EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development The Money Pit, a comedy series based on the 1986 feature starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Amblin Television, the TV division of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, which produced the movie with Universal Pictures, is producing the potential series with Universal Television. Former Office writer-producer Justin Spitzer, who is under an overall deal at Uni TV, will write the adaptation and executive produce with Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The movie, written by David Giler and directed by Richard Benjamin, starred Hanks and Long as a couple who are tricked into buying a distress-sale mansion that becomes the proverbial “money pit,” requiring an endless string of repairs. This is the second sale for UTA-repped Spitzer this season. He also has a Detroit auto company comedy with producer Aaron Kaplan that has a put pilot commitment at NBC, and comedy Start-Up in development at USA Network. Spitzer joined The Office at the beginning of Season 3, rising to co-executive producer. Amblin’s portfolio includes series The Americans, Under The Dome, Falling Skies, the just-canceled Lucky 7 and the upcoming Extant.
With head-spinning volume of broadcast development every year, it is inevitable that some projects fall through the cracks or don’t realize their full potential. It is encouraging that the networks appear more and more willing to give shows another chance. Several new series this coming season, including ABC’s The Goldbergs and Super Fun Night and CBS’ We Are Men, had been previously developed at the same or another network. And an unusually large number of pilots from last season were given a second lease on life with cast extensions. (One, CBS comedy The McCarthys, already received an order for a new pilot.) Here are two other projects from last season that are getting a second shot.
Overnight, Mickey Fisher has become the toast of TV development season. The unknown writer is behind Extant, a sci-fi drama spec script that is sparking one of the biggest bidding wars in recent years. “Everyone wants it,” one observer said. “And I mean everybody.” The sci-fi/family drama, from Amblin Television, is a rare property that has virtually all networks — broadcast, basic and premium cable — interested and ready to open their wallets. The winner is expected to dig deep as the spec is expected to fetch some sort of production commitment, with a straight-to-series order a possibility. Extant, which has Vegas co-creator/executive producer Greg Walker on board as executive producer/showrunner, is about a couple with a human-like android son created by the dad and another child, possibly an alien, on the way. Despite its high-concept premise, the script is very grounded and is getting rave reviews from industry types who have read it. Extant has been making waves ever since it first surfaced a couple of months ago. There was some talk about going the feature route, but the project, originally conceived as a pilot, is now firmly headed to TV. WME is spearheading the pitching, which just wrapped, with Brooklyn Weaver, who discovered Fisher. The bidding is expected to continue over the weekend.