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USA Gives Pilot Order To Alien Drama From Carlton Cuse, Legendary TV & UCP

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 8:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

USA Gives Pilot Order To Alien Drama From Carlton Cuse, Legendary TV & UCPEXCLUSIVE: Carlton Cuse is officially the hardest-working drama showrunner in town with three series and two pilots on his plate. USA Network has handed a pilot green light to Colony (working title), from Lost alum Cuse and Hercules co-writer Ryan Condal, who co-created the project and will executive produce. It hails from Legendary Television, marking the first scripted pilot for the company, and Universal Cable Prods.

condalWritten by Condal, Colony was featured on USA’s development slate in May. It is described as a naturalistic drama set in the near future in Los Angeles, which exists in a state of occupation by a force of alien intruders. Some collaborate with the authorities and benefit from the new order, while others rebel and suffer the consequences. Image (2) legendary-pictures-logo-1280x629__140326165040-575x282.jpg for post 714649The project centers on a family torn by opposing forces and making difficult choices as they balance staying together with surviving the struggle of the human race.

Related: 2014 USA Pilots

Colony is a gripping story that brilliantly weaves together an intense family drama in an authentic, yet unknown, world,” said USA President Chris McCumber. USA had been looking to return to the alien genre space, which the network tackled with the 2007 sci-fi series The 4400. Its most previous batch of pilots included World War II alien drama Horizon, which didn’t go to series.

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Comic-Con: Guillermo Del Toro Stresses Diversity On ‘The Strain’ & Circular Route To Series

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 4:27pm PDT

Comic-Con: Guillermo Del Toro Stresses Diversity On ‘The Strain’ & Circular Route To Series“For me, it is very important for this show to have Latin characters and Mexican characters that defy the stereotype of gang bangers,” said Guillermo del Toro today at Comic-Con about his series The Strain.

del toro cuse the strain comic con 2014In what was a wide-ranging panel discussion of the new show, the Mexican-born director wasted no time revealing to a packed Hall H his specific intentions for the characters of the vampire series. “I want Gus to become not only a complex character but a full-fledged hero who will kick some ass,” del Toro said of the just-out-of-juvie Augustin “Gus” Elizalde role played by Miguel Gomez. The director also noted that the sense of cultural difference was part of the casting of Mia Maestro and the Dr. Nora Martinez character she plays. “Her being a Latin woman and me being a Latin man, we are very aware of otherness and I thought she could be a good counterpoint to Eph’s (Corey Stoll’s Dr. Ephraim Goodweather) scientific method. “God willing, next season, we have a masked Mexican wrestler to also kick ass,” del Toro added to big laughs.

The vivid and highly stylized The Strain chronicles the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Stoll as he, fellow scientists and others try to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived in America via a European-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. There … Read More »

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Comic-Con: Kenny Johnson Upped to Series Regular & Nicola Peltz Returns To ‘Bates Motel’

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 4:04pm PDT

Comic-Con: Kenny Johnson Upped to Series Regular & Nicola Peltz Returns To ‘Bates Motel’Revealed today at A&E’s Comic-Con panel for Bates Motel is that season 3 will dive more into the story of Norma’s brother, Caleb, as Kenny Johnson is made a regular on the show. Also, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin revealed that posh damsel in distress Bradley (Nicola Peltz) — aka the girl who Norman will do anything for — will be returning. “There’s a huge revelation for Norman as he realizes he can do these terrible things,” said Cuse. For the most part the EPs were tight-lipped about major storylines for season 3. Of note, we’ll learn more about Sheriff Romero’s backstory. "Bates Motel" Press Line - Comic-Con International 2014Rather than treat the crowd to season 3 spoilers, panel organizers found it amusing to have members of  the audience arm wrestle Johnson since he’s a champion in the raw sport. The Bates Motel panel featured a couple of silly clips: an Arrested Development-like opening credits sequence for the series as well as a number of offbeat, unhinged auditions of the actors, which are to be featured on the season 2 DVD. Sitting on the Comic-Con panel were Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell and Johnson.

