UPDATED: With its siblings Showtime and CBS tackling terrorism via Homeland and Hostages, respectively, the CW also is joining the fray. The network is putting its youthful stamp on the subject with an untitled project from Memphis Beat creators Liz W. Garcia and Joshua Harto and producer Bill Haber. In fact, the CW is so focused on launching a terrorism drama, it is developing not one but two such projects. Described as Alias meets Homeland, the untitled Garcia/Harto drama centers on a young female FBI agent with the New York City Joint Terrorism Task Force whose undercover assignment at a prestigious New York university becomes the focus of the entire agency when she discovers a vital terrorist cell hiding in plain sight. Garcia and Harto are writing the script and will exec produce with Haber for Warner Bros. TV and Haber’s Ostar Prods. The project reunites Harto and Haber with Warner Bros. whose cable division produced Memphis Beat for TNT. The duo, repped by CAA and Madhouse, also has Angel Time, a drama based on the characters in Anne Rice’s The Songs Of The Seraphim novels set at CBS with Joe Carnahan directing. Founding CAA agent-turned-producer Haber is repped by the agency he once helped launch. The CW’s other terrorism drama project in development, from producer ALex Kurtzman and Bob Orci and writer Corinne Brinkerhoff, centers on a young Brooklynite recruited … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: There has been a change in the CW‘s plans for The Flash. Originally, the character, played by Grant Gustin, was supposed to appear in three episodes of Arrow this season — No. 8, No. 9 and No. 20, the last one serving as a backdoor pilot directed by David Nutter. Episodes 8 and 9, in which the superhero is introduced only as his alter ego Barry Allen, have already been shot. But now the CW has opted to film a traditional stand-alone Flash pilot instead of doing a backdoor pilot as Arrow‘s Episode 20. With Episodes 8 and 9 serving as an origin story, the plan was for The Flash character to make his debut — red costume and all — in Arrow‘s Episode 20. He will now do it in the pilot. The creative team remains the same, with Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and series scribe Geoff Johns writing the pilot and Nutter, who helmed the pilot for Arrow, directing. Berlanti, Kreisberg and Nutter executive produce, with Melissa Kellner Berman co-executive producing. Read More »
After successfully rebooting Whose Line Is It Anyway last summer, the CW is looking to bring back another half-hour series this coming summer. The network has teamed with producers Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci and writer Joe Hill for Tales From The Darkside, a reinvention of the 1980s horror/fantasy/thriller anthology series by George A. Romero. Hill will write the project, which will keep the original series’ 30-minute format, for a summer run consideration. Hill, Kurtzman and Orci will executive produce with Heather Kadin, Mitch Galin and Jerry Golod for CBS TV Studios, where Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products is based. The project reunites Kurtzman and Orci with Hill, son of horror master Stephen King. The three previously worked together on Locke & Key, a drama adaptation of Hill’s graphic novel, which went to pilot at Fox. Tales From The Darkside, which is in the vein of other genre anthology series like Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Tales From The Crypt, had a four-year syndicated run and is owned by CBS TV Studios sibling CBS TV Distribution. (You can watch the intro below.) CAA-repped Kurtzman and Orci, executive producers of Fox’s breakout drama Sleepy Hollow, have two other broadcast projects in development through their CBS TV Studios deal — a … Read More »
Last month, the CW gave all of its new fall series orders for additional scripts at the same time. And now the network is keeping its freshman class intact, giving all three series, dramas The Originals, The Tomorrow People and Reign, full-season orders. The Originals has been one of the success stories this fall. The Vampire Diaries spinoff, which opened so-so after the mothership series, has thrived in the Tuesday 8 PM slot, averaging 0.9 among adults 18-49 and over 2 million viewers in Live+same day. Despite being the only one of the newbies to air without an established lead-in, it is the highest rated of the bunch. The other two, The Tomorrow People and Reign, both have been very stable, logging a 0.6 18-49 rating for the past few weeks, Reign even maintaining the rating when its lead-in, TVD, plummeted because of a New York pre-emption. The CW’s new shows also have been strong DVR and digital performers. The network’s digital streaming of full episodes is up 50% season to date versus last season, and The Originals, The Tomorrow People and Reign see 84% more digital viewing than The CW’s new series last fall. The soapy Reign and similarly female skewing sophomore The Carrie Diaries have been getting particularly strong traction in digital viewing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After wrapping his fan-funded Veronica Mars movie, Rob Thomas is reuniting with the film’s co-writer Diane Ruggiero for a zombie drama series project based a DC property. The CW has put in development iZombie, which Thomas and Ruggiero will write based on the characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. iZombie, from Warner Bros TV and Rob Thomas Prods, is a supernatural crime procedural that centers on a med student-turned-zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity. But with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories, and with the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head. Thomas and Rugierro, who previously served as an exec producer on Thomas’ series Veronica Mars and Cupid, are executive producing with fellow frequent Thomas collaborators Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.
