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Fox 2000, Temple Hill To Bring EDM Mogul Pasquale Rotella’s Life To Screen, Buying James Frey-Penned Memoir

Mike Fleming

ELEEXCLUSIVE: Based on a book proposal, Fox 2000 has made a preemptive acquisition of Insomniac: The Life And Times of Pasquale Rotella, a memoir that the Electronic Dance Music mogul is writing with A Million Little Pieces author James Frey. The book, which St. Martin’s Press will publish next summer, tells of Rotella’s rags to riches ride as the architect of Insomniac, a company behind the biggest EDM events in the country. Rotella became a promoter at the beginning of the rave scene in the early 1990s, starting with 50 people in warehouses in Venice Beach, to staging events like the Electric Daisy Carnival Flagship Festival, which draws 400,000 to Vegas each June. He reportedly sold half his company to Live Nation for $50 million.

Temple Hill‘s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen will produce with Haven Entertainment’s Rachel Miller, and Fox 2000′s Elizabeth Gabler and Erin Siminoff will oversee it with Temple Hill’s Isaac Klausner. The studio views it as a way into the immensely popular EDM world, with an edgy 8 Mile/Social Network-type look look at a provocative character scratching for his share of the American dream. Mollie Glick at Foundry and Lev Ginsburg at Ginsburg Daniels brokered the deal. Frey’s repped by WME.

OWLIt is the second deal this year involving Frey and Fox and Temple Hill’s Godfrey and Bowen, the Twilight Saga producers whose next film with … Read More »

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Upfronts 2014: What Pilots Are Still Alive, What Projects Are Being Shopped

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 4:21pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ecg-pulse-wallpaper17The networks’ pickups and cancellations have been done and their new schedules have all been announced as we wrap another upfront season. Like in a Walking Dead episode, among the countless bodies strewn around, a few are still standing. Here are the pilots and cancelled series that I hear are still alive or hoping for a resurrection in a new home.

Related: Upfronts 2014: Comedy Sputters, Diversity & Adaptations Flourish; Other Trends, Oddities

GaffiganPilots left in contention at the networks they were developed at include comedies Cabot College at Fox, where it has been eyeing a six-episode order; Sober Companion, also at Fox; Gaffigan at CBS; and Old Soul at NBC; as well as drama Agent X, whose pilot is being retooled, at TNT. ABC Brian Gallivan comedy also is a possibility. CW’s Supernatural: Bloodlines is dead but the network will take another stab at a Supernatural spinoff next season.

Related: Networks Play It Safe, Lead-Ins Rule On 2014 Fall Schedule: Full Grid & Top Face-Offs

lowe__131003221649-275x363How I Met Your Dad, which didn’t go to series at CBS, leads the pack of passed-over pilots that are being shopped to other networks. (Digital platforms like Netflix are considered a possibility for the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, along with traditional networks like Fox or NBC.) Other pilots that are expected to be taken out include two comedies that were in contention at ABC, Kevin Hart’s Keep It Together and the Michael Imperioli starrer Saint Francis, as well as the Rob Lowe-Rob Riggle half-hour The Pro, which was in the running at NBC.

Related: In Memoriam: The Broadcast Series We Lost To Cancellation This Season

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CBS Picks Up ‘NCIS’ Spinoff, ‘Scorpion’, Kevin Williamson Drama, ‘Madam Secretary’, ‘The Odd Couple’, ‘The McCarthys’ To Series

