Dec 22, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Mena Suvari, above, (“American Beauty”) has signed to appear in six episodes of HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” Ms. Suvari will play a student attending art school with Claire Fisher, played by Lauren Ambrose. Production of the fourth season of “Six Feet Under” is under way and will air in summer 2004. … Christopher Titus has signed with Showtime to star in a hour-long comedy special. The special will air next year. … Timothy Hutton has signed to star in Sci Fi Channel’s original miniseries “5 Days to Midnight.” Mr. Hutton will play a physics professor who receives a police file from the future containing details of his own murder. Sci Fi will present “Midnight” as five one-hour episodes over five consecutive nights. Also cast in the program are Gage Golightly as J.T.’s daughter and Hamish Linklater as a student. Michael Watkins will direct. The miniseries is produced by Lions Gate Television, in association with David Kirschner Productions and Hallmark Entertainment Distribution. The five-hour thriller is set to begin production in Vancouver, British Columbia, this month. … Ashton Kutcher will star in a hour-long drama in development tentatively titled “The House” for Fox Broadcasting. Mr. Kutcher has teamed with J. Mackeye Gruber and Eric Bress for the project, which focuses on the college experience. Mr. Kutcher and Jason Goldberg will serve as executive producers. … Singer-actress Solange Knowles signed a talent holding deal with UPN to star in a comedy series project. The project is targeted for fall 2004. Ms. Knowles will appear in the film “Johnson Family Vacation,” starring Cedric The Entertainer (“Cedric The Entertainer Presents”) and Steve Harvey (“Steve Harvey’s Big Time”). … E! Entertainment Television has named John Burke and Alisha Davis to anchor “E! News Live.” They will debut at the anchor desk Jan. 12. The pair will also cover E!’s red carpet programming throughout the upcoming awards season. Giuliana DePandi and Patrick Stinson will continue their anchor duties on the one-hour “E! News Live” weekend edition, and contribute to the weekday news program and live events. The network is also working on a prime-time project for Ms. DePandi. … Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) and Julianna Margulies (“ER”) will star in TNT’s “The Grid.” TNT has teamed with the BBC and Fox Television Studios and Carnival Films on the drama series, which explores the war on terrorism. Mr. McDermott and Ms. Margulies will play American counterterrorism agents who work with British counterparts to disrupt a terrorist cell. Tracey Alexander (“Sins of the Father”) and Brian Eastman (“Tracker”) will executive produce the project. Mikael Salomon (“Band of Brothers”) will direct the project. The script was written by Ken Friedman, Patrick Sheane Duncan and Joshua Brand. Production begins in early 2004 in Toronto, London and Morocco.
Kelsey Grammer and Steve Stark will executive produce a half-hour sketch comedy show titled “The Sketch Show” for Fox. Dan Patterson and John Thorday will also executive produce the pilot, which may be filmed in London. Peter Murrieta (“All About the Andersons”) is working on two new series projects for Sony Pictures TV and USA Network. The untitled Sony comedy project is based on the life of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn and has received a script commitment from NBC. Mr. Murrieta is writing the script and executive producing along with David Miner and Howard Klein of 3 Arts Entertainment. The USA project described as a Latin family show, focuses on a Mexican American bounty hunter from Echo Park, Calif. David Semel (“American Dreams”) will direct the project. … Bob Daily (“Frasier”) signed a multiyear deal with Paramount Network Television to create, develop and executive produce series programming. Paramount also signed overall deals with “Frasier” showrunners Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd. … Dan Beck will write and executive produce a sitcom for ABC based on Disney’s “The Parent Trap.” This most recent take on the familiar story will be produced by Touchstone TV and Tollin/Robbins Productions. Brian Robbins, Mike Tollin and Joe Davola will also executive produce. … Bob Lowry has written and executive produced with Mike Newell a drama pilot titled “Huff.” Showtime has picked up the project, which stars Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt, Paget Brewster and Blythe Danner.