EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: NBC has put in development Hench, a high-concept drama from Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44 and Universal TV. Written by Alexandra Cunningham, Hench is based on the comic by Adam Beechen and Manny Bello’s comic and centers on a regular guy who, in order to support his family, gets jobs temping for super villains. Cunningham, Berg and Aubrey executive produce.
This marks a reunion of the creative team behind NBC’s drama Prime Suspect. NBC had tried to develop an U.S. version of the iconic British series with another writer-producer, but it was the version written by TV writer/playwright Cunningham and produced by Film 44 that got to a pilot stage and attracted Maria Bello as the lead. The pilot went to series, which was well received and, despite its struggle to attract a wide audience, was a favorite of NBC brass who re-upped Cunningham and Film 44′s overall deals in March. In addition to its collaboration with Cunningham, Film 44 has an U.S. version of the Israeli drama M.I.C.E. in development at NBC for next season. Before moving to Universal TV in 2010, WME-repped Cunningham was a key writer-producer on the first six seasons of ABC’s Desperate Housewives.
EXCLUSIVE: Alexandra Cunningham, who developed and executive produced NBC’s Prime Suspect, has signed a new overall deal with the studio behind the series, Universal Television. Under the two-year, seven-figure pact, Cunningham will develop new projects for the studio, which now … Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
At the NBCUniversal press sessions at Monday’s TCA, not one but two of the new series introduced here are re-imaginings of British shows. In the morning, it was the comedy Free Agents. This afternoon, it was the Maria Bello starrer Prime Suspect, a re-invention of the critically acclaimed British procedural drama starring Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison, a homicide detective with a dark side. This time around, England is New York City, and Maria Bello is Jane Timoney, a brilliant “bad cop” disliked by her squad. She’s all tough and stuff. At age 44, Bello joins the ranks of glamorous middle-aged actresses who have found a place for themselves in TV’s procedural dramas.
Also like the producers of Free Agents, co-executive producer/writer Alexandra Cunningham said the show would be a little less dark than seems to suit British tastes: While the New Jane drinks like the Old Jane, the story lines won’t delve into alcoholism. New Jane smokes like Old Jane — but in the USA in 2011, she’s trying to quit. (Bello also confessed that she is a smoker.) Said Cunningham: “The thing that makes this different from other procedurals is the humor,” which she adds will harken to the style of Hill Street Blues and Barney Miller. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44 is becoming a key player in NBC’s development plans for next season with 3 high-profile projects. Last week, the company took over NBC’ drama pilot Prime Suspect. Now I hear Berg and Aubrey are also coming on board NBC’ other big reboot, … Read More »
At the top of NBC’s executive session, NBC Uni TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin announced that a couple of series will premiere early behind the final episodes of America’s Got Talent. The second season of Parenthood will launch on Sept. … Read More »