- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 9, 2006

Wayans world

The Wayans brothers want to do more than write and create comedy together. They’re trying to build a movie studio and theme park on a defunct Army base in Oakland, Calif.

Brothers Keenen Ivory, Damon, Shawn and Marlon Wayans put down a $150,000 security deposit and signed a negotiating agreement last week to develop 70 acres of vacant land, family spokeswoman Kay Carney told Associated Press.

The Oakland City Council voted eight months ago to give the family exclusive rights to analyze the site for possible development. The agreement was delayed to accommodate the brothers’ busy schedules and negotiations with lawyers over the deal, Miss Carney said.

The next step is to analyze the site and develop more specific plans. The brothers have talked of building high-end retail stores and a luxury hotel in addition to the studio and theme park.

The Wayans family had a hit 1990s TV show, “In Living Color.” Keenen Ivory Wayans wrote, produced and directed the 2004 film, “White Chicks,” which starred Shawn and Marlon Wayans.

Mohr’s ‘Service’ project

Comic Jay Mohr is back to playing arrogant characters on the small screen.

The actor portrayed a ruthless Hollywood executive in the short-lived “Action,” and is now set to star as an arrogant New Yorker who goes to a small Ohio town to get his girl back — only to end up stuck doing community service.

“[We] asked ourselves who would America like to see stuck in Ohio with nothing but his pants and flip-flops, and we landed on Jay Mohr,” Jim O’Doherty, who created the “Community Service” pilot with David M. Israel, told the Reuters news agency.

Christopher Wiehl (from CBS’ just-canceled “Love Monkey”) will play a town cop and local football hero.

Mr. Mohr’s TV credits include a regular gig on “Saturday Night Live” as well as guest shots on such shows as “Fastlane” and “The West Wing.”

In good ‘Company’

Sherry Stringfield will join the cast of the CBS drama pilot “Company Town,” which revolves around government agents who live in the same Washington neighborhood, Reuters reports.

The former “ER” star will play a mother of teenagers and a whistle-blower on the investment firm for which she works. Blair Underwood recently signed up to play an FBI agent.

Pilot positioning

‘Tis the season for networks to fill in the blanks — hire actors to flesh out the casts of their upcoming pilots.

ABC has been busy doing just that. Actor Peter Facinelli will play the second lead in the network’s drama pilot “Enemies,” while Sarah Clarke has joined “A House Divided,” another drama pilot set up at the network, Reuters reports.

“Enemies” is a study of two best friends from childhood who find themselves on opposite sides of the law as a cop and mobster. Mr. Facinelli (who had a recurring role as Jimmy, the drug-crazed art student on HBO’s “Six Feet Under”) will play the cop opposite Jeffrey Donovan as the mobster.

“A House Divided” explores a conflict between a Midwest farming community and the U.S. government. Miss Clarke of “24” fame will play the wife of the central character, an instructor at West Point.

In other casting tidbits:

• Charlotte Ross from “NYPD Blue” has come aboard “Ugly Betty,” ABC’s remake of a popular Spanish-language telenovela about an unattractive secretary at a fashion magazine. America Ferrera was cast in the title role.

• Sean Patrick Flanery (USA Network’s “The Dead Zone”) will join “Secrets of a Small Town,” which stars Angie Harmon as a popular TV reporter who returns to cover the news in her hometown.

• Over at Fox, the new “Becoming Glen” comedy pilot will now include Lenny Clarke alongside star and “Daily Show” correspondent Rob Corddry. The cable TV star plays a fortysomething guy who looks back on his life 10 years earlier when he was a slacker living with his parents. Mr. Clarke will play his father.

Compiled by Robyn Denise Yourse and Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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