Zombies cannot be hotter at the moment with AMC’s The Walking Dead shattering ratings records and Brad Pitt’s World War Z doing well in theaters recently. Additionally, there are three series projects about loved ones coming back from the dead: Babylon Fields at NBC, a remake of the hit French drama The Returned at A&E, and ABC’s midseason series Resurrection. Read More »
The CW and CBS TV Studios, which are exploring the French court circa 17th century with freshman drama Reign, are staying in the country with another period drama project, The Painted Girls. Based on the book by Cathy Marie Buchanan, The Painted Girls is set in 1880s Paris against the backdrop of the turbulent and exciting world of “La Belle Epoque” – decadence, poverty, sex, drugs and a serial killer running rampant throughout the city. It revolves around three sisters studying at a top ballet academy, one of whom becomes the muse for Edgar Degas and his famed paintings of ballerinas. Tony-nominated playwright Geoffrey Nauffts (Next Fall) will write the adaptation and co-executive produce. Dan Jinks (Pushing Daisies), who exec produced the CW’s medical drama Emily Owens, MD, is executive producing the project, which was brought to his company by SVP Nick Nantell. Nauffts’ TV credits include Brothers & Sisters and Political Animals. He is with CAA and Stephen Clark. Jinks, who is producing Big Fish on Broadway, is with WME and Alan Hergott.
On the male side of the CW’s development, the network has Hourman, a drama based on the DC Comics characters. Written by Ironside … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sara Shepard’s best selling young adult book series Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game were turned into TV shows by ABC Family. Now the author’s new book series, The Perfectionists, is headed to the CW as a drama series project from Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros. TV. Written/executive produced by Arika Lisanne Mittman (Dexter) and exec produced by Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Cheryl Dolins, The Perfectionists is a murder mystery drama. While The Lying Game lasted for two seasons, Pretty Little Liars has become ABC Family’s flagship drama series and spawned a spinoff series. Alloy and Warner Bros. recently set an adaptation of another upcoming Sara Shepard book series, Heiresses, at Bravo. Mittman is with WME, Todd Feldman and Morris Yorn.
The CW made it official: It’s ordered the 21st cycle of America’s Next Top Model. Casting is currently underway for the cycle, which will again feature men and women contestants. Dates for the start of production and premiere will be announced at a later date. From the announcement: Read More »
The CW brass appear focused on finding an Army drama to add to its lineup. Following last year’s pilot Company Town, the network is staying in the military arena with Boots (working title), a new hourlong project from Breakout Kings co-creator/executive producer Nick Santora and Gary Fleder. Written by Santora and directed by Fleder, Boots is a serialized drama that follows young men and women from all over the country as they are thrown into the gauntlet that is the U.S. Marine Corps Boot Camp on Parris Island, SC. As they inevitably collide with each other, their instructors and local townies, these recruits must overcome their pasts and in doing so build their futures. CBS TV Studios, where Santora is under an overall deal, produces, with Santora and Fleder exec producing. This marks Santora’s second sale, along with a drama at CBS, which has a put pilot commitment with Justin Lin directing and exec producing and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci exec producing. Fleder has a strong track record at the CW where all three pilots he has directed, Life Unexpected, Beauty And The Beast and last season’s Oxygen (now Star-Crossed), have gone to series. Santora is with WME and Gotham, Fleder with WME.
Three years after the end of Numbers, CBS is high on another drama procedural with a genius at the center. The network has given a put pilot commitment to an untitled drama from producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, writer Nick Santora and director Justin Lin. It is one of two sales for Kurtzman and Orci’s CBS TV Studios-based K/O Paper Products, along with an untitled sibling terrorist drama at the CW, done with Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya ‘s Scripted World.
Written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and to be directed by Fast & The Furious’ Lin, the CBS project is inspired by the true story of Walter O’Brien’s life and how he, a man with the fourth highest documented IQ, became a real-life professor X. He recruited the world’s greatest intellects to his company where they not only solved the world’s most pressing and significant problems, but also helped each other learn to fit in and live in a world where literally being “one in a billion” can be as lonely as it sounds. Executive producing are Santora, Lin, O’Brien, K/O’s Kurtzman, Orci and Heather Kadin and SB Films’ Scooter Braun, with SB’s Danny Rose and Danielle Woodrow of Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment co-exec producing and and SB’s Scott Manson and Perfect Storm’s Troy Poon producing. Santora, who is under … Read More »