Djimon Hounsou has joined the cast of ABC’s “Alias” in a recurring role. He will portray a criminal leader on the Touchstone-produced drama series. Mario Cantone (“Sex and the City”) has inked a deal with 20th Century Fox TV to star in and co-executive produce a comedy series for fall 2004. Topher Grace has made a deal with “That ’70s Show” producer Carsey-Werner-Mandabach to keep him on the series through the 2004-05 season. Vanessa Minnillo has inked a talent holding deal with MTV. The former Miss Teen USA will appear on “Total Request Live” and “MTV News.” Jack Osbourne will star in a series currently titled “Union Jack” for Britain’s Channel 4 starting in November. The 30-minute show will follow Mr. Osbourne’s search for A-list parties in Los Angeles.
Writer-director John Gray (CBS’s “Martin and Lewis”) has made a deal to write and direct a six-hour miniseries for USA Network about organized crime and the health-care industry. Frank Spotnitz (“X-Files”) will write and executive produce via Sony Pictures Television a crime drama titled “IQ.” CBS has picked up the series, described as a “murder mystery show.” Mr. Spotnitz has also signed with Brad Meltzer and Steve Cohen on a project tentatively titled “The 13th Floor” for FX. Paul Feig made a deal with HBO to script the pilot “Nice Guys.” The comedy revolves around a trio of nerdy male co-workers looking for love.
FremantleMedia North America signed an overall deal with Ted Haimes and his company Chaos Theory to develop unscripted series for Fremantle. Mr. Haimes was part of the Rocket Science Laboratories team that produced “Temptation Island” and “Married by America.”