EXCLUSIVE: As it enters its second decade as a company this month, McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision is ramping up TV development this season with 5 drama sales at ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW and several comedy and reality pitches in the works. Additionally, McG plans to direct a pilot this season for the first time since Chuck in 2007. Through the years, Wonderland has become one of the most prolific pods. The company has 3 series on the air this coming season, NBC’s Chuck and the CW’s Supernatural and Nikita. Since its very first TV pitch, the drama Fastlane which was taken out on Sept. 10, 2001, Wonderland has been based at Warner Bros. TV. And six months ago, Wonderland quietly renewed its mega deal at the studio through 2013, extending its tenure at WBTV to 13 years. “Warner Bros. bet on us 10 years ago and has helped us build an amazing business,” said McG, who has been dividing his time between features and TV, most recently directing the upcoming film This Means War. But “while the big features are exciting, nothing makes me more proud than a Wonderland TV series,” he said and acknowledged his partner at the company Peter Johnson. “Peter doesn’t chase the same writers as everyone else: we look for people on the verge, and for people who can tap into the youthful vibe of our company as they approach storytelling for broadcast TV.” The company’s 2003 series The O.C. introduced then-26-year-old Josh Schwartz, who became the youngest showrunner in network history. The five projects sold by Wonderland so far hail from writers Tom Donaghy, Michael Oates Palmer, Jason Rothenberg, Jeff Wadlow and Jeremy Miller & Dan Cohn. “2011 is all about the basic Wonderland mission: empower emerging talent to realize their own vision and become the showrunners of tomorrow. Or even later this afternoon,” Johnson said.
- House Calls at ABC from The Whole Truth creator Tom Donaghy, repped by CAA. It centers on a doctor who quits his successful hospital practice after a scandal rocks his family and starts making house calls.
- Untitled drama at NBC from ICM-repped Michael Oates Palmer (The West Wing). Described as a contemporary take on the Casablanca love triangle that blends romance, action, suspense and comedy, the project centers on the irrepressible American ambassador in a completely corrupt, dysfunctional, yet beautiful Eastern Europe country. When a visiting Congressman is killed, the US sends in the peacekeepers, and things get complicated when the general in charge brings his wife who happens to be the ambassador’s “one who got away.”
- Convergence at Fox, from WME-repped Jason Rothenberg (Twilight Zone feature). It centers on a brilliant but undisciplined mythology professor who, in the wake of a personal and professional scandal, moves his family from NYC to Charlevoix, the small Michigan hometown of his family practitioner wife. Looking for a fresh start, they get the adventure of a lifetime, because, “Charlevoix the beautiful” (as it’s known) has a secret: Miracles happen here.
- Game On at Fox, from WME-repped Jeff Wadlow (Hail Mary). It’s a sexy action comedy about two best friends who are secretly working as spies for rival agencies.
- Hustle at the CW, from WME-repped Jeremy Miller and Dan Cohn (That Was Then). Centers on five highly skilled people in their mid-twenties who come together when asked by the FBI to go undercover in order to combat youth-oriented crimes in Los Angeles. The stories will unfold through the POVs of the 5 undercover officers.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.