The British actress was a familiar face on TV and on Broadway during the 1950s and early ’60s, earning a Tony nom for her supporting role in 1959’s Goodbye, Charlie. Sarah Marshall died Saturday of cancer in Los Angeles. She was 80. Marshall appeared on dozens of TV shows from the mid-’50 through the mid-’90s, including such popular series as Thriller, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Get Smart, Daniel Boone, Three’s Company and Cheers. She also was a regular on the 1979 CBS comedy Miss Winslow & Son and appeared in the 1980 miniseries Scruples. But Marshall is perhaps best known to American TV audiences for starring roles on episodes of The Twilight Zone (the worried mother in “Little Girl Lost”) and Star Trek (the disease-curing scientist an ex-flame of Capt. Kirk in “The Deadly Years”).
Samaire Armstrong (The Mentalist) and British actor Sam Hazeldine (The Raven) have been cast in ABC’s drama pilot The Returned, from Brillstein Entertainment, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and ABC Studios. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, the project chronicles how the lives of the people in Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Armstrong, repped by Leverage and APA, plays Elaine, an attractive and snarky woman with a controlling personality who loses her composure when her father seems to have come back from the dead. Hazeldine, repped by Luber Roklin and UK’s Rights House, will play Abel, a mysterious man coming back from the past. Hazeldine, the son of British actor James Hazeldine, next co-stars in another Plan B project, the George Clooney-starring/directed feature The Monuments Men. This is Hazeldine’s second ABC drama pilot — he was in Scruples last season.
Being Human‘s Lenora Crichlow has joined another ABC pilot, the untitled Cullen Bros. comedy from 20th TV. It centers on Terry Gannon (Maggie Lawson), a recently divorced single mother who temporarily moves in with her estranged father (James Caan), a beer-swilling former baseball player. Brit Crichlow, repped by Schachter Entertainment and UK’s BWH Agency, will play Gigi, a mom whose son tries …
EXCLUSIVE: America’s Next Top Model co-developer/executive producer Ken Mok is staying in the fashion world with a scripted project, a drama for Fox. Titled Scarlatti, the project written by Marjorie David (90210), centers on a multi-generational dynasty struggling for control of their billion-dollar fashion empire. Mok and David executive produce for 20th Century Fox TV. The broadcast networks have been trying to crack the fashion soap genre, most recently with ABC’s pilots Americana and Scruples last season.
For veteran unscripted producer Mok, this marks a return to his scripted roots. He was director of current programming at NBC and director of comedy development for ABC before he joined MTV as VP of MTV TV Prods. where he started overseeing and producing reality shows, including Top Model, Stylista and Pussycat Dolls Present. Scarlatti reunites Mok with Fox chairman Kevin Reilly who worked together as junior executives at NBC. Mok has occasionally developed script projects, including a Dane Cook comedy at UPN, but will now make a more concerted effort in the arena. On the feature side, Mok produced The Invincible and recently signed Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo to write a Jay Mangano movie he is producing for Fox 2000. Mok and David are repped by ICM Partners.
Producer Tony Krantz Sells Projects With Ted Talley, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Fareed Zakaria & Twitter’s Biz Stone
EXCLUSIVE: Four years after he left TV producing to focus on feature directing, former Imagine TV topper Tony Krantz re-entered TV last summer. In his first year back, he landed a series on the air, NBC’s upcoming Dracula starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and a pilot order at ABC for Scruples. Now Krantz has set up six more series projects at cable and broadcast networks through his independent production company Flame Ventures. All are executive produced by him, with Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive producing.
At NBC, Flame is finalizing a deal for Cuba, a drama written by Jorge Zamacona (Homicide) and executive produced by CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria and former CNN President Jonathan Klein. The project, which will be produced by Universal TV, tells the story of American and Cuban families at the dawn of post-Castro Cuba with an entire nation up for grabs.
