UPDATED: In features, it is the norm for big franchise movies to have multiple writers take a pass at a script before they get greenlighted. Now that MO seems to have migrated to TV in the case of tentpole series based on famous properties. During the 2008-09 development season, CBS put in development a reboot of iconic TV series Hawaii Five-0 penned by former Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero. The project didn’t go to pilot, and the next season, CBS tried again with new writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Peter Lenkov. The script sailed through the pilot stage and the show landed on CBS’ 2010 fall schedule. This season, the same happened to 4 shows with pre-sold titles: ABC’s Charlie’s Angels, based on the classic series, and Pan Am, inspired by the famous airline, as well as NBC’s Prime Suspect, an adaptation of the acclaimed British series, and The Playboy Club, inspired by the original Playboy club in Chicago. The first 3 were originally developed last season with different writers: Charlie’s Angels was written by Josh Friedman, Prime Suspect by Hank Steinberg and Playboy (then Bunny Tales) by Becky Mode. None of them went to pilot but, just like Hawaii Five-0 last year, ABC and NBC took a second stab at remaking Charlie’s Angels and Prime Suspect and creating a Playboy club show this season with new writers. Smallville creators/executive producers Al Gough and Miles Millar were tapped to write a new Charlie’s Angels script, Alexandra Cunningham to pen Prime Suspect and Chad Hodge to write Playboy. Meanwhile, producers Sid and Nancy Ganis and Sony TV had originally developed Pan Am with writer Jeff Melvoin a couple of years ago before getting another go at it with scribe Jack Orman this season. All 4 scripts went to pilot, and all 4 pilots have now been picked up to series.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.