Related: A&E’s ‘Bates Motel’ Renewed For Third Season

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TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend, Creator Guillermo Del Toro Says

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 4:32pm PDT

TCA: FX’s “Revolting” ‘The Strain’ Bucks Romantic GQ Vampire Trend, Creator Guillermo Del Toro SaysBefore FX developed The Strain for its lineup, Guillermo del Toro says a broadcast network suggested developing it as a comedy. The Strain, based on the trilogy of novels by del Toro and Chuck Hogan, follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) as the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team, leading the effort to discover the root of a viral outbreak that seems to have killed all the passengers and crew of a Berlin-originated airplane that turns out to be a strain of vampirism.

Back in 2006, del Toro told TV critics this afternoon at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014,  the project was sent around for possible development as a TV project. At that time he said, the the only way anybody envisioned vampires was “as a romantic conception of vampires — that sort of GQ version of vampires,” he said. But he was pitching a show in which vampires would be “truly revolting, physically and spiritually.” At one network, he said, he got asked, ” ‘Could you turn it into a comedy?’ I said ‘no’.”

thestrain01-is-the-strain-posterSeries exec producer Carlton Cuse, meanwhile, says that while there are horror elements to the show, he thinks of it much more as an adventure show, along the lines of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, he worked on in its development. “It’s not that scary — it’s not just a horror show,” Cuse insists of The Strain. “The material lent itself to a big pulpy engaging type of storytelling.” Read More »

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FX’s ‘The Strain’ Debuts Strong With Nearly 3M Viewers

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 8:32am PDT

FX’s ‘The Strain’ Debuts Strong With Nearly 3M ViewersIt was icky, dark and something bloodier is definitely going on with The Strain, but that seems OK with viewers.  FX’s new series based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan pulled in an audience of 2.99 million Sunday night for its 1-hour and 42-minute debut at 10PM. That’s 42% better that the cabler’s most recent other drama debut Tyrant did on its June 24th premiere. Showing good DVR life in Live+3 numbers, the Middle East-based series drew 2.1 million viewers for its initial 1-hour and 22-minute opener that Tuesday night. With the first heavily promoted episode directed by del Toro and EP’d by the Pacific Rim director, Hogan and Carlton Cuse, the vampire drama was also 12% higher in terms of its audience than the 2.65 million viewers that the 97-minute debut of limited series Fargo got on April 15.

The Strain follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Corey Stoll, as the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team. Goodweather and his crew are trying to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived via a Berlin-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. That outbreak reveals itself to be a strain of vampirism. While the series hasn’t officially been picked up for a second cycle, Cuse and del Toro have already said that they don’t want The Strain to go more than 5 seasons.

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‘The Strain’s Showrunner Carlton Cuse Admits Yanked Graphic Billboards Were “Not For Everyone”

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 1:14pm PDT

‘The Strain’s Showrunner Carlton Cuse Admits Yanked Graphic Billboards Were “Not For Everyone”“It may have been too far out there for some people but I personally liked it,” said The Strain showrunner Carlton Cuse today about the graphic billboards FX pulled in some LA locations last week after getting grossed out complaints. The billboards of the upcoming series based on the trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan depicted a close up illustration of a worm coming out of a human eyeball. “I think that the ad was bold and imaginative and clearly not for everyone,” added the former Lost producer today on a strain billboard fxconference call. “I feel the same way,” said del Toro. “I think FX has a great sense of who their audience is,” he added, “the worm with the eye is very powerful.”

“Much as I think that the show has many layers of appeal,” the Pacific Rim director noted the vampire drama might not be for a mass TV audience. “We do go to territories that are pretty extreme and graphic,” del Toro said describing the show as “a thriller with horror elements.”

