EXCLUSIVE: Writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky have signed a new two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. The Office alums serve as executive producers/showrunners on two new comedy series sold under their previous deal with the studio, Trophy Wife at ABC and Hello Ladies at HBO. Additionally, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky, who wrote the 2011 feature Bad Teacher, executive produced Sony TV’s comedy pilot adaptation, which nears a midseason series order at CBS. “Lee and Gene are hugely prolific and quite possibly the hardest working comedy writers out there today,” said SVP of development for ABC Studios Patrick Moran. “We are thrilled to have them attached to our new comedy Trophy Wife.“
Over the last two years, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky developed projects at ABC, FX, HBO and Comedy Central through their Quantity Entertainment. Emily Brecht, who has been with the company since 2011, is being promoted to Director of Development and will oversee the day-to-day operations. She previously worked at at the Department of Defense. “As a policy, we always look to hire employees who are smarter than us,” Eisenberg and Stupnitsky said. “That said, we look forward to Quantity’s next chapter as Emily becomes a principal partner and eventually ousts us.”
Written/executive produced by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, Trophy Wife stars Malin Akerman as a reformed party girl who finds herself with an insta-family when she falls in love with a man with three manipulative kids and two judgmental ex-wives. Co-written by Stephen Merchant, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky and directed by Merchant, HBO’s Hello Ladies stars the 6 foot-7 Merchant as a gawky Englishman searching for the woman of his dreams in Los Angeles. Eisenberg and Stupnitsky are with WME, Mosaic and Robert Offer.
Fox has officially announced that Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio will join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato as judges on the third season of The X Factor. “It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted … Read More »
Christopher Abbott has signed with WME. Abbott made headlines recently with his decision to abruptly leave HBO‘s comedy series Girls, on which he played Allison Williams’ boyfriend Charlie for the first two seasons. Abbott, … Read More »
CBS has pulled tonight’s Mike & Molly third-season finale out of sensitivity to the victims of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma. Titled Windy City, the season finale features Mike and Molly confessing important news to … Read More »
UPDATE 4:15 PM: Here is Ang Lee’s statement about his departure from Tyrant.
It is with disappointment that I must confirm I have withdrawn from my commitment to direct the upcoming FX pilot Tyrant.
It is one of
… Read More »
Breaking Dawn‘s Mia Maestro is set to star opposite Corey Stoll in FX‘s high-profile drama project The Strain, from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and veteran showrunner Carlton Cuse. The Strain, an adaptation of del Toro’s vampire novel trilogy, formally has a pilot order, but is being eyed for a 13-episode series pickup. The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Actress-singer Maestro, repped by ICM Partners and 3 Arts, plays Dr. Nora Martinez, who works so closely with Ephraim, they finish each other’s sentences and stumble into an affair. A brilliant biochemist, Martinez cares more about people than the diseases that threaten them, but she will soon be forced to embrace a new identity as a ruthless warrior. Read More »
Cancelled ABC drama 666 Park Avenue will return on Saturday, June 22, with the unaired episodes slated to run in the Saturday 9 PM slot for four weeks. 666 Park Ave will be paired … Read More »
As movie sequels dominate the box office with more than 30 slated this year alone, including Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2 and Hangover 3, television too is increasingly relying on expanding TV franchises. In … Read More »
NBC has acquired 13-episode drama series Siberia, from Sierra/Engine Television and producer Michael Ohoven from Infinity Media. The mystery drama will premiere on July 1 and air in the Monday 10 PM slot. Siberia is set … Read More »
First off, congratulations to all writers, producers, actors and agents who landed new series this week. I know it wasn’t easy. Here is Deadline’s annual list of those who excelled at the upfronts. I tried to be inclusive, but if I’ve missed anyone who’s had a banner week, let me know. I’ve also compiled a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series.
Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence and his Doozer banner had three new series unveiled at the upfronts this week: comedies Undateable on NBC, Surviving Jack on Fox and Ground Floor on TBS. Also, TBS recently renewed Cougar Town for a fifth season.
Related: 2013-14 Schedule Grid & Top Face-Offs
J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot claimed one of the top new drama series last season with NBC’s Revolution and one of the hottest sophomore shows with CBS’ Person Of Interest. The company is keeping the momentum with two new series orders for next season: Almost Human at Fox and Believe at NBC.