By | Friday May 9, 2014 @ 2:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712__131121001522CBS has made the bulk of its new series orders for next season with pickups for a whopping four dramas, NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, Stalker (formerly untitled Kevin Williamson) and Scorpion. They join previously ordered straight to series Battle Creek. On the comedy side the picks went to Matthew Perry’s The Odd Couple reboot, to be run by Bob Daily, who has closed a new deal with CBS Studios, and multi-generational family comedy The McCarthys.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

csi_crime_scene_investigation_logo__140218204850-275x206Besides the large number of dramas (CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves had told investors the network would pick up two new hourlong series for next season), what’s remarkable about the list is the pilots that did not make it — most notably the planted CSI spinoff starring Patricia Arquette and the How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad. I hear talks on the CSI spinoff, which would be a big moneymaker for CBS’ sibling CBS Studios, are ongoing and are expected to result in a pickup (UPDATECBS Picks Up ‘CSI: Cyber’ To Series). Things are more complicated with 20th Century Fox TV-produced How I Met Your Dad. Just as those false pickup rumors began circulating yesterday, we started to to hear that CBS may not go forward with the high-profile project. It is unclear yet if that is genuine disinterest in the show or a negotiating tactic to get a piece of it. CBS is known to drop bombs before, like last year’s pass on The Beverly Hills Cop pilot. And the network and HIMYD producer 20th TV had a rough negotiations for Friends With Better Lives last May. CBS owns or co-owns (with Sony TV) all newly picked up comedy series and all but one (Warner Bros. TV’s Stalker) drama. With Stalker, WBTV saw all seven of its drama pilots go to series. (Its eight one, which didn’t go, was a planted spinoff, Bloodlines, which aired as an episode of Supernatural.)

Related: Les Moonves: CBS Could Go Directly To Consumers If Court Sides With Aereo

 

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CW Picks Up ‘The Flash’, ‘iZombie’, ‘Jane the Virgin’ & ‘The Messengers’ To Series

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 12:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The CW split its new series orders between sister studios Warner Bros TV The CW logoand CBS TV Studios, with two pickups for each. That includes DC Comics-themed The Flash, from Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, and iZombie, from Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero, produced by Warner Bros TV, and soap Jane The Virgin, from  Jennie Snyder Urman, and thriller The Messengers, produced by CBS TV Studios. The CW had been mulling picking up four or five new series depending on Flash_CWhow many bubble series it would return — four new, three returning or five new and two returning. With The 100, Hart Of Dixie and Beauty And The Beast now renewed, the network went with four new series this season vs. five last season as it also previously renewed Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural, and Reign.

Related: CW Cancels ‘Tomorrow People’, ‘Star-Crossed’ & ‘Carrie Diaries’

Still, that gives CW a very good batting average of four out of six pilots going to series. (Fox scored a rare perfect record for a broadcast network this year with 3-for-3). Those that got a pass include terrorism/family drama Identity and the Supernatural planted spinoff Bloodlines. Unlike last year’s Vampire Diaries planted spinoff The Originals, Bloodlines did not feature characters from the original series, and the planted spinoff episode was met with mixed reaction.

Related: 2014 CW Pilots

The pickups bring more testosterone/genre fare to the CW with The Flash, iZombie and The Messengers and a soapy drama, Venezuelan telenovela adaptation Jane The Virgin, to join Reign and Hart Of Dixie as the network has been navigating the two directions for the past couple of years with emphasis on fantasy and sci-fi genres. Three of the new shows come from well-known CW creators: Arrow‘s Berlanti and Kreisberg, Veronica Mars‘ Thomas, and Emily Owens MD‘s Urman. Here are descriptions of CW’s newly picked up series: Read More »

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PILOTS 2014: Strong Year For Drama & Latest Pilot Buzz

By | Friday May 2, 2014 @ 8:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonA second consecutive season failed to produce a breakout new comedy series, that despite the fact that there was excitement at a number of broadcast networks last spring about their comedy pilots. Most of the excitement this time seems focused on drama pilots, so don’t be surprised to see more drama-heavy schedules at some of the networks, like NBC. With pilots screenings wrapping, here is one last check on what projects are being buzzed about as we head to next week, when the bulk of new series orders will be made.

Related: PILOTS 2014: The Latest Buzz

The JennNBC_logoings clan from FX’s The Americans soon might be joined by another family of U.S.-based Russian spies, The O’Connors. NBC’s drama pilot Allegiance (aka Coercion), about a Russian sleeper cell, has been gaining momentum and is considered a prime contender for a pickup. Also hot is another serialized drama, Traffic-like conspiracy thriller Odyssey, which already had been on a series track with backup scripts written. Additionally, very much in the running are two female starring vehicles, State Of Affairs with Katherine Heigl, which is in The Blacklist mold of a complicated central character in a serialized/procedural setting, and the lighter The Mysteries of Laura toplined by Debra Messing. Allegiance and State of Affairs are actively hiring showrunners. An early standout, DC Comics-based Constantine has lost some steam but still is a possibility, maybe for NBC’s Friday genre block. Family saga Salvation is in the mix, zombie drama Babylon Fields is considered a long shot, while futuristic drama Tin Man appears unlikely. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Supernatural’ Spinoff Episode Ticks Up; ‘NCIS’, ‘The Goldbergs’, ‘The Originals’, ‘Mindy’ Rise; ‘New Girl’ Low

By | Wednesday April 30, 2014 @ 11:04am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

BloodlinesEncouraging sign for the proposed Supernatural spinoff Bloodlines as last night’s planted spinoff episode drew a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49, up 11% from last week. The uptick probably was due at least in part to the ratings comeback of Supernatural‘s lead-in, The Originals (0.8, up 33% from last week’s series low), which also started as a planted spinoff episode airing in the last week of April last year. Proving that we should not read too much into the ratings of those spinoff episodes, The Originals-themed Vampire Diaries last year posted a 10% week-to-week ratings drop, yet the project went on to snag a series order and a second-season renewal. The CW pilots are facing very good odds this year, with six of them targeting as many as five slots.

Related: PILOTS 2014: The Latest Buzz

Mindy-Project-600This is new. The Mindy Project (1.1) edged its lead-in, flagship Fox comedy New Girl (1.0), to rank as the network’s highest-rated program of the night. Mindy was up 10% from last week, while New Girl was down 17% to a series low. Also hitting an all-time low was Glee (0.8), down 11%.

Related: Bubble Watch 2014: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

First-year ABC comedy The Goldbergs (1.6 in adults 18-49) cemented its second-season renewal with a nice 14% ratings bump in its return to originals after a two-week break. Actually, the entire ABC freshman Tuesday lineup was up. Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.9), also certain to be renewed, inched up a tenth from its fast national last week. Read More »

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PILOTS 2014: The Latest Buzz

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 10:09pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

panic-buttonWe’ve reached the point when the fate of pilots is out of the hands of their creators and into the hands of network executives. In the next two weeks, the execs will rely on testings, internal screenings and (occasionally) their gut to pick a couple of dozen pilots that will join the schedule next season. CBS, as usual the last of the broadcast networks to start greenlighting pilots in January, surprisingly was the first to kick off its screenings today. The rest will join next week. Here is the latest buzz on pilots at the five broadcast networks as well as TNT and TBS, which also will be picking up new series to present during upfront week.

Related: PILOTS 2014: More Early Buzz

cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712__131121001522Things are tight as usual at CBS, which might not pick up more than 3 new drama series, 4 tops. At least one of them will be a spinoff. The network has in contention planted NCIS and CSI spinoffs. Both are part of CBS-owned franchises that are extremely popular internationally, with another series guaranteed to bring a financial windfall for the company as it would be folded into existing output deals. Of the two, the New Orleans-set NCIS offshoot is a traditional spinoff that carries much of the DNA of the original, even more so than existing spinoff series NCIS: LA. Meanwhile, CSI: Cyber is a departure from the forensic nature of the CSI franchise, dealing with the darker subject matter of cyber crime. It is the riskier of the two, but it also has the potential to break new procedural ground the way the original introduced forensic science to crime dramas. Both projects are fronted by proven TV stars: Scott Bakula (NCIS) and Patricia Arquette (CSI). NCIS: New Orleans already aired and is considered a very solid contender, while the Cyber episode of CSI runs this coming week. The network would wait to see the reaction to the episode before moving to the next stage of decision-making. Of the non-spinoffs, The Tea Leoni-starring Madam Secretary is considered a front-runner. The untitled Kevin Williamson thriller tested well. I hear it is dark, but it comes from the creator of The Following, so that can’t be a surprise. A limited order in line of The Following is a possibility. Nick Santora’s Scorpion and Nikki Toscano’s Red Zone also are in the mix, possibly vying for one slot if there is a slot left. The Wall Street drama seems to be cooling off. (Vince Gilligan-David Shore’s Battle Creek has a straight-to-series order.)

