EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment is getting in business with Spike TV, both on the scripted and unscripted sides. The cable network, which has been ramping up scripted development, has inked a premium deal for an hourlong political thriller drama project. It will be written by Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff (TNT’s Legends) based on an idea by Kaplan.
Additionally, the network has entered a 3-for-1 agreement with Kapital on the reality side. Under the pact, Kaplan will develop three unscripted projects, one of which is guaranteed to go to pilot. This marks Kapital’s first formal foray into reality programming. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran development executive Tracy Katsky has launched her own production company, KatCo. In a very unusual arrangement between two independent producers, Katsky is joining Aaron Kaplan, with her KatCo. functioning as a pod at Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment (The Mysteries of Laura, Secrets & Lies, Instant Mom). Under the one-year agreement, all projects Katsky develops will be produced by KatCo in association with Kapital Entertainment. Kaplan also might bring Katsky in to produce some of Kapital’s projects with him. “It’s so exciting to launch my own company, and to do it with Aaron is just amazing,” Katsky said. “What he has done with Kapital in such a short time is an incredible example of how to build a company, and I am thrilled to be working with him to launch KatCo.” Katsky, who starts on Tuesday, will be based at Kapital’s offices in West Hollywood. The setup resembles a standard pod deal, with four-year-old Kapital Entertainment serving as a studio. It might be providing a glimpse into Kaplan’s plans to grow his independent production company into a full-fledged studio. “I’m beyond excited that Tracy chose Kapital as the place to build her new company,” Kaplan said. “She is one of the great development minds in our business, and I know that will translate perfectly into her new venture with KatCo.” Read More »
ABC has closed a deal for a multi-camera comedy project to star actress-rapper Eve, from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios. The project, which is eyed for the 2014-15 development season, is looking for a writer. I hear Kaplan approached Eve (full name Eve Jeffers) with the idea for a multi-camera interracial romantic comedy. The two pitched it to ABC, which bought the project with penalty. Eve and Kaplan (ABC’s The Neighbors) executive produce. ICM Partners-repped Eve previously toplined her eponymous sitcom on UPN and starred in the Barbershop movie franchise.
This is the second high-profile talent-driven comedy project that Kaplan has set up at ABC for next development season, along with a single-camera comedy starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as a couple forced to raise their grandchildren. Kaplan also has ABC drama Secrets & Lies, which has a 10-episode commitment and is casting. He just received a pilot order from NBC for drama Mysteries Of Laura. At ABC, the Eve project joins an interracial comedy the network has in development this season with Whoopi Goldberg and Ben Silverman producing.
While New Line’s National Lampoon’s Vacation reboot has been put on hold, the stars of the hit feature comedy franchise Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are reuniting for a TV comedy project, which has received a large penalty by ABC that qualifies as a production commitment. They again will play a married couple, this time raising grandchildren. The single-camera comedy, which is looking for a writer and has not been set up at a studio yet, is eyed for the 2015-16 development season. Based on an original idea by Aaron Kaplan, who executive produces through his Kapital Entertainment, the untitled single-camera comedy would star Chase and D’Angelo as spouses in their 60s who are finally enjoying their golden years. They have raised their daughter, who is grown and now lives on the other side of the country with her two kids — and that’s the way these selfish grandparents like it; now they only need to see their grandkids a couple of times a year. But, due to circumstances beyond their control, they now are forced to raise their grandchildren.
Related: NBC Buys Alien Drama Spec Produced By Aaron Kaplan
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EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family‘s upcoming drama series Chasing Life has not been assigned a premiere date yet, but it just received a back order for seven episodes. The cast was given the good news today, just in time for Thanksgiving. The back order brings the first season of Chasing Life to 20 episodes, which is ABC Family’s standard for a full season. Chasing Life, from Kapital Entertainment, Lionsgate, Televisa and BV Family Prods, hails from the same pilot batch as ABC Family dramas The Fosters and Twisted. The other two had initial orders for 10 episodes and received back 10 orders after strong early ratings performance last summer. For Chasing Life, whose original order was for 13 episodes, the back order comes ahead of its premiere, slated for next year, representing a strong vote of confidence by the network. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has teamed with writer Justin Adler (Better Off Ted), director John Hamburg (Meet The Parents franchise) and producer Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors) for single-camera comedy 30 And Counting, which has received a script commitment with a sizable penalty. Based on the 2013 Sky Living series created by written by Chris Little and Tom Vinnicombe, 30 And Counting revolves around three college friends who are convinced that while their 20s were a time of discovery and their 40s a time of responsibility, their 30s is the decade that will define them. That leaves them 3,652 days to set the course for the rest of their lives. The clock is now ticking … 30 and counting. Adler is writing the adaptation, with Hamburg set to direct. Warner Bros. TV is producing, with Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Bwark Prods., producer of the original series. Adler, Hamburg and Kaplan executive produce with Little, Vinnicombe and Bwark’s Iain Morris.