EXCLUSIVE: Broadway leading man Sebastian Arcelus has joined the cast of Netflix’s upcoming House Of Cards. Arcelus, who has had leading onstage roles in ELF as well as Jersey Boys and Wicked, will play newspaper editor Lucas Goodwin in the David Fincher-produced political drama starring Kevin Spacey. As well as produce, Fincher will direct the first two episodes of the series, which is scheduled to debut next year. Netflix has ordered 26 episodes to play over two seasons. The series, based on Michael Dobbs’ novel and the 1990 UK series of the same name, features Spacey as Rep. Frank Underwood, the House of Representatives Majority Whip who devises a scheme to bring down the new president and take the Oval Office for himself after being passed over for Secretary of State. Michael Gill plays President Garrett Walker. Robin Wright plays Underwood’s wife. Corey Stoll is also in the cast as is Sakina Jaffrey as the White House Chief of Staff, Kate Mara, Wass Stevens, Constance Zimmer as a journalist, Mahershala Ali, Jayne Atkinson and Sandrine Holt. Media Rights Capital is producing House of Cards. Arcelus is repped by Paradigm.
2ND UPDATE FRIDAY: Another NBC comedy frontrunner, 1600 PENN, has been given permission to begin making staffing offers, moving it closer to a series pickup.
UPDATE THURSDAY PM: I hear Greg Daniels’ comedy pilot FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER also has been given permission to start making staffing offers. But I’ve learned that those offers are backed by Daniels’ veteran NBC series The Office, meaning that the writer-producers signed for FND would segue to The Office if the pilot doesn’t go.
PREVIOUS 11 AM THURSDAY: About halfway through the broadcast networks’ screenings this week, it doesn’t look like there have been major surprises, with most early frontrunners solidifying their positions. NBC, which is looking to launch a number of series in August, right after the end of its coverage of the Summer Olympics, has been moving the fastest, picking up the first pilot to series, the Matthew Perry-starring single-camera comedy Go On, and giving several others permission to make staffing offers. In addition to single-camera comedies THE NEW NORMAL and SAVE ME, I hear also allowed to begin a hiring process are the Jimmy Fallon-produced multi-camera comedy GUYS WITH KIDS and J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke’s action drama REVOLUTION, which had been very quiet after a late start. We might see more series pickups today as there is a rumor this morning that the network may order as many as three new series before the day is over. (UPDATE: That rumor turned out …
CBS today kicked off the next stage in the pilot season ritual — the network screenings, where a large pool of network executives weigh in on this year’s crop of pilots. The rest of the broadcast networks will follow suit next week when we will start getting a better picture of how the contenders for a spot on the schedule for next season stack up. For now, here is what I have been hearing on the various pilots based on early reactions:
The only mystery surrounding the UNTITLED KEVIN WILLIAMSON project at Fox seems to be where it will land on the Fox schedule and whether it would launch in the fall or midseason. The other four drama contenders seem to have formed pairs. The two female CIA operative pilots, UNTITLED KARYN USHER and THE ASSET, have been jockeying for a slot, with Karyn Usher starting ahead, then The Asset catching up, and now Karyn Usher possibly getting an edge again. Then there are GUILTY and the UNTITLED BERMAN/WRIGHT mob doctor drama, which both tested well at their studios with high marks for their stars Cuba Gooding Jr and Jordana Spiro, respectively. Both have a real shot, with Berman/Wright probably a bit stronger at the moment. Its chances were helped by the fact that Fox veteran House is ending its run, leaving the network without a medical franchise for next season. On the comedy side, the UNTITLED MINDY KALING female doctor half-hour appears to be headed to Fox’s comedy block as a possible companion to New Girl. BEN FOX IS MY MANNY, a late delivery after it replaced its lead after the table read, reportedly got thumbs-up from Fox brass after they just saw it for the first time. The stronger than expected showing for the pilot, about a guy working as manny for his sister, shakes up the sibling comedy race at Fox, which includes early standout LITTLE BROTHER, which has lost some momentum but remains solid, and GOODWIN GAMES, which also came out OK. Of the others, REBOUNDING and EL JEFE are still in serious contention, while buzz has been just OK on PRODIGY/BULLY, mixed on LET IT GO and not so good on LIKE FATHER and LIVING LOADED.
