This has always been the advantage of pitching an international format — you have a tape to show with your pitch. There have been a couple of projects that applied that model to original ideas this season, with producers financing the filming of a demo that is taken out to the networks. Jamie Foxx did it with drama Tommy’s Little Girl, which landed at NBC, and Rob Shalhoub and Rani Aliahmad did it with Homeland Insecurity, a workplace comedy that just sold to CBS. The project, set in the world of airport security, is based on the web series of the same name produced by Shalhoub and Aliahmad’s Trend Media. The two created the project with UTA-repped Josh Greenbaum. Greenbaum and Ben McMillan co-wrote the Web series and are also writing the CBS version. Sony TV is producing the adaptation, with studio-based writers David Guarascio and Moses Port set to supervise and executive produce. Shalhoub and Aliahmad launched Trend Media over a year ago to create content and TV shows. For the latter, “we thought the best way was to develop projects that are meant for television, scale down the production and shoot a short-form presentation,” Shalhoub said. “It’s nice to get (the presentation) in front of TV executives instead of asking them to envision what the project is about.” Added Aliahmad, “If a show doesn’t scale back to television, we can always try to recoup our investment through new media distribution.” That was also the backup plan for Homeland Insecurity, which was shot on a $70,000 budget, but it sold to CBS after first landing at Sony where it was packaged with UTA-repped veteran comedy writers Guarascio and Port. CAA-repped Trend Media, who also is exploring content for online networks and for the fledgling 3D TV networks, has 2 other projects in the works, a comedy and a dark sci-fi drama. Here is the trailer for Homeland Insecurity:
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.