Independent producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment received two new series orders from the broadcast networks: Back In The Game at ABC and Friends With Better Lives at CBS. Additionally, his freshman ABC comedy The Neighbors was renewed and his ABC pilot Bad Management is in serious contention for a series pickup. Kaplan also received two cable series orders in the past month, for Chasing Life on ABC Family and Instant Mom on NickMom, and also has comedy series Wendell & Vinnie on Nick at Nite and pilot HR at Lifetime.
Writer-producer Julie Plec also landed two new series this week, both at the CW: She wrote/executive produces the planted Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals and executive produces The Tomorrow People. Additionally, she executive produces TVD, giving her three series on the air next season. (Fellow Tomorrow People executive producer Greg Berlanti has two, including returning CW hit Arrow.)
Another drama writer-producer, former ER showrunner David Zabel, saw both of his pilots picked up. He is the writer/exec producer on ABC’s Betrayal and co-writer/exec producer on ABC’s Lucky 7. Read More »
Mark Roberts, the creator of Mike & Molly, will be leaving the CBS comedy series, which was recently renewed for a fourth season. Roberts “will be stepping down from his showrunner and executive producer roles … Read More »
2ND UPDATE, 11:45 AM: I hear Alpha House has gotten an official pickup, joining Betas. Alpha House follows four senators (John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, Mark Consuelos) who live together in a rented house in Washington, DC. Zombieland and Browsers did not make the cut.
Related: Full Amazon Pilot Listings
UPDATE, 9 AM: Zombieland writer-producer Rhett Reese took to Twitter to blame the series’ pickup fail on Zombieland fans themselves: “I’ll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard Zombieland fans. You guys successfully hated it out of existence.”
UPDATE, THURSDAY PM: There will be no Zombieland TV series, at least not on Amazon. The streaming service has passed on the pilot, as well as Browsers, as it continues to narrow down the field. Read More »
How would hit ABC comedy Modern Family look and sound like if it aired on cable? The show’s writers offer a peek in a promo for the Emmy-winning series’ upcoming off-network launch on USA Network in September. The video was a highlight at today’s USA upfront presentation, where … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has renewed flagship drama Warehouse 13 for a fifth season, which will be its last. Production on the final six-episode installment of the series, on which Jack Kenny serves as executive producer/showrunner, will … Read More »
Samantha Who? co-creator Don Todd has joined ABC’s new drama series Mind Games as executive producer. On the 20th TV-produced show, Todd will assist creator/executive producer Kyle Killen with showrunner duties. Mind Games, which received a midseason order, … Read More »
With the broadcast networks done unveiling their schedules, here is the full fall grid (see below) and some intriguing matchups for next season:
Tuesday 8 PM: This is shaping out to be the biggest fall battleground, especially for male viewers. The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC are going against the agents of NCIS on CBS. Also joining the fray is another younger-skewing new genre drama series, the CW’s Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals. Fox has new male-centered comedies Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. All these shows (or those who survive) will have to go against the biggest broadcast reality show at the moment, NBC’s The Voice, in midseason. Will anyone blink?
Related: Tuesday “Comedy Sigalert” Back
Thursday 9 PM: Robin Williams vs. Sean Hayes. The comedy vets are returning with new series (Williams in CBS’ The Crazy Ones, Hayes in NBC’s Sean Saves The World) and will face off in one of TV’s highest-profile slots. In another male comedy star showdown, Michael J Fox will take on Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer at 9:30 PM. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Former Battlestar Galactica executive producer and Caprica co-creator/exec producer David Eick has come on board TNT’s hit alien-invasion drama Falling Skies as executive producer/showrunner. On the show, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle, he replaces fellow Caprica co-creator/exec producer Remi Aubuchon, who is leaving after serving as showrunner for the past two seasons. Season 3 of Falling Skies kicks off with a two-hour premiere June 9. Eick is expected to begin assembling a writing staff to start working on Season 4 in anticipation of pickup. (Because of Falling Skies‘ complicated shoot and laborious post-production process due to elaborate special effects, the writers on the show normally get a head start before an official green light so the gap between seasons is not too big.) Read More »