(RE-POSTED FROM FRIDAY): Back by popular demand: Deadline’s Pilot Buzz lists. We’re earlier than normal this year while pilots have generally been late, with only a handful of them having cuts by now and the vast majority still in various stages of production. Therefore, everything on this list has to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt as a lot could change between a table read and a final cut. Take NBC’s comedy pilot SAVE ME for example. After some mixed and even negative chatter early on, mostly related to the tone of the show, originally developed for Showtime, the tide changed completely over the last two days when people saw the completed pilot, which is getting high marks. The list also doesn’t cover every pilot as some of them have not gotten into production yet or feedback has been insufficient:
The network already has one new scripted series on tap for next season, HANNIBAL, which I hear may go for midseason. With the network in such bad shape after years of neglect and bad decisions by previous regimes, NBC seems to have cast a very wide net this season, developing a vast range of projects that are all over the map, making it harder to handicap. On the drama side, mystery MIDNIGHT SUN and the Jekyll & Hyde-esque DO NO HARM are getting some solid early buzz. The Jason Katims/Jason Ritter medical drama COUNTY, which just wrapped, also has been getting positive feedback. Western-esque THE FRONTIER, which is shooting in Australia, is getting notices for its rich look. Comedy-wise, ANIMAL KINGDOM is hot, as is White House family comedy 1600 PENN, despite a last-minute recasting, as well as the Matthew Perry starrer GO ON and Greg Daniels’ FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER. The network also is high on a couple of multi-camera comedies, the untitled KARI LIZER and JIMMY FALLON projects, with TABLE FOR THREE also looking encouraging so far. The Ryan Murphy/Ali Adler blended family comedy THE NEW NORMAL is still shooting but, with the auspices involved, it is considered a strong contender. NBC brass seem to like the SARAH SILVERMAN pilot, which had an early order, but Silverman is considered acquired taste, so a lot will depend on testing.
The KEVIN WILLIAMSON project was very strong at the script stage, got even stronger with the casting of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and seems to be sailing through production. Meanwhile the untitled KARYN USHER teen-spy drama, which also was an early standout during the script phase, then hit a speed bump in casting the lead, which took a very long time, now appears to be in great shape, with newcomer Saxon Sharbino getting strong reviews. The Williamson and Karyn projects seem to be the top drama contenders at the moment,
The TV comedy resurgence cannot come soon enough for the Los Angeles production community because Hollywood is fast losing ground on the drama side to New York and Vancouver. New York State’s August 2010 decision to extend and expand its Film Production Tax Credit Program continues to pay dividends in TV in a big way. A record 11 broadcast drama pilots are shooting in New York this season, up from 9 last year and 0 the year before, just before the tax credit vote. For the first time this year New York eclipsed traditional location leader, Los Angeles, in the number of drama broadcast pilot shoots. What’s more, Los Angeles fell from first to third place with 8 of the 41 drama pilots shot here. That is down from 11 (out of 42) last year and 14 (out of 43) the year before.
The biggest gainer this year is Vancouver, which shot up to second place with 9 pilots, doubling its tally of 4.5 last year (Production of Fox’s Alcatraz was split between Vancouver and San Francisco). While currency exchange rate with Canada is still not as favorable as it was 3 years ago, it is a fraction better than last season. And filming in Vancouver is still a bargain compared to the U.S. Additionally, with so much production going on, there are experienced crews, Vancouver can relatively easily stand in for many locations in the U.S. and it shares a time zone with Los Angeles, making communication simple. Overall, runaway production accelerated this year with a total of 11 broadcast pilots filmed in Canada: 9 in Vancouver and one each in Toronto (CW’s Beauty And The Beast) and Montreal (ABC’s Zero Hour). That is almost double the 6 pilots shot north of the border last year. Additionally, NBC’s Frontier is being filmed in Australia.
