James Wolk is set to co-star opposite Robin Williams in Crazy Ones, CBS‘ single-camera workplace comedy pilot written by David E. Kelley and directed by Jason Winer. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV, is set at the Lewis, Roberts & Roberts Ad Agency and stars Williams as Simon Roberts, the brilliant head of the agency who is working alongside his daughter. Wolk will play Zach Cropper, a confident and charming copywriter at the ad agency. Per the role breakdown: “he is George Clooney — cool, only better looking.” Kelley and Winer executive produce the pilot with Bill D’Elia, Winer, Dean Lorey, John Montgomery and Mark Teitelbaum. This marks Wolk’s return to 20th TV where he played the lead in the studio’s Fox drama series Lone Star. Wolk, repped by WME, Greenlight Management and attorney Amy Nickin, recently co-starred in USA Network’s limited drama series Political Animals.
CBS Orders Drama Pilots From ‘Homeland’ Trio & Michael Seitzman, Officially Picks Up David E. Kelley/Robin Williams Comedy
CBS has given pilot orders to two more dramas, Anatomy Of Violence, from the Homeland trio of executive producers Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa and Alex Cary, and Intelligence, from writer Michael Seitzman. The network also has made official the pilot order to David E. Kelley’s comedy pilot Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams.
As one of the highest wattage comedy packages this season, the David E. Kelley-written workplace comedy starring Robin Williams has had an informal pilot order ever since the project landed at CBS in August. It has already hired a director, Jason Winer, and has been actively casting the other parts. Now that order has been formalized by CBS. 20th Century Fox TV, where Kelley was based for 22 years before moving to Warner Bros. TV in 2008, is producing.
Even without the big commitment, giving the project a production order was a no brainer. Let’s face it, you can’t judge a Robin Williams-starring vehicle without seeing it as he rarely sticks to the script. His improvisations on his previous TV series, Mork & Mindy, were so hard to contain, Garry Marshall added a fourth camera to the three-camera format for him, thus ushering in the multi-camera comedy setup that is used til this day. Williams will go with one for …
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Winer is set to direct and executive produce two single-camera comedy pilots this season: David E. Kelley’s CBS project starring Robin Williams and Fox’s The Gabriels (formerly House Rules) executive produced by David Dobkin. Both are produced by 20th TV where Winer is under an overall deal.
The Kelley/Williams comedy, which CBS is yet to formally greenlight, is written/exec produced by The Practice and Ally McBeal creator. Set in the world of advertising, it stars Williams as a brilliant ad executive working alongside his daughter. Andrew Gurland and Justin Hurwitz’ The Gabriels centers on a neurotic family with contempt for all things normal that tries their best to fit into their small Midwest town where everyone knows each other and politeness reigns. Gurland, Hurwitz and Dobkin executive produce with Peter Principato and Paul Young.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
At today’s TCA panel on TNT’s new medical drama series Monday Mornings, executive producer David E. Kelley (Chicago Hope, The Practice, Doogie Howser M.D.) admitted reservations about a taking on another medical show. But he said he went back into the operating room because of the participation of neurosurgeon and co-executive producer Sanjay Gupta. The series is based on the book by Gupta. The surgeon also serves as CNN chief medical correspondent.
Kelley said the book made him realize that the show, whose large ensemble cast includes Ving Rhames, Bill Irwin, Alfred Molina and Emily Swallow (on the panel,) could offer “fertile story-telling ground”, adding: It only came to fruition when Sanjay agreed to stay with it. The book is what made me want to do the series, but I wanted to keep the voice that came with us. He assured me he would not abandon us, and stay with us”.
Thirty years after the end of Mork & Mindy, Oscar and Emmy winner Robin Williams is plotting a return to series television with a comedy written by Emmy winner David E. Kelley. The untitled single-camera comedy, written by The Practice and Ally McBeal creator, is set in the world of advertising and would star Williams as a brilliant ad executive working alongside his daughter.
As he often does, Kelley wrote the script before taking the project out, and CBS is now in talks to pick it up. 20th Century Fox TV, where Kelley was based for 22 years before moving to Warner Bros. TV in 2008, is producing. Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia will serve as an executive producer with him.
A deal with CBS would bring Kelley back to the network where he created his first show to score a best series Emmy win, drama Picket Fences. It was followed by wins for The Practice and Ally McBeal, which made him the only creator to score a best comedy and drama series Emmys in the same year. The ad agency project also would bring Kelley back to the half-hour genre where he co-created his first series, Doogie Howser, MD. Kelley most recently created legal dramedy Harry’s Law, which ran on NBC for two seasons, and medical drama Monday Mornings, which premieres on TNT next year.
Williams, Oscar winner for Good Will Hunting, …
Series cancelled before their time rarely fare well at the Emmys in their last go-around. But NBC’s Harry’s Law defied the odds, landing two noms for its second and final season — the same as last year. Star Kathy Bates earned her second nom in the best actress in a drama series category, and Jean Smart was nominated in the guest actress field for her recurring role as D.A. Roseanna Remmick. David E. Kelley’s legal dramedy was nominated in the same categories last year, winning for guest actor (Paul McCrane). Emmy winner Kelley said he didn’t have any expectations going into Emmy season. “Once you out of sight, you tend to go out of mind,” he said. Nevertheless, “we knew we had first-class actress in Kathy Bates, and Jean Smart had a terrific turn. We just adore Kathy and still feel that she deserved better with the show.”
Bates proved her chops with two Emmy noms today, including a guest-starring nod for her her turn as Charlie Harper’s ghost on Two And A Half Men. “I’m thrilled and honored most particularly about Harry’s Law which has been near and dear to my heart and I miss so much already,” said the actress, who shared her sadness over the cancellation of the series back in May.
TNT has given a series order to Monday Mornings (formerly Chelsea General), a medical drama pilot from Emmy-winning writer-producer David E. Kelley and practicing neurosurgeon/CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, on whose book the project is based. The cable network has picked up 10 episodes for a premiere in summer 2013. The series, starring Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina, will air on TNT and Turner networks around the world. Monday Mornings was one of three pilots in contention for a series pickup heading into TNT’s upfront presentation next week. TNT yesterday passed on one, Western Tin Star, while the other, search-and-rescue procedural Scent Of The Missing, remains in contention. Word is TNT plans to shoot a few more procedural pilots and will make a decision after seeing all of them. The network applied similar strategy to Tin Star, which was shot last fall but held back to screen with the other two pilots. Meanwhile, Frank Darabont’s period pilot L.A. Noir is still filming. It will be evaluated on its own as a potential Sunday genre show for the network, which airs sci-fi drama Falling Skies on the night, and not with Scent and the group of procedural pilots TNT plans to order.
EXCLUSIVE: Ving Rhames is set to star opposite Alfred Molina is David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. It uses as a backdrop the hospital’s Monday Morbidity and Mortality conference, considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine, where doctors gather for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care. Rhames, who was pursued for multiple pilots this season, will play a physically imposing former professional football player who now is the most celebrated trauma chief in the country. In addition to Rhames and Molina, the cast of the project includes Bill Irwin, Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan. Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing Chelsea General; Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia is set to direct the pilot. Rhames, whose credits include the Mission: Impossible franchise and series Gravity and Kojak, is with Innovative and Kramer Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Alfred Molina is set to star in David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. It uses as a backdrop the hospital’s Monday Morbidity and Mortality conference, considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine, where doctors gather for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care. Molina will play Dr. Harding Hooten, the steely-eyed Chief of Surgery at Chelsea General, known for his punishing and outwardly-uncaring ways. He heads up a weekly meeting in which doctors are lauded for their good work, or criticized (even fired) for their mistakes. Also cast in the pilot is Bill Irwin (CSI) as Dr. Buck Tierney, a smug doctor who takes himself very seriously and rubs his colleagues the wrong way. Molina and Irwin join previously cast Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan. This marks a reunion for Molina and Kelley — Molina recently did an arc on Kelley’s NBC legal dramedy Harry’s Law. He also toplined NBC’s spinoff series Law & Order: LA last season. Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing Chelsea General; Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia is set to direct the pilot.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Finnigan is the first cast member set in David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. Finnigan will play one of them, Dr. Tina Ridgeway, a neurosurgeon who has a fling with a fellow neurosurgeon. Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing the pilot; Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia is set to direct. This marks Crossing Jordan alumna Finnigan’s return to drama after a string of comedy series, most recently ABC’s Better With You.
American Horror Story‘s Kate Mara has been cast in Netflix’s first original series, David Fincher’s drama House Of Cards starring Kevin Spacey. The political thriller, based on Michael Dobbs’ novel and the 1990 British series it spawned, stars Spacey as Rep. Frank Underwood, the Majority Whip of the US House of Representatives who, after getting is passed over for Secretary of State, hatches a plot to bring down the new President. Mara will play Zoe Barnes, a reporter for a top Washington newspaper who, desperate for a break, makes a deal with Underwood for a scoop that could cost her her soul. She joins Spacey and fellow lead Robin Wright who plays Underwood’s wife. …
EXCLUSIVE: In David E. Kelley’s first foray into cable, TNT has given a pilot order to a new medical drama from The Practice creator and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Kelley wrote the script for the project, tentatively titled Chelsea General, based on Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings. Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing. “Chelsea General promises to be a smart, witty and extremely powerful medical drama, the kind of series David E. Kelley is renowned for making,” said Michael Wright, EVP and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “We look forward to working with David and Sanjay in bringing the doctors’ fascinating stories and characters to television.”
Set to be published in March 2012, Gupta’s Monday Mornings is set at Chelsea General and follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. The book uses as its backdrop the hospital’s Monday Morbidity and Mortality conference, considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine, where doctors gather for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care. The book takes a look at how surgeons come to terms with mistakes and try to learn from them.
Chelsea General is Kelley’s first project as a free agent. The Emmy-winning writer-producer opted not to renew his overall deal at Warner Bros. TV in May so he can pursue passion projects in different areas, including cable. This marks Kelley’s return to the medical genre 17 years after he created CBS’ Chicago Hope.
Wonder Woman will fly this pilot season after all. New NBC entertainment president Bob Greenblatt capped a day of high-profile pilot pickups with a surprise order to David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman reboot. Additionally, he formally greenlighted another hourlong project from an A-list showrunner, Michael Patrick King’s Mann’s World. Both shows hail from Warner Bros. TV. Meanwhile, the commitment to the J.J. Abrams/WBTV-produced drama Odd Jobs starring Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn, whose script came in very late, is being rolled to next season when it will be applied to the same or new Bad Robot project. And Greenblatt has passed on the Josh Schwartz/WBTV supernatural drama Ghost Angeles starring Rachel Bilson.
WBTV took Kelley’s Wonder Woman spec out to the networks in the first week of January. At the time, NBC was the most interested but, with Greenblatt still on the sidelines, the network couldn’t commit to the type of license fee that the studio was seeking in order to do the show Kelley had envisioned, and WBTV decided to shelve the project. With Greenblatt now firmly taking the reins and Kelley just delivering one of the most promising new series for NBC this season, Harry’s Law, NBC stepped up to greenlight Wonder Woman. The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in …
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
How is it that David E. Kelley, who started off on L.A. Law and created The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal, wound up on the air with yet another law series? Even he admitted to being not entirely sure. “I made a promise to myself at the end of Boston Legal that my next show wouldn’t be a law show,” he said during the TCA panel for his new NBC legal drama Harry’s Law starring Kathy Bates. “Even my kids begged me, ‘Please Dad, not another one!’ But I found I did miss getting into some of the topics that are out there today…I wanted t vehicle that could touch on the disparity between the wealthy and others in this country and how it’s increasing. But this isn’t a typical legal show, because it deals with a walk-in business and the personalities who come through that door.”
In any case, the famously prolific Kelley maintains he is happy to be back on the air and creating no matter what the genre. “I was getting a little squirrelly not having something regularly to write,” he admitted. “I wanted to get my hands on some topical subject matter again.”
He is doing it on a smaller scale this time, with a 6-episode midseason order. “Well sure, it’s going to be tough,” he admits …
This has to be the highest-profile effort to bring Wonder Woman to television: One of TV’s best-known creators, The Practice‘s David E. Kelley, has come on board to write and produce a new series project about the female superhero. The project, from Warner Bros Television where Kelley is based, and Warner Bros’ DC Entertainment, will be taken out to the networks shortly. Kelley, who has created several female centered shows like Ally McBeal, has wanted to tackle a contemporary take on the World War II-era Amazon. He recently met with the DC team who also have been looking for ways to launch a new Wonder Woman TV franchise.
The comic book Wonder Woman character has evolved significantly since she first appeared in a 1941 issue of All Star Comics and recently underwent a controversial makeover. Details on Kelley’s TV series are being kept under wraps, and it is not clear if the new Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince will be the old familiar Wonder Woman or the redesigned reboot announced with great fanfare this year by DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee that looks like she’s ready for Goth Day at the Galleria. (DC Comics Has Ruined Wonder Woman!) Or whether she’ll keep her signature powers and weapons, including her Lasso of Truth, her …
ABC 2013-14 Schedule: Rebel Wilson Gets Post-‘Modern Family’ Slot, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ On Tuesday, ‘Dancing’ Shrinks To One Night
ABC is launching eight new series in the fall and taking some big swings, including a Tuesday lineup of all-new series, anchored by Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Rebel Wilson’s hot streak continues, with the rising star landing the post-Modern Family slot for her comedy Super Fun Night. ABC is looking to stem Dancing With The Stars‘ ratings decline by eliminating the Tuesday edition, with the Monday 8-10 PM show incorporating both performances and results. Dancing, as well as The Bachelor, Shark Tank and The Taste have been formally renewed for next season. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, analysis and descriptions of all 13 new series for next season, including newly picked up adventure reality series The Quest from The Amazing Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri:
ABC FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
8 PM – Dancing With The Stars
10 PM – Castle
8 PM – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9 PM – THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 PM – TROPHY WIFE
10 PM – LUCKY 7
8 PM – The Middle
8:30 PM – BACK IN THE GAME
9 PM – Modern Family
9:30 PM – SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 PM – Nashville
8 PM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9 PM – Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM – Scandal
8 PM – Last Man Standing
8:30 PM – The Neighbors
9 PM – Shark Tank
10 PM – 20/20
8 PM – Saturday Night College Football
7 PM – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM – Once Upon A Time
9 PM – Revenge
10 PM – BETRAYAL
From ABC’s returning series, left off the schedule are comedy Suburgatory and reality series The Bachelor, which comes on in midseason, and The Taste.
UPDATE: ABC Picks Up ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff, ‘Mixology’, ‘The Returned’, ‘Killer Women’, ‘Lucky 7′, ‘Betrayal’, ‘Trophy Wife’, Cullen Bros, ‘Influence’, ‘The Goldbergs’, ‘Super Fun Night’, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ To Series
When all was said and done tonight, ABC picked up a total of 12 new series — seven dramas and five comedies. All comedies are single-camera as ABC passed on both of its multi-camera pilots. Here is how it all came down today as the network opened the pickup process with one Disney-friendly shoo-in pilot, Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., and closed it with another, the Once Upon A Time spinoff. Descriptions of all ABC series and first-look photos at the bottom of the post.
ABC’s Once Upon A Time is officially a franchise as the network just ordered spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland to series, joining the original series, which also was renewed.
Also picked up at ABC are ensemble comedy Mixology, which had been heating up, drama The Returned, now called Resurrection, said to be one of Paul Lee’s favorite pilots, and female procedural Killer Women, executive produced by Sofia Vergara and Ben Silverman. The Malin Akerman starrer Trophy Wife also has gotten a series pickup.
It’s a great day for David Zabel, who just got a pickup call for both of his ABC pilots, dramas Lucky 7 and Betrayal.
Two more series pickups at ABC to two 20th TV pilots, the Cullen Bros. comedy starring James Caan and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan, titled Back In The Game, and the Steve Zahn-Christian Slater procedural Minds Games (formerly Influence).
Also getting a series pickup at ABC is comedy frontrunner Adam Goldberg, whose autobiographical 1980s dysfunctional family comedy is now called The Goldbergs.
ABC wants to be in the Rebel Wilson business. The network’s first new comedy series pickup went to Wilson’s Super Fun Night. The pilot was not perfect, but with Wilson’s star rising so fast, the network couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have her on its air.
No surprise here — ABC’s first new series order for next season has gone to Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., from The Avengers’ Joss Whedon. The network will air a first-look at the series, officially titled Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., during the season finale of Once Upon A Time on Sunday. This marks the first pilot and first series for Disney-owned Marvel on ABC.
No doubt here — House creator David Shore is on his way back to primetime. ABC has handed a pilot order to Doubt, a legal drama written and executive produced by Shore. The project, from Sony TV where Shore is under a deal, centers on a former cop who’s now a cunning, but charming low-rent lawyer who uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.
Doubt originally landed at ABC with a pilot production commitment after heated bidding between ABC and CBS. It marks Shore’s return to his legal roots. He is a lawyer by trade and former partner at a boutique law firm in Toronto. A legal drama script, an L.A. Law spec, landed him his first writing job on Paul Haggis’ Due South. In 1996, David E. Kelley picked Shore as one of the three original writers on his hit ABC legal drama The Practice. Shore, repped by ICM, the Shuman Co. and attorney Bill Sobel, worked on two other legal dramas — NBC’s Law & Order and CBS’ Family Law, which he ran — before he wrote the pilot script for medical drama House, which grew into one of Fox’s biggest …
EXCLUSIVE: In his follow-up to House, David Shore is returning to his legal roots. After heated bidding between ABC and CBS, a legal drama from the House creator/executive producer has landed at ABC with a pilot production commitment. Shore will write and executive produce the untitled drama, described as a high-end, character-driven procedural about a former cop who’s now a cunning but charming low-rent lawyer who uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.
This marks the first project Shore has set up since the end of House‘s eight-season run, which he shepherded. It was the first pitch he took out with Sony Pictures TV, where he signed a three-year overall deal in July after eight years at NBCUniversal. For ABC, the aggressive pursuit of a character procedural indicates a desire to balance the network’s drama portfolio, currently dominated by serialized shows.