the Jon Robin Baitz stage play. Parkes/MacDonald used the development fund it launched with Imagenation Abu Dhabi to make the deal. Baitz will write the script and will co-produce, with Parkes and MacDonald producing. They haven’t yet involved a studio.
The play opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre this month after a run last season at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. In the play, Stacy Keach and Stockard Channing play an old Hollywood couple who’d once counted Ronald and Nancy Reagan as close friends. Their retirement to Palm Springs is upended by continuing friction with their kids, a reality TV producer and a novelist daughter who has gotten past her writer’s block by writing a tell-all memoir that bares family secrets.
Parkes and MacDonald produced the screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd, and they adapted Catch Me If You Can, for the stage (they produced the film). They are currently in production on the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight starring Denzel Washington, and they are in post-production on Men In Black 3D, which Sony releases May 25, 2012.
RJ Cutler, director of the Anna Wintour documentary The September Issue, has optioned the rights to Rudolph Delson’s 2007 novel Maynard & Jennica, which he will adapt to direct as a feature. Maynard & Jennica is romantic comedy about a Gotham-based filmmaker who meets and has a relationship with a California transplant with stars in her eyes. In the book, the romance is told by 35 first-person narrators, ranging from friends to a macaw to dead ancestors. Cutler is currently executive producing Spring/Fall for HBO, which stars Tea Leoni, Hope Davis, Sigourney Weaver and Stockard Channing and is currently filming its pilot episode in New York. He is also developing as a feature Fabulous Nobodies, an adaptation of the Lee Tulloch novel. Cutler is represented by CAA and Mosaic.
Veteran actress Stockard Channing has signed on to star in NBC’s pilot 17th Precinct, an ensemble cop drama with supernatural elements from Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, is set in the fictional town of Excelsior where magic and supernatural elements rule over science. Channing will play Mira, a fiercely intelligent former homicide detective who’s working in the robbery division of the 17th Precinct.
Meanwhile, Wentworth Miller and Orlando Jones are in talks for the ABC drama pilot Identity. The project, from ABC Studios and Eagle Eye scribe John Glenn, is based on an ITV/ITV Studio format and is an action procedural centered on an elite police unit formed to combat the explosion of identity-related crime. Miller and Jones would play members of the unit.