Despite the pulled billboards, both reiterate the strong support they’ve had from their first meeting with FX. “John Landgraf read all three books and he made the decision that The Strain fit into the portfolio of shows on FX,’ Cuse said. “They give you time to find your footing,” added del Toro as he spoke of the long pre-production time he requested for … Read More »

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Amazon Nears Pilot Order For Civil War Drama From Carlton Cuse & Randall Wallace

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

wallacecarltoncusejpgAmazon Studios is saddling up for Point Of Honor, a Civil War drama from former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Secretariat director Randall Wallace. I hear the streaming service is finalizing a pilot order deal for the project, to be co-produced by ABC Studios’ boutique division ABC Signature and Amazon Studios.

Point of Honor is a historical drama about a fictional family from Lynchburg, VA who find their lives and family fractured by the commencement of the Civil War. It has been a passion project for Cuse and was the first show he developed after his six-season run on the Emmy-winning ABC drama Lost. He and Wallace, who separately were both interested in doing Civil War projects, were put together by their mutual agent, WME’s Ari Greeenburg. Their ideas melded together well, and the two created the show together. The teaming gave the project two different perspectives on the war as Wallace is from the south and went to Duke and Cuse grew up in Boston and went to Harvard.

Like Lost, Point Of Honor was set up at ABC though ABC amazonstudiosStudios during the 2010-11 season but did not go to production. Barry Jossen, then head of ABC Studios, was a big champion of the project. He is now an executive producer alongside Cuse as he was instrumental in setting the show up at Amazon. Key on the Amazon side was Amazon Studios head of drama Morgan Wandell, who also knew of the project from his days at ABC Studios. Point Of Honor had been envisioned as a major event series, a genre whose popularity has been on the rise the past couple of years. Cuse and Wallace co-wrote the script, with Wallace set to direct. Read More »

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Mark Pellegrino To Star In A&E Drama ‘The Returned’ For ‘Lost’ Reunion With Carlton Cuse

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 4:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

pellegrinoEXCLUSIVE: Lost alum Mark Pellegrino, who played Jacob on the hit ABC series, is reuniting with Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse. Pellegrino has been tapped as a lead in Cuse’s 10-episode straight-to-series A&E drama The Returned. Cuse wrote the first episode, and he and Raelle Tucker will write and executive produce the supernatural/suspense drama, an adaptation of the acclaimed French series. The Returned, from A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America, focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. Pellegrino will play the rugged Jack, father of 20-year-old twin girls Lena, and Camille, who died in a school bus crash four years ago at age 16 and are now coming back. Pellegrino, repped by Domain and Framework, co-starred on the CW’s The Tomorrow People this past season, and his series credits also include Supernatural, Revolution, Being Human, The Closer and Dexter.

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Carlton Cuse’s Adaptation Of French Series ‘The Returned’ Gets Series Order At A&E

By | Tuesday April 29, 2014 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TheReturned_CompleteA U.S. version of the acclaimed and popular French  drama The Returned (Les Revenants) is a go. A&E has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to the project, also titled The Returned, which had been on fast-track development since the network acquired the rights to the French series last fall. Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel) wrote the first episode, and he and Raelle Tucker (True Blood) will write and executive produce the supernatural/suspense series, a co-production between A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America, with three scripts already completed. Casting will begin immediately.

carltoncusejpgBased on the International Emmy-winning French suspense series by Fabrice Gobert, which in turn was inspired by the French feature film of the same name directed by Robin Campillo, The Returned focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. As families are reunited, the lives of those who were left behind are challenged on a physical and emotional level as strange phenomena begin to occur. I hear A&E’s version is faithful to the original. A&E logo1The Returned has the potential to be one of the most compelling drama series on cable, thanks to phenomenal scripts written by Carlton and Raelle,” said A&E general manager David McKillop. This marks the second straight-to-series order for Cuse at A&E, where he also has Psycho prequel series Bates Motel, recently renewed for a third season. With the pