EXCLUSIVE: These days, Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park is known mostly for its headline-making deal to continue to produce ABC’s canceled soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. But the new daytime player has quietly been building a primetime presence since the company’s 2008 launch and is now making a push to expand it, with former ABC exec Josh Barry recently joining Paul Frank as a partner in the TV division. Prospect Park has set up seven series projects at networks and studios around town, all executive produced by Kwatinetz, Barry, Frank and his father, Prospect Park partner Rich Frank, as well as the projects’ writers. So far, the company has had a perfect pilot-to-series batting average, with both of its pilots, USA Network’s Royal Pains and FX’s Wilfred, going to series that have become breakout hits for their networks. Wilfred was renewed for a second season last month, while Royal Pains was picked up for Season 4 yesterday.
One of Prospect Park’s new projects reunites the company with FX and Wilfred co-creator and star Jason Gann. GILF, which will be written by Gann, centers on an adopted man who, at the urging of his wife, seeks out his biological mother, discovers she’s a former porn star, invites her to move in, and forces his family to deal with the unpredictable consequences. Here is a list of Prospect Park’s other projects in development:
Built in a Day at ABC, from writer Mike Larsen (Real Time With Bill Maher). Set 3,000 years ago, it tells the story of Atticus, a promising young speechwriter whose ability to make the local village idiot sound like Caesar himself has landed him a job at the most prestigious PR firm in all of Ancient Rome. When a Republican Senator gets caught with his tunic down, or a star gladiator makes some disparaging comments about the Plebeians, it’s up to Atticus and the rest of the gang at Consultus Publicus to save their careers — and sometimes their lives!
Freestyle at ABC, from writer Richard Kramer. A soap set around the sexy world of one of the nation’s preeminent dance centers.
Cyber Crimes at Fox, from writer Carla Kettner (Bones). A techno-phobe female FBI agent is partnered with a witty and handsome hacktivist to solve violent crimes with a cyber component.
Girl Band at MTV, from writer Eric Weinberg (MTV’s Death Valley) and Death Valley star Caity Lotz as producer. Described as Spice Girls meets Spinal Tap, it is a half-hour mockumentary-style comedy about a semi-famous European girl group as they try to make it big in America.
Diplomatic Immunity, from writer Daran Little, set up at NBC International. A sexy, international soap that follows the sometimes over-the-top exploits of foreign diplomats and their embassies as they live it up on London’s Embassy Row.
Prospect Park’s slate also includes two recently announced projects:
The Frontier at NBC, from writer Shaun Cassidy, with Sony producing. Thomas Schlamme is attached to direct and executive produce the potential pilot for the drama, which chronicles the journey of a group of disparate travelers from Missouri to the West Coast in 1840. As they struggle to survive, these strangers will be forced to band together and form a family, while they boldly press forward into the great unknown that is the Frontier.
Princess of Whales at Lifetime, from writer Stephen Kronish and produced in association with Kathryn Morris’ Revival House. Based on the true story of Marcia Hartman, it follows the exploits of one of the most successful “hostesses” Las Vegas has ever known.
Prospect Park is represented by Abel Lezcano at Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.