Primetime TV’s seismic shift from SAG to AFTRA representation is credited as one of the driving forces behind the efforts to merge the two actors unions. The current broadcast pilot season, which coincides with the voting period for SAG and AFTRA members on the merger proposal, is once again dominated by AFTRA, but SAG is gaining ground. TV pilots’ shift from SAG to AFTRA affiliation happened overnight in the spring of 2009 when, fearing a possible SAG strike, TV studios went from 90%-plus SAG representation for their pilots the year before to 90%-plus AFTRA affiliation. The next year, 2010, marked the peak of AFTRA pilot dominance, with all but one pilot in the smaller union’s column. Last year, AFTRA started to loosen its grip, with SAG’s market share rising to 11%. Judging by the data I have assembled so far, SAG’s pilot representation has climbed to 20% this pilot season (17 out of 86 pilots). While still dominated by AFTRA, SAG at least is slowly inching toward parity.
Early AFTRA adopter Sony Pictures TV once again went 100% AFTRA, joined this year by 20th Century Fox TV. For a third consecutive year, CBS TV Studios had one SAG-represented pilot, Widow Detective, while Universal TV, ABC Studios and Warner Bros. TV all increased the number of SAG-affiliated pilots this year. Universal TV, Warner Bros TV and ABC Studios have five each: dramas Mockingbird Lane and Notorious and comedies Friday Night Dinner, Isabel …
Lost alumna Yunjin Kim has landed a lead opposite Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 launch. The soap, written by KJ Steinberg and based on the British format, is described as a provocative drama about four women — three of them played by Kim, Aytes and Macallan — with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal. Kim will play Katie, a therapist who slept with one of her patients, John, before his death. Also cast on the series are Erik Stocklin in the regular role of Sam, John’s son, who finds himself falling in love with Katie; and Cameron Bender in the recurring role of Richard, a recently divorced man who hires April to re-decorate his new apartment and starts a romance with her. Stocklin is with JC Robbins, Bender is with Metropolitan and Justice & Ponder.
Erin Moriarty has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot Penoza, written and executive produced by Twilight scribe Melissa Rosenberg. Based on a Dutch format, it centers on Martha (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in a crime syndicate in order to protect her family. Moriarty, repped by ICM and 3 Arts, will play Martha’s daughter. She will next be seen in Neighborhood Watch.
UPDATED: Avatar‘s Joel David Moore and Til Death alumna Kat Foster have landed co-starring roles opposite Zachary Levi in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Let It Go. The Sony TV-produced project, written by DJ Nash, is an ensemble comedy about a married couple (Levi, Foster) his best friend and somewhat opposite (Moore) and her sister as they try to navigate, negotiate and sometimes manipulate society’s unspoken rules. Moore, repped by ICM and Underground, will next be seen in Grassroots. Foster is with Paradigm.
Sakina Jaffrey has been cast in David Fincher’s Netflix drama series House Of Cards. The political thriller, based on Michael Dobbs’ novel and the 1990 British series it spawned, stars Kevin Spacey as Rep. Frank Underwood, the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives who after being passed over for Secretary of State hatches a plot to bring down the new president. Jaffrey, repped by Principal Entertainment, will play Linda Vasquez, the President Elect’s cunning newly appointed Chief of Staff.
Brian White (Men Of A Certain Age) has joined the CW’s pilot Beauty And The Beast. Loosely based on the 1980s CBS series, the project, written by Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin, centers on Catherine (Kristin Kreuk), a tough-minded NYPD homicide detective. White, repped by UTA and Zero …
Chad Michael Murray and Gary Cole have been cast in ABC’s drama pilot Scruples, executive produced by Tony Krantz and Natalie Portman and directed by The Vow helmer Michael Sucsy. Based on the novel by Judith Krantz, Scruples centers on rich and powerful clothing designer Billy Winthrop (Claire Forlani) in a world of sex, revenge and scandal. Murray will play handsome playboy photographer Spider, who works for Winthrop. Cole will play the manipulative Royce, the longtime lawyer of Winthrop’s late husband who is infuriated when Billy inherits his empire and vows to keep it under her control. This marks the return to series television for former One Tree Hill star Murray, who recently returned to the CW drama. He is with WME and Brillstein Entertainment. Cole, repped by ICM and Barbara Gale, recently co-starred in the Geffen Playhouse production of Superior Donuts and has recurred on The Good Wife.
