More inevitable cancellations at NBC, which formally pulled the plug of underperforming midseason dramas Believe and Crisis. The demise of Believe makes it two NBC cancellations of JJ Abrams dramas today, as Revolution also was not picked up. Abrams’ Bad Robot also lost Almost Human, cancelled by Fox after one season, leaving the company with only one broadcast series next season, CBS’ Person of Interest. Crisis and Believe had the odds stacked against them with challenging slots on Sunday night. Still, Believe premiered after The Voice for extra sampling. In the end, neither the supernatural Believe, from Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron, nor hostage drama Crisis could draw enough viewers to earn a renewal.
Not that there was any realistic chance for NBC’s midseason drama series Believe and Crisis, but whatever little hope the shows’ fans may have had for a renewal should be gone now that the network has pulled the two series for a Women of SNL special on May 18, the final Sunday of May sweep. In their most recent airings this past Sunday, both dramas drew a 1.0 among adults 18-49 in the fast nationals. NBC has been struggling to kick-start its Sunday lineup post-football as it left with four hours to fill every January.
Heather McComb has nabbed a recurring role in Season 2 of Showtime’s Ray Donovan. She will play Patricia, a working-class mother who befriends Bunchy Donovan (Dash Mihok). She begins filming today. McComb’s recent TV credits include Shameless, Bones and Rizzoli & Isles, and she next stars in the feature Another Stateside. She is repped by Don Buchwald and Associates and Bohemia Group.
Related: 2014 Showtime Pilots
Mia Vallet has been tapped for a multi-episode arc on the NBC drama Believe. She will play Dani, a vulnerable woman with a dark edge. Abandoned by her parents who blamed her for killing her brother, she has been living on the streets for the past few years. Ultimately she becomes the antagonist to Bo (Johnny Sequoyah). Vallet, who starred in the 2012 feature Forelsket, is repped by Innovative Artists and Suskin Management.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
NBC’s high-concept new drama Believe is from J.J. Abrams and Gravity’s Best Director Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón (who co-wrote the pilot and directed it) gets a special preview Monday, March 10 at 10 PM following The Voice before launching in its regular Sunday 9 PM slot March 16. Here’s the first two minutes of the series, which has seen its share of showrunner turnover. The drama centers on a young girl (Johnny Sequoyah) with an extraordinary ability and a man (Jake McLaughlin) sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power. Check it out:
The rap on the show is that it has had trouble trying to figure out what it should be. But Abrams, talking to TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014, preferred to think of it as a process by which they found the right fit with the “incredible pilot” directed by Gravity‘s Alfonso Cuaron — and in no way a reflection on the two “great and talented”, and departed, showrunners with whom he said he hopes to work in the future.
In December, executive producer/showrunner Dave Erickson departed and was succeeded by co-executive producer/director Jonas Pate, the second episode’s director - a rare case of a director taking the reins of a scripted series. Co-creator/exec producer/original showrunner Mark Friedman left the series in July. Friedman and Cuaron co-wrote the pilot for the high concept project, about the unlikely relationship between Bo, a girl with supernatural powers, and Tate, the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from the nogoodniks who are trying to hunt her down.
Of Pate’s new assignment, Abrams said he’s a big believer “whoever can do it… does it,” adding that they were lucky to find their new showrunner “in the family.”
Cuaron said he came up with the idea for Believe while directing Oscar-nominated Gravity, during which “I had a window, waiting for the endless process of visual effects and I wanted to do something” but did not have time to direct another film.” “First of all I wanted to do something in which people were not floating and from then on everything just came together,” he joked.
NBC has set its post-Winter Olympics scheduling plans, setting premiere dates for new comedies About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher, dramas Believe and Crisis and unscripted series American Dream Builders. Like it did with the 2012 summer Olympics (Who can forget the interruption in the closing ceremony for Animal Practice), NBC will preview the two comedies during the games. About A Boy, based on the best-selling Nick Hornby novel, will preview on Feb. 21 at 10:30 PM, following NBC’s Olympics coverage, and Growing Up Fisher will be sneaked on Feb. 23 at 10:30 PM, following the Closing Ceremonies. Like it did with Go On and The New Normal in fall 2012, About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher will be paired in a Tuesday 9 PM block following The Voice starting Feb. 25.
