After making waves in the marketplace, the sci-fi drama spec Extant from new writer Mickey Fisher and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television has landed at CBS with a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes to air next summer. On CBS, Extant will join another serialized sci-fi drama from Amblin TV, Under The Dome, which was recently renewed for next summer after a breakout freshman run. Broadcast, basic and premium cable networks were all heavily pursuing Extant, which hit the market a couple of weeks ago. Most suitors offered production commitments, making the choice difficult, with the producers mulling whether to go lighter with the material on broadcast or darker on cable. I hear the winning pitch by CBS’ Nina Tassler was that the network successfully launched Amblin’s Under The Dome, which also was a 13-episode straight-to-series order, and that Extant could be paired with the Stephen King adaptation to form a Steven Spielberg night. READ MORE »
ABC has bought Middle Age Rage, a single-camera comedy from veteran writer-producer Cheryl Holliday, Steven Spielberg’s rechristened Amblin TV and ABC Studios. Written by Holliday, Middle Age chronicles what happens when a middle-aged wife and mother is fed up with feeling invisible and begins to speak up and demand the respect she feels she’s earned. Holliday will executive producing with Amblin TV/DreamWorks TV co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.
Fox has bought America’s Son, a drama from writer Paul Redford, Amblin TV and Sony Pictures TV. Described as part juicy soap, part paranoid political thriller set in Washington DC, America’s Son is a sophisticated contemporary spin on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. When a beloved presidential hopeful dies in a tragic car wreck, a renegade JFK Jr. type returns home to D.C. to discover his father’s death was no accident — and he makes it his mission to untangle a complicated web of family secrets, expose the truth and ultimately avenge the murder. Redford has background in both dramas about the inner working of Washington DC — he spent five seasons on The West Wing, which he joined after the pilot — and soaps — he did a stint as a co-executive producer on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money.