EXCLUSIVE: Claire Forlani has landed the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Scruples. Also cast in the pilot, executive produced by Tony Krantz and Natalie Portman and directed by The Vow helmer Michael Sucsy, are Boris Kodjoe and Jessica McNamee. Based on the novel by Judith Krantz, Scruples centers on rich and powerful clothing designer Billy Winthrop (Forlani) in a world of sex, revenge and scandal. In the 1980 miniseries, the role of Billy (last name Ikehorn) was played by Lindsay Wagner. Kodjoe, repped by Gersh and Untitled, will play Josh Hillman, the attorney of Billy’s late husband. McNamee will play Maggie, an ambitious celebrity journalist and Billy’s close friend. She also co-starred in Sucsy’s hit The Vow. Scruples, written by Bob Brush, is produced by Warner Bros. TV. Paradigm-repped Forlani’s series credits include arcs on CBS’ CSI: NY and NCIS: LA and a co-starring role on Starz’s Camelot. Undercovers star Kodjoe, repped by Gersh and Untitled, will next be seen in Resident Evil: Retribution. The three join recently cast Karine Vanasse.
Twilight‘s Billy Burke has been cast in NBC’s JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke drama pilot Revolution, directed by Jon Favreau. The high-octane action drama follows a group of people struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist. Burke, repped by Gersh and Ellen Meyer Management, will play an charismatic Marine. He is best known for playing Bella Swan’s father in the Twilight Saga franchise.
David Harbour (The Green Hornet) has joined the cast of NBC’s drama pilot Midnight Sun. The thriller, based on an Israeli format, follows the mysterious disappearance of Midnight Sun, a group living on a cult-like commune in Alaska. It centers on Leah Kafka (Julia Stiles), a female FBI cult specialist leading the investigation that uncovers a larger conspiracy. In his first series regular role, Harbour, repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment, will play the mysterious Ethan Davis who runs the local Coast Guard. Harbour recently recurred on Pan Am and is doing an arc on Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO series Newsroom.
Before Stanford, Carrie Bradshaw had Walt in her life. Brendan Dooling has been cast in the CW pilot Carrie Diaries. The project, based on Candace Bushnell’s novel, chronicles Carrie Bradshaw’s (AnnaSophia Robb) coming of age in the 1980s when she asks her first questions about love, sex, friendship and family while exploring the worlds of high school and Manhattan. Dooling will play Carrie’s best guy friend who is most likely gay but doesn’t know it yet as it isn’t an easy thing to come to terms with in the mid-1980s. Also cast in the pilot is Freema Agyeman as Larissa, Carrie’s mentor, a hip, cutting-edge editor/party girl who works at Interview magazine.
Veteran Judd Hirsch is set to co-star opposite Ben Falcone in CBS’ untitled multi-camera comedy written by Falcone and fellow actor Larry Dorf and co-executive produced by Falcone’s wife, Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy. The project centers around David (Falcone), a single 37-year-old who loses everything he has in the real estate collapse and finds himself back home in the house he grew up in … with his parents. Hirsch will play David’s dad. Additionally, former Friends co-showrunner Shana Goldberg-Meehan has been tapped to lend a hand on the pilot as an executive producer.
Pan Am co-star Karine Vanasse is set to co-star in a new ABC drama project. The Quebec-born actress has been cast in the drama pilot Scruples. Executive produced by Tony Krantz and Natalie Portman, the project is based on the novel by Judith Krantz and centers on rich and powerful clothing designer Billy Winthrop in a world of sex, revenge and scandal. Vanasse will play Valentine, a talented aspiring fashion designer who recently arrived in New York from Paris. The casting is in second position to Pan Am, which is not expected to return next season. Michael Sucsy (The Vow) is directing Scruples from a script by Bob Brush. Warner Bros. TV is producing. Vanasse is the second Pan Am cast member to book a pilot in second position this season, along with male lead Mike Vogel who would star in the Fox comedy Living Loaded.