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NBC has put in development Olivia Jones Is My Girlfriend, a multi-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV. Written/co-exec produced by Laura Gutin (Enlisted, 1600 Penn), it about the unlikely friendship between a girl who’s never had a boyfriend and a girl who has never had any girl friends. Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer exec produce. Gutin is with UTA.
ABC has given a script commitment with penalty to an untitled project from Aaron Kaplan‘s Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios. Written by Laura Solon, it centers on an uncompromising blue-collar nanny who finds the biggest challenge of caring for an 8-year-old boy is living with his self-assured bachelor dad. Gersh-repped Solon won the Perrier Award at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Fest.
NBC has put in development Pulling Teeth, a single-camera, ensemble workplace comedy from Stacy Traub (Glee), ABC Studios and studio-based Brillstein Entertainment. Written by Traub, who is under an overall deal at ABC Studios, the project takes place in a large dental practice. It focuses on Holly, a dentist who recently discovered that her surgeon husband has been having an affair with a pharmaceutical sales rep. After a leave of absence, Holly returns to the practice only to find that the dynamics of the workplace are even more complicated than the ones in her own life. UTA-repped Traub is executive producing with Brillstein’s Robin Schwartz.
Also sold through ABC Studios is The Alzheimer’s Project, a single-camera script at ABC based on an original idea by Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Written by Sam Sklaver (HBO’s Bored To Death), it’s a comedy about a father with early onset Alzheimer’s trying to reconnect with his family. Kaplan is executive producing, with Sklaver co-exec producing. Sklaver, repped by WME and Wetdog Entertainment, is also developing Jenny’s an Idiot for Hulu.
Related: NBC Buys Alien Drama Spec Produced By Aaron Kaplan
This is a spec whose name would be easy to remember: Spec. NBC has bought the drama project, from writer Michael Alaimo (Major Crimes, The Closer) and producer Aaron Kaplan. Developed by Kaplan through his Kapital Entertainment, Spec, which is being laid off at Universal TV, centers on a mysterious alien life form recovered from a derelict spacecraft who escapes into the woods outside a small Oregon town. The show explores the characters of that town — and one family in particular — as they are forever changed by the discovery of this new visitor. The title stems from the label the alien is given, short for specimen. It also was inspired by a quote attributed to guru Deepak Chopra that the universe is a spec that can fit under our fingernail. And then of course, it’s a spec script. This marks Kaplan’s second spec sale this season, joining comedy The Henchman, which has a put pilot commitment at Fox. Alaimo is with WME.
EXCLUSIVE: After a bidding war, NBC has nabbed The Mysteries Of Laura, a drama project from writer Jeff Rake (Cashmere Mafia), Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Prods. and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. I’ve learned that the project, based on the popular Spanish series Los Misterios De Laura, has received a production commitment. It follows the life and relationships of a female homicide detective who can handle murderous criminals — but not her evil twins. Warner Bros. TV, where Berlanti Prods. is based, is producing. Rake is writing the adaptation and will executive produce with Berlanti and Kaplan in the first pairing of the prolific producers who have done over 20 pilots between the two of them in the past couple of years, while Berlanti Prods.’ Melissa Kellner Berman co-execute produces.
The original series, created by Carlos Vila and Javier Holgado and produced by Boomerang TV, is heading into a third season on TVE1 Spain. (Watch English-language trailer below) Todd Lituchy, CEO of format distribution company New Media Vision, brought the property to the U.S., partnering with Paradigm whose Steve Wohl sold the rights to Kaplan. Kaplan developed the format and took it to Rake and Berlanti. Kaplan has a successful track record with Spanish-language formats — he is behind the adaptation of the Mexican drama Terminales, which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Tia Mowry-Hardrict, star of NickMom’s upcoming comedy series Instant Mom, and the show’s executive producer Aaron Kaplan are expanding their relationship with Nickelodeon. The two have sold an untitled Drill Sergeant comedy project to the flagship Nickelodeon channel. Loosely based on Mowry-Hardrict’s upbringing, the comedy revolves around a 12-year-old girl who lives on an Army base with her drill sergeant mother. Dan Kopelman (Rules Of Engagement) will pen the script and executive produce with Mowry-Hardrict and Kaplan through his Kapital Entertainment. In addition to InstantMom, Kaplan also executive produces the Nickelodeon series Wendell & Vinnie, which premiered earlier this year.
Here is Deadline’s annual list of The Overachievers Of Pilot Season. For anyone, landing a pilot is a major accomplishment. These selected few took that achievement to the next level.
