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3 items from 2007

'Verdict' in at Lifetime with Prince

27 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Lifetime has ordered a pilot presentation for a judicial-themed drama from "Cane" executive producer Jonathan Prince.

The project, tentatively titled "The Verdict", centers on the "crime of the century" trial of a female celebrity who has been accused of having her lover murdered. It's being produced by Lionsgate.

Jon Maas is the writer on the project and is executive producing with Prince and Howard Klein. Mark Piznarski (the CW's "Gossip Girl", ABC's "NYPD Blue") will direct.

"Verdict" is set to start shooting in November in Philadelphia.

Prince also is executive producing the CBS freshman drama "Cane" and A&E Network's drama pilot "The Cleaner" through his overall deal at CBS Paramount Network Television.

Maas also is executive producing Lifetime's upcoming original movie "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet" and wrote the teleplay for the TBS movie "America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story."

The pilot-presentation order for "Verdict" follows Lifetime's pilot pickups for the dramas "Long Island Confidential", from ABC Studios, and "Family Practice", from Sony Pictures Television. »

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Chung has 'Samurai' chops

8 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Newcomer Jamie Chung has been cast as the lead in the ABC Family drama pilot Samurai Girl.

In other cable pilot castings, Christian Kane and Aldis Hodge have come aboard TNT's drama Leverage, while Anthony Carrigan and Amber Benson have landed roles in Lifetime's drama Long Island Confidential.

In Samurai Girl, Chung will play Heaven, a teenage girl who straddles the worlds of her life as the adoptive daughter of a wealthy family and the ancient Samurai traditions of her blood ancestors. The drama, from ABC Studios and Alloy Entertainment, is based on the first novel in the young-adult series of the same name.

Chung is repped by Gersh and Kritzer/Levine/Wilkins Entertainment.

Leverage centers on Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), a former investigator for big insurance companies who -- with the help of a team of the world's best thieves and experts in Internet and computer fraud, item retrieval and other nefarious skills -- stands up for the little guy and goes after the richest and greediest. »

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Shannon tops 'Kath' cast for Peacock

3 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Molly Shannon is set to play Kath in NBC's comedy pilot Kath and Kim.

Meanwhile, The Sopranos co-star Lorraine Bracco has joined Lifetime's pilot Long Island Confidential, along with Jeffrey Pierce.

Kath, from Reveille and Universal Media Studios, has been a high-priority project for NBC's Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg, who originally developed it at Reveille.

The two put the adaptation of the hit Australian comedy on the fast track shortly after they joined NBC in June as co-chairman and executive vp, respectively.

They commissioned a new script by Michelle Nader in July, which got a thumbs-up and now will be filmed.

Kath centers on a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. Shannon will play the mother; the role of the daughter is yet to be cast.

Casting the title characters has been considered crucial to the success of the show. When the project was first picked up to pilot by NBC in January, it was pushed to summer because of difficulties casting the leads.

Nader is exec producing Kath with original series creators Gina Riley and Jane Turner as well as Rick McKenna. »

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