Looking for this year’s pilots? 2014 ABC Pilots →
666 PARK AVENUE
Studio: WBTV, Alloy Entertainment
Writer: David Wilcox
Executive Producers: David Wilcox, Gina Girolamo, Leslie Morgenstein
Director: Alex Graves
Logline: Based on the book by Gabriella Pierce about a young couple who manages one of the most historic apartment buildings in New York City and unwittingly experience supernatural occurrences that complicate and endanger the lives of everyone in the building.
Cast: Terry O’Quinn as “Gavin”; Dave Annable as “Henry”; Rachael Taylor as “Jane”, Vanessa Williams, Mercedes Masohn (second position to Fox’s The Finder), Robert Buckley, Helena Mattsson
Studio: ABC Studios
Writer: Michael Seitzman
Executive Producers: Michael Seitzman, Mark Gordon, Nick Pepper, Phillip Noyce
Director: Philip Noyce
Logline: Soap set around a legendary fashion designer and his family and business.
Cast: Anthony LaPaglia as “Robert Soulter”; Natalie Mendoza as “Wendy Law-Soulter”; Ken Olin as “Martin”; Emilie De Ravin as “Francesca Soulter”; Tiffany Hines as “Shane”; Ashley Greene as “Alice”; Annabeth Gish as “Rachel”, David Alpay, Christine Adams, Natalie Mendoza
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Studio: ABC Studios and Mojo Films
Writer: Jon Steinberg
Executive Producers: Jon Steinberg, Gary Fleder, Mary Beth Basile
Director: Yves Simoneau
Logline: A fantasy re-imagining of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, wherein an embattled princess discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast.
Cast: Ruth Bradley as “Grace”; Darius Campbell as “Shiro”; Chris Egan as “Garrick”; F. Murray Abraham as “Cyril; Meegan Warner as “Elizabeth”, Karen LeBlanc, Wendy Crewson, Alan Dale
Studio: ABC Studios
Writer: Marc Cherry
Director: Paul McGuigan
Executive Producers: Marc Cherry, Sabrina Wind, Paul Presburger, Eva Longoria, David …
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off directing The Vow, which opened at No.1 this past weekend with a whopping $41.2 million, Michael Sucsy has been tapped to direct ABC’s drama pilot Scruples. Executive produced by Tony Krantz and Natalie Portman, the project is based on the 1978 bestselling book by Krantz’s mother, Beverly Hills novelist Judith Krantz, who also penned a sequel in 1992, and centers on a rich and powerful clothing designer in a world of sex, revenge and scandal. Bob Brush and Mel Harris wrote the pilot and executive produce with Portman, Annette Savitch and Krantz for Krantz’s Flame Ventures and Warner Bros. TV. This marks the pilot debut for Sucsy who co-wrote, directed and executive produced the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning HBO movie Grey Gardens starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. He made his feature debut with the romantic drama The Vow starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
ABC has greenlighted to pilot drama Scruples, produced by former Imagine TV CEO-turned-feature director Tony Krantz and actress Natalie Portman. It is based on the 1978 bestselling book by Krantz’s mother, Beverly Hills novelist Judith Krantz, who also penned a sequel in 1992, and centers on a rich and powerful clothing designer in a world of sex, revenge and scandal. Bob Brush and Mel Harris wrote the adaptation and executive produce with Portman, her producing partner Annette Savitch and Krantz. Krantz’s Flame Ventures is producing with Warner Bros. TV, which has the rights to the property via the 1980 Scruples miniseries starring Lindsay Wagner, which it produced. The pilot order caps Krantz’s successful return to TV producing this season while he also continues to be active as feature director. Scruples marks the first foray into television for Portman, who won an Oscar last year for Black Swan.