Related: CBS Renews 9 Drama Series, 5 Comedies; No ‘Mentalist’ Or ‘Crazy Ones’

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CW’s ‘Supernatural’ Spinoff Casts Melissa Roxburgh As Female Lead, Gets New Title

By | Saturday March 8, 2014 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

roxburghFollowing a lengthy casting process, Melissa Roxburgh has landed the female lead of Violet in the planted Supernatural spinoff, now titled Supernatural: Bloodlines (formerly Tribes). Like her new co-stars Nathaniel Buzolic, Sean Faris and Stephen Martines, who all previously recurred on The Vampire Diaries, Roxburgh too has appeared on hit CW series before. She has done an arc on Arrow and a guest stint on the mothership Supernatural series. Written by Andrew Dabb and directed by Robert Singer, Supernatural: Bloodlines revolves around the various mafia-esque monster families that unknowingly to humans “run” the underbelly of Chicago and are being tracked by a newly minted Hunter who’s trying to stop them and rid Chicago of anything or anyone supernatural. Roxburgh’s Violet is a member of the powerful werewolf pack who hides her true nature because of her forbidden love for family rival David (Bozulic). But when cornered, her inner wolf breaks free. The Bloodlines Supernatural episode airs on April 29. Roxburgh is with Gersh.

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New Details On James Frey’s Mammoth Book-Movie ‘Endgame’ Deal At Fox

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 8:40am PST
Mike Fleming

Last Friday, James FreyDeadline broke news that author James Frey’s latest YA novel Endgame was part of a bidding war. Later I reported that the result was a movie deal upwards of $2 million with Fox, which came after the publishing deal with sister company HarperCollins, and Google part of the mix. This for a Hunger Games-style series. So here are more details about what happened for the author of I Am Number Four and A Million Little Pieces.

HarperCollins got this started by buying U.S. and UK English-language rights to a trilogy of novels Frey writes with Nils Johnson-Shelton, first of which is to be published on October 7, 2014. The book already has its foreign publishers lined up for a simultaneous release around the world in over 30 languages. Fox signed on quickly — 20th_century_fox_logoWarner Bros was trolling but never got to make a bid — for the movie rights, the first of which Frey will script based on the the opening book Endgame: The Calling, with Twilight Saga producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill producing a series of movies based on the three books. They also have access to e-book novellas that are part of the series. The interactive part of this has big potential and is being orchestrated by HarperCollins, Full Fathom Five (which created I Am Number Four) and Google’s Niantic Labs, which will publish six Endgame novels for the Google Play store, with the game launching on Android and iOS devices late next year. Read More »

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Fox Takes James Frey’s ‘Endgame’ In Year’s First 7-Figure Deal With Google In The Mix

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 9:49pm PST
Mike Fleming

James FreyUPDATED: 9:48 PMFox landed James Frey’s Endgame, and the deal was around $2 million with Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. Details will be forthcoming, but Google is involved. Fox joins sister company HarperCollins, which bought publishing rights. Here is what the book’s about: In a world similar to Earth, there are 12 bloodlines, or races. Each bloodline has a champion between the ages of 13 and 17 who is trained as a warrior and is always ready to do battle. When they turn 18, the teen warrior behind them gets promoted. This has been the case for hundreds of years, but no one remembers why — they’re always ready for some sort of battle to take place, but it never does. But the tradition continues. And then one day they’re called to fight, and all the bloodlines but the winners will be exterminated. They’re fighting to be the last race. WME brokered.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 2:56 pm PST: In the first bidding battle of the new year, Fox and Warner Bros are going hot and heavy over Endgame, a Hunger Games-type young-adult novel by James Frey. We’ll let you know how this one winds up, but it seems to indicate that Frey’s value has been rehabilitated since the days of his addiction memoir A Million Little Pieces. This sounds a lot closer to Frey’s last effort, I Am Number 4. Stay tuned.