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Aaron Kaplan. Proving that his fast start as a producer was not just beginner’s luck, the former WMA agent has become a force to be reckoned with during pilot season. This year he landed five pilot orders, one more than last year and a new personal best. All five are comedies — ABC’s Pulling, Bad Management and the untitled Cullen brothers project, CBS’ Friends With Better Lives and NBC’s The Gates — as are Kaplan’s on-air series, ABC’s The Neighbors and Nick at Nite’s Wendell & Vinnie, as well as another Nick pilot, Instant Mom. On the drama side, he has pilots Terminals, which is nearing a series pickup at ABC Family, and HR at Lifetime, which is casting. In a world of vertical integration, Kaplan operates as an independent one-man shop.
Another independent, management/production company 3 Arts, has four pilots, also all comedies: NBC’s untitled Greg Daniels/Robert Padnick, untitled Owen Ellickson & Craig Robinson and untitled John Mulaney/Lorne Michaels projects, as well as Fox’s untitled Dan Goor/Mike Schur project.
Writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are having a banner year. The Office alums and writers of the 2011 feature Bad Teacher are behind three broadcast comedy pilots — ABC’s Pulling, which they wrote and executive produce, as well as ABC’s Trophy Wife and CBS’ Bad Teacher adaptation, which they executive produce. Additionally, their HBO comedy pilot with Stephen Merchant, Hello Ladies, was picked up to series. Read More »
ABC has picked Bad Management, a single-camera comedy pilot co-written and starring Sharon Horgan, co-creator/start of the British comedy Pulling. Co-written by Horgan and Holly Walsh and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan, Bad Management centers on a slightly self-centered female boss (Horgan) at a high-end luxury goods department store who finds her ways challenged when the boss’ son comes to town and makes youth and sex the new company focus. ABC Studios is producing. This marks the fifth broadcast pilot for Kaplan this year and the second for Irish actress-writer Horgan, who also co-produces with Kaplan ABC’s version of Pulling. Two years ago, Horgan wrote and co-starred in another ABC comedy pilot, Bad Mom, also exec produced by Kaplan. She is with WME, Duncan Hayes & George Davis.
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EXCLUSIVE: Strange Calls, a half-hour comedy from writer Donick Cary (New Girl), director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and producer Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors), has landed at ABC with a put pilot commitment. Based on an Australian series — which coincidentally also airs on ABC (Australia’s ABC2) – Strange Calls centers on good-hearted, bumbling Boston cop Toby Banks, who is exiled to night duty on Nantucket island, where strange, unexplainable occurrences become the norm nine months out of the year. Working out of a creaky lighthouse on the outskirts of town, he is teamed with Gregor, the eccentric lighthouse keeper and local paranormal authority. The two make an unlikely crimefighting duo dealing with the “strange calls” that come into the station at night. Nantucketer Cary is writing the adaptation and will executive produce with Fleischer; Kapital Entertainment’s Kaplan; as well as Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield, executive producers of the original series, which is produced by their company Hoodlum. 20th Century Fox TV, where Fleischer is under an overall deal, is producing. Fleischer is repped by UTA and Sloane Offer. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As she is wrapping her starring turn on ABC’s Private Practice, Kate Walsh is embarking on a producing career with a comedy project written by Retired At 35 creator Chris Case, which just sold to NBC. The untitled multi-camera half-hour, from 20th Century Fox TV, is loosely based on the personal experience of Walsh and Case, who are a couple. It centers on a recently divorced father of two pre-teen boys that quickly falls in love with a freewheeling woman cop who has little experience with children, while dealing with his ex-wife, who is now living with his best friend. Walsh and Case will executive produce with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment.
This past summer, Walsh announced that she would be leaving Private Practice after 13 episodes of the current sixth season. Walsh, repped by CAA and Evolution, has played the character of Addison Montgomery for 7 years, starting on Grey’s Anatomy before she got her own spinoff Private Practice. She is currently seen in breakout indie Perks Of Being A Wallflower and has a cameo in the upcoming Scary Movie 5. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has put in development a drama series project based on the novel The Madonnas Of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse. The project, to be written by award-winning playwright Julia Cho, takes a look at the lives of a community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Los Angeles. It explores the relationships -– romantic, professional, familial –- of the Latinos that have built the community over the years, and the hipsters who’re making their way in now, examining the complicated dynamic between the two as they struggle to build new lives for themselves in pursuit of the American dream. Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan and British writer Kelly Marcel are executive producing, reuniting after their first collaboration on Terra Nova, which the two executive produced. Terra Nova originated with a 15-page treatment by Marcel, which Kaplan brought to the U.S. For Cho, who will serve as co-executive producer, this marks a return to HBO, where she worked on Big Love. Her TV credits also include a stint on Fringe. She is with WME, Skyhorse is with Jody Hotchkiss.
At HBO, The Madonnas of Echo Park joins another Kapital-produced project, comedy pilot Viagra Diaries, created by Sex And The City’s Darren Star and to be directed by Bridesmaids‘ Paul Feig. Additionally, Kaplan has several other cable projects in development. Read More »