‘Taste’ passes Eye’s test; Rock set to roll

Richter cast in Reisman laffer; Lee joins 'Housewives'

A handful of laffers eked out last-minute greenlights Tuesday, as Fox picked up untitled laffers from Chris Rock and Mark Perez, while CBS ordered the foodcentric Kirk Rudell sitcom “Taste.”

Meanwhile, on the casting front, Andy Richter has been cast in Fox’s quintuplets-themed sitcom, while ABC has rounded out the cast for “Desperate Housewives.”

At Fox, the Rock pilot is semi-autobiographical, based on Rock’s childhood in the ghetto. Rock will write and exec produce, along with Saladin Patterson (“The Fighting Temptations”) and Ali Leroi (“Head of State”).

20th Century Fox TV and 3 Arts will produce; 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and David Becky are also on board as exec producers.

Rock, whose recent feature credits include “Head of State,” exec produced the ABC/UPN laffer “The Hughleys.” He also wrote and exec produced “The Chris Rock Show” for HBO.

Fox’s Perez project, meanwhile, revolves around a Miami-based, multi-generational Cuban-American family. Pilot, which Perez will write and exec produce, is told through the eyes of a 16-year-old boy.

The untitled Perez project, which is cast contingent, comes from Carsey-Werner-Mandabach and Steve Martin/Joan Stein’s production shingle. Martin, Stein, Tom Werner, Caryn Mandabach and Marcy Carsey will exec produce as well.

Perez has several features in development, including “Accepted,” with Tom Shadyac attached to direct, and “The Hardy Men.”

The Eye’s “Taste” follows the story of Samantha, a culinary school grad who lands her first job at a high-profile New York restaurant.

“Taste,” which is cast contingent, comes from Regency TV and CBS Prods. Rudell (“Good Morning Miami”) will write and exec produce.

On the casting front, Richter will play the father of quints in Fox’s untitled Mark Reisman comedy. It’s a homecoming for the thesp, who last starred in the critically acclaimed sitcom “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.”

Richter last year starred in the CBS pilot “The Lunchbox Chronicles.” The former “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” sidekick also appeared in the feature “Elf.”

Richter had been set up at NBC under a talent holding pact (Daily Variety, Sept. 16) but Peacock ultimately passed.

As for “Desperate Housewives,” Sheryl Lee — best known as Laura Palmer in cult fave “Twin Peaks” — has joined the cast as Mary Alice. Also added to the show are Mark Moses (“10-8”) as Paul Young, and Cody Kasch (“Boomtown”) as Zack Young.

Lee’s recent credits include “Without a Trace,” while Kasch appeared in “Boston Public” and Moses was in the feature “Deep Impact.”

Also, Paul Adelstein (“Intolerable Cruelty”) has been added as Burke in ABC’s untitled Shonda Rhimes project. Touchstone drama follows surgical residents in San Francisco.

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