With popularity of Bible-themed projects showing no signs of subsiding, Fox has put in development Nazareth, an event series written/executive produced by David Franzoni (Gladiator) and executive produced by Bob Cooper. Nazareth is the first project under an overall deal for event series that Fox has signed with Cooper and Tyler Mitchell’s Landscape Entertainment. It follows the formative years of Jesus of Nazareth. There had been a lot of interest recently in Jesus’ so called “lost years,” a lesser known period in his life because there is very little written about him from the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist. Lifetime in February started development on The One, a TV movie from Hatfields & McCoys producer Leslie Greif and writers Frank DeJohn and David Alton Hedges, which is described as a coming-of-age story exploring Jesus’ early life and formative years as he comes to learn he is the Son of God and is destined for greatness. Another project, which was briefly in development at History, took a more unconventional approach to the same period in Jesus’ life, exploring a theory about his origins as an exorcist. Nazareth hails from FX Prods., which produces most of Fox’s event series, and Entertainment One, where …
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran producer Bob Cooper’s company Landscape Entertainment has signed a first-look deal with independent studio Entertainment One Television. Under the pact, Landscape Entertainment will develop new scripted TV projects for the U.S. and international markets, on which eOne will serve as the studio and deficit financier, as well as handle worldwide distribution. As part of the agreement, Landscape Entertainment will be based out of the eOne offices in Los Angeles. “We’re very excited about partnering with Bob and his team at Landscape to bring compelling television programming to a global marketplace,” said John Morayniss, CEO of eOne Television. Added Cooper, “I have known John for many years and have great respect for how he has successfully built his company.”
EXCLUSIVE: Landscape Entertainment has promoted J.J. Jamieson to the newly created position of President of Television. Additionally, Bob Cooper’s film and television production company has renewed its first-look TV deal with FremantleMedia North America. Under the pact with Fremantle, Landscape has been developing scripted series projects, mostly cable dramas. Jamieson, who previously served as SVP, has spearheaded these efforts, selling a dozen projects to such networks as HBO, USA, AMC, TNT, Lifetime, Comedy Central, Syfy, Cartoon Network, and ABC. They include the Syfy pilot Three Inches and the ABC drama Beautiful Gangsters produced by Anthony LaPaglia. “There’s always a bit of luck, though I do find that in general, the harder we work, the luckier we get,” Jamieson said of the company’s slew of TV sales. As for extending the collaboration with Fremantle, “they’ve added value to every pitch we’ve taken to the marketplace,” he said. Jamieson, whose resume includes stints as a creative executive in NBC’s Movies & Mini-Series Department and running LaPaglia’s production company, will continue to work closely with Cooper. Also promoted at Landscape is Jordan Helman to Executive Director.
EXCLUSIVE: Desperate Mob Wives? ABC is eying a drama series for next summer produced by Bob Cooper and Anthony Lapaglia. Titled Beautiful Gangsters, the project, now in development, has FremantleMedia Enterprises on board to handle worldwide distribution outside of North America through Cooper’s first-look deal with the company. And in a rare occasion for a network-level project, the script is written by a young newcomer, recent UCLA Film School graduate Ryan Tavlin. “It’s great to be supporting such a talented young writer as Ryan,” LaPaglia said. “Beautiful Gangsters is a stellar piece of writing, as sophisticated as it is juicy.”
Beautiful Gangsters revolves around three mafia wives who cut a deal with the FBI to enter Witness Protection together in exchange for their testimony, in the hopes of giving their families a second chance at life. The FBI relocates them to a suburban border town in Canada, where they struggle to fit in, struggle to make ends meet … and struggle to resist temptations to take criminal shortcuts. The potential series will be produced by Landscape Entertainment chairman/CEO Cooper’s longtime Canadian production company, Rose Consulting Entertainment, and will be shot in his home country of Canada. Cooper will executive produce with Landscape’s J.J. Jamieson and Anthony LaPaglia’s Last Straw Prods., with Jordan Helman co-executive producing. “As many years as I’ve lived in the States, …
EXCLUSIVE: Landscape Entertainment CEO Bob Cooper has hired producer Tyler Mitchell to be his head of feature films. Mitchell is one of the producers of Burt Wonderstone, the Don Scardino-directed New Line comedy that has Steve Carell set to star and Jim Carrey in talks to play rival Las Vegas magicians. He’s also a producer on the period bank robbery drama The Architect at Warner Bros and recently sold the Jonathan Abrams pitch Legal Aide to the CW. Mitchell is exec producing that pilot with Jason Smilovic, Timberman/Beverly and Robert Luketic. Luketic is directing the pilot.
“Tyler’s expertise in all aspects of production will make him a huge asset to our company,” Cooper said.
Mitchell started as a production vice president and head of development for FilmEngine, where he worked on the films The Butterfly Effect and Lucky Number Slevin. He left to become a partner in Dark & Stormy Entertainment, a partnership with Smilovic and Robert Kravis that hatched the NBC series Kidnapped and My Own Worst Enemy.