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2014 The CW Pilots

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 9:47am PST

DRAMA

THE FLASH
PICKED UP TO SERIES
STUDIO: Warner Bros Television
TEAM: Greg Berlanti (w, ep), Andrew Kreisberg (w, ep), Geoff Johns (w), David Nutter (d, ep), Melissa Kellner Berman (co-ep)
LOGLINE: Barry Allen is a Central City assistant police forensics investigator who arrives in Starling to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. A comic book fanboy, Barry is obsessed with the Arrow unaware that working with Oliver and Felicity to solve the crime has brought him right into the dangerous world of the vigilante.
CAST: Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Rick Cosnett, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanaugh, John Wesley Shipp, Michelle Harrison, Patrick Sabongui

IDENTITY
PASSED ON
STUDIO: CBS Television Studio
TEAM: Corinne Brinkerhoff (w, ep), Alex Kurtzman (ep), Roberto Orci (ep), Heather Kadin (ep), Rob Golenberg (ep), Alon Aranya (ep), Gary Fleder (d)
LOGLINE: A young woman in need of a transplant learns she is related to a powerful family whose son is her only hope for a donor organ. The CIA approaches her to investigate the family’s involvement in domestic terrorism and to infiltrate their rarefied world. Her loyalty, morality and ethics are tested as she’s forced to slowly build a case against the family who saved her life.
CAST: Ahna O’Reilly, Matt Barr, Stephen Hagan, Mehcad Brooks, Manish Dayal, Patricia Wettig

iZOMBIE
PICKED UP TO SERIES
STUDIO: Warner Bros. Television
TEAM: Rob Thomas (w, ep), Diane Ruggiero (w, ep), Danielle Stokdyk (ep), Dan Etheridge (ep)
LOGLINE: A med student-turned-zombie takes a job … Read More »

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Gigi Levangie To Adapt Her Upcoming Book ‘Seven Deadlies’ As Drama Series For MTV

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 6:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Gigi Levangie, who previously helped adapt her novels The Starter Wife and Maneater as successful mini-series, is taking another novel to television. Levangie is set to co-write Seven Deadlies, a drama project for MTV based on her upcoming book of the same name, which will be published this fall by Blue Rider/Penguin. Seven Deadlies, which Levangie will be co-writing with Stacey Title and Jonathan Penner, is set in an exclusive, private high school and centers on a Latina scholarship student who  discovers that her classmates carry the bloodlines of the seven deadly sins, and that she must defeat them in order to save the world all while maintaining her GPA. The project reunites Levangie with MTV topper Susanne Daniels who, while running Lifetime, put Maneater in development. The Starter Wife mini premiered to big ratings on USA, spawning a regular series, which aired for one season. Levangie is repped by WME, Wetdog Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Paradigm-repped Penner and Title are currently rewriting The Bye Bye Man for Intrepid Pictures.

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NBC Pilot Update: Projects That Are Not Going Forward Get Notified

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 2:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

6TH UPDATE,  FRIDAY PM: Add the John Mulaney comedy to the dead pile too. Still alive are I Am Victor, which will be retooled, and Assistance.

5TH UPDATE: Also now dead is the Robert Padnick comedy pilot.

4TH UPDATE: The Night Shift obituary was premature. In the flurry of passes, the pilot was erroneously bundled with those that are definitely dead, but it appears that no calls have been made on it yet. So if you worked on that pilot or have clients on it, you can breathe easier, at least for now. Read More »

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PILOT LOCATIONS: Los Angeles Makes Drama Rebound, New York Gains In Comedy, New Orleans Hot

By | Tuesday April 23, 2013 @ 7:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Following several years of declines in the number of drama pilots shot in Los Angeles, the City of Angels staged a comeback this season with 14, reclaiming the top spot as the most popular drama pilot destination after falling for the first time to No. 3 last year behind New York and Vancouver. Los Angeles benefited from the increased overall pilot volume this season, housing 13 of this year’s 48 hourlong pilots, up from 8 (out of 41) last year and 11 (out of 42) the year before, and just short of the 2010 haul of 14 pilots (out of 43).
New York, fresh off luring back The Tonight Show, has become a comedy pilot magnet. The Big Apple already has solid comedy credentials on the cable side with FX’s Louie and HBO’s Girls, but I can’t think of any major half-hour broadcast pilot shot in New York since NBC’s 30 Rock, which just ended its seven-season run. This year, there were a whopping five (all single-camera): NBC’s Michael J. Fox project, which has straight-to-series order, and Assistance; CBS’ Jim Gaffigan and untitled Rottenberg & Zuritzsky project; and Fox’s Us And Them. In some cases, the choice of location was dictated by talent (like Fox). In others, the producers felt it was hard to fake New York or the East Coast in Los Angeles, where virtually all comedy broadcast series have been filming. The 2010 New York filming tax program, which already led to the explosion of NY drama pilot production from zero pilots in 2010 to 11 last year, is helping rein in production costs, which are still higher than a Los Angeles-based half-hour pilot but not by as much as before. With the comedy boon, New York managed to post a new record of 13 pilots, though the number of dramas slipped from 11 to eight. Read More »

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PRIMETIME PILOT PANIC: The Latest Buzz

By | Sunday April 21, 2013 @ 7:48pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

We’re about a week from starting to get more definitive feedback on this year’s pilots when the networks start screening them. That is probably my favorite part of pilot season, when dark horses and underdogs that had stayed largely under the radar suddenly race to the front of the pack. Until then, here are how pilots stack up now based on inherently subjective intel.

Related: PRIMETIME PILOT PANIC – More Early Buzz

Chuck Lorre’s Mom stamped its ticket to the fall schedule with a very well received taping on Friday night, so there goes the assured multi-camera CBS slot for next season, likely Mondays 8:30 PM. The Robin Williams starrer Crazy Ones looks pretty solid on the single-camera side. If CBS decides to go with multiple new multi-camera series, Friends With Better Lives and the untitled Greg Garcia project appear particularly strong (It is still early on the Tad Quill pilot starring Matthew Broderick). On the single-camera side, The McCarthys has buzz, with Ex-Men, Bad Teacher, Super Clyde and Rottenberg/Zuritsky also in the mix.

On the drama side, Beverly Hills Cop is entering the screening stage as a frontrunner. Hostages also looks strong, possibly for midseason given its serialized nature. The in-house CBS contenders include the NCIS: LA spinoff, The Surgeon General and The Ordained, while Intelligence is led by the type of hunky actor, Josh Holloway, CBS brass love. (Alex O’Loughlin anyone?) Wild cards include Hart Hanson’s Backstrom. Read More »

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PRIMETIME PILOT PANIC: More Early Buzz

By | Saturday April 13, 2013 @ 4:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There is exactly one month to go until the broadcast networks begin to unveil their 2013-14 schedules to advertisers during premiere week. The first completed pilots have just started to come in, but we’re still a couple of weeks away from getting a more realistic picture of the this year’s pilot standings. For now, the info we share is based on buzz (thus the headline), and early insights from table reads, tapings, dailies and rough cuts. So don’t forget to pick up a large grain of salt before reading this. Now that you have been warned:

Chuck Lorre has done it again. Not that his clout alone was not enough to make his newest pilot Mom an instant frontrunner for the fall schedule the day it was greenlighted by CBS in December. Still, for CBS’ peace of mind, they were hoping the show would come together well. The network brass just got their wish with a rousing table read. The only remaining question surrounding Mom is where it will land on the schedule. I hear Monday 8:30 PM as a likely possibility. It makes a lot of sense, as How I Met Your Mother is already a strong launching pad that most recently helped establish 2 Broke Girls last year. Next season, the veteran comedy is expected to get extra sizzle from the fact that it is going into its final season that will finally reveal who the mother is. Plus, HIMYM and Mom will likely share sensibilities as they share the same director, Pam Fryman. As I wrote in my first early pilot buzz post, CBS brass appear very pleased with their comedy development this season, so if they pick up more multi-camera pilots, Friends With Better Lives is hot, and the Greg Garcia multi-camera pilot starring Will Arnett is coming off a solid table read. Competition is shaping to be as cutthroat on the single-camera side where CBS will likely opt for at least two shows to form a single-camera block. Greg Garcia’s Super Clyde was an early standout, with Crazy Ones boasting an in-form Robin Williams. The Bad Teacher remake and Irish American family comedy The McCarthys also seem to be in the mix, with the long-brewing Rob Greenberg pilot and Rottenberg/Zuritsky garnering positive very early buzz. Read More »

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Peter Berg To Direct Damon Lindelof’s HBO Pilot ‘The Leftovers’

By | Friday April 12, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Peter Berg has closed a deal  to direct Damon Lindelof’s HBO drama pilot The Leftovers based on Tom Perrotta’s 2011 book. In addition, Berg and his producing partner, Sarah Aubrey, will serve as executive producers on the pilot as well as the series, should it go forward, alongside Lindelof, Perrotta, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger. The project, co-written by Lindelof and Perrotta, takes place after the Rapture happens but not quite like it’s supposed to. It is the story of the people who didn’t make the cut… and a world that will never be the same. The pilot is produced by Warner Bros. TV where Lindelof, who will serve as showrunner on Leftovers, is under a rich overall deal. Berg, who also is directing and exec producing the NBC pilot Bloodline, is with WME.

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Kenneth Choi Joins NBC Pilot ‘Ironside’, Erin Pineda Added To Fox’s ‘Dads’

By | Monday March 25, 2013 @ 6:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In what would be his first series regular role, Kenneth Choi (Sons Of Anarchy, Glee, 24) has been cast in NBC’s drama pilot Ironside, a reboot of the 1967 series. Written by Mike Caleo and directed by Peter Horton, it centers on Robert T. Ironside (Blair Underwood), a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting who is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases. Choi will play Captain Ed Rollins, Ironside’s supervisor. Despite their push/pull relationship Ed and Ironside have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for each other. Choi, repped by Mosaic, TalentWorks and attorney Derek Kroeger, was recently seen in Captain America 2 and next co-stars in Wolf Of Wall Street.

In another recent NBC drama pilot casting, another 24 alum, Tzi Ma, will appear opposite Skyler Samuels in NBC‘s drama pilot Bloodline. Written by David Graziano and directed by Peter Berg, Bloodline is described as a pulpy, highly stylized look into the cheeky world of Bird Benson (Samuels), a smart, irreverent and strong young girl who, due to an accident of birth, finds herself caught in the middle of an epic struggle between two warrior families set against the backdrop of modern suburbia. Ma plays Charles Hwang, Bird’s trainer and mentor.

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Audra McDonald To Co-Star In CBS’ ‘The Ordained’, 2 Join ‘Welcome To The Family’

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 10:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Private Practice alumna Audra McDonald has been cast in the CBS drama pilot The Ordained, executive produced by Frank Marshall. Directed by RJ Cutler from a script by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, Ordained centers on Tom Reilly (Charlie Cox), the son of a Kennedy-esque family who leaves the priesthood and becomes a lawyer at a top New York firm to prevent his politician sister from being assassinated. McDonald will play Anthea, a senior litigator at the firm. McDonald is the second Private Practice co-star to book a pilot; KaDee Strickland is in NBC’s Bloodline. Read More »

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