High concept new drama Believe, from J.J. Abrams and Gravity’s Alfonso Cuarón, who also directed the pilot, will get a special preview Monday, March 10 at 10 PM following The Voice before launching in its regular Sunday 9 PM slot on March 16. It will be part of NBC’s all-new Sunday night that also will include new hostage drama Crisis at 10 PM, beginning on March 16 and the Nate Berkus-hosted reality competition series American Dream Builders, which will premiere on March 23 at 8 PM.
NBC‘s high profile midseason drama series Believe, co-created and executive produced by Gravity director/co-writer Alfonso Cuaron and exec produced by J.J. Abrams, is undergoing a behind the scenes change. Executive producer/showrunner Dave Erickson is expected to depart. He will be succeeded by co-executive producer/director Jonas Pate who has been named executive producer/showrunner, a rare case of a director, not a writer taking the reins of a scripted serie. He directed the important second episode of the series that follows the pilot helmed by Cuaron. Pate joins executive producers Cuaron, Abrams, Bryan Burk as well as Hans Tobeason who will now serve as on-set producer in New York where the series films. This marks the second showrunner change on Believe. Co-creator/executive producer and original showrunner Mark Friedman left the series in July. To accommodate the showrunner transition, Believe is going on a holiday hiatus a week earlier that the previously scheduled Dec. 20 start. The extra week will be used to work on scripts. The series will resume production on Jan. 6 as originally scheduled. NBC has not slated Believe yet but had been looking to launch it after the Winter Olympics, using the sports event to promote the series and benefiting from the strong awards attention Cuaron is enjoying with Gravity.
“When you reach a certain point in your life, there are people out there waiting to see you fall.” Justin Bieber is ready for the haters in Believe, the pop star’s second official feature-length docu which also features mentor Usher and manager Scooter Braun. G.I. Joe 2 director Jon M. Chu is back after helming the $99M Bieber hit Never Say Never for Paramount in 2011. Of course, in those few short years the teen idol has added some tarnish to his once squeaky-clean image. Will his “Beliebers” again spend their allowance cash so freely on tickets? Believe hits theaters on Christmas through Open Road Films:
Recent Yale graduate Marissa Neitling has landed her first regular role on the TNT’s upcoming drama series The Last Ship. Executive produced by Michael Bay, it’s about the crew of a lone naval destroyer after a global pandemic who must find a way to pull humanity from the brink of extinction. Neitling, repped by KMR and Wishlab, will be playing a member of the crew, a highly trained officer in the Combat Information Center — the intelligence and weapons hub of the ship.
Rome and Luck alumna Kerry Condon is joining another upcoming drama series, NBC’s Believe, from Alfonso Cuaron and J.J. Abrams. It centers on Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), a girl with special powers. Condon will play Zoe Boyle, who has worked at Roman Skouras’ (Kyle MacLachlan) side for years. She considers herself the “mother” of the unique group of people Skouras has collected in his top-secret organization, Orchestra, and her heart aches for the one member that got away — Bo. Condon, repped by ICM Partners, Framework and Curtis Brown, recently guest starred on AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Stella Maeve Joins ‘Chicago PD’; Nick Tarabay Cast In ‘Believe’; ‘Gang Related’ & ‘Twisted’ Also Add Recurring
Stella Maeve has been cast in a recurring role on NBC’s midseason drama Chicago PD, a spinoff from the network’s Chicago Fire. On the cop drama, from Wolf Films and Universal TV, Maeve will play Nadia, a pretty 18-year-old escort who is addicted to heroin and goes through a very difficult withdrawal. Maeve, repped by Principato-Young and Abrams Artists, recently co-starred in CBS series Golden Boy, CW pilot Norfolk and indie Dark Summer.
Spartacus and Crash alum Nick Tarabay has booked a recurring role on the new NBC Alfonso Cuaron drama Believe, about Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), a girl with special powers. Tarabay, repped by Domain and manager Brian Medavoy, will play Niko Zepeda, a dangerous, intimidating CIA Black Ops who is a constant looming threat as he hunts Bo and her protector Tate (Jake McLaughlin).
Open Road Films has set a December 25 release date for Believe, the concert documentary directed by Justin Bieber: Never Say Never helmer Jon M. Chu. Footage from the pic, from SB Films and Dolphin Films, screened for select buyers in Toronto via global sales rep IM Global after Chu shot the movie under the radar. It features new interviews with the pop star, concert footage and behind-the-scenes access. As part of the promotional push, a new Bieber song will be released each Monday leading up to the movie’s release. Never Say Never made $99 million worldwide after Paramount released it in February 2011.
The co-creator and showrunner on NBC’s new high-concept drama has left the show. Sources tell Deadline that Mark Friedman (The Forgotten, Home Of The Brave) made the decision to exit Believe, from Warner Bros Television and Bad Robot Productions, on his own accord and that the parting was agreeable. Believe’s other co-creator Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Children Of Men), who directed and co-wrote the pilot, will remain as executive producer alongside J.J. Abrams. The Friedman move recalls a similar situation 18 months ago in which the co-creator/executive producer/showrunner of another Bad Robot midseason drama, Alcatraz, exited ahead of that series’ launch. Elizabeth Sarnoff, who had quietly been elevated to EP two months earlier, left that Fox drama — citing the usual “creative differences”. Abrams later said of Sarnoff, “She didn’t feel like she was the right person to run the show.”
Related: NBC New Series Pickups
2ND UPDATE: Joining the group of newly picked up NBC series is DJ Nash comedy The Family Guide. This is it for NBC’s first batch of new series pickups. Waiting word are several top contenders, including Sony’s drama Blacklist and comedy Welcome To The Family.
UPDATE, 10:15 AM: Also picked up are the Sean Hayes/Victor Fresco comedy, titled Sean Saves The World, and J.J. Abrams’ drama Believe. That means two series each on NBC next season for Hayes/Hazy Mills and Abrams/Bad Robot, who also executive produce the recently renewed Grimm and Revolution, respectively.
PREVIOUS, 10:13 AM: After cleaning up house yesterday, passing on seven pilots, NBC just started handing out their new series orders. Rand Ravich’s drama Crisis and Jason Katims’ comedy About A Boy were among the first to get the happy call. Like Hayes and Abrams, Katims too will be pulling double duty on NBC next season as his Parenthood also has been renewed. About A Boy stars the little boy from 1600 Penn, so in case anyone was wondering, that series is dead. NBC, of course also has the Michael J. Fox comedy series with a 22-episode order. I’ll keep updating with pickup information as it comes in.
Related: Full Primetime Pilot Panic Listings
Here are credits and descriptions for NBC’s newly picked-up series:
Kate Lang Johnson (Fired Up) is set as a lead opposite Chyler Leigh and Humphrey Ker in NBC’s comedy pilot Holding Patterns, from writer Justin Spitzer, TBD Prods and Universal TV. It is an ensemble multi-camera comedy about a group of friends whose lives completely change after they survive a plane crash, caused by Leah (Leigh) ruining Griffin’s (Ker) proposal dinner. Johnson, repped by Innovative and McKeon/Myones, plays Sabrina, Griffin’s perfect fiancée, a beautiful doctor.
Arian Moayed has been cast as a regular in Believe, NBC’s drama pilot from J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón. The project, written by Cuarón and Mark Friedman, is about the unlikely relationship between Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), a girl in possession of great powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and Tate (Jake McLaughlin), the man sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down. Moayed, repped by Gersh and Kipperman Management, will play Corey, the right-hand man to hit woman Moore (Sienna Guillory). He was nominated for a Tony for Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo and just finished a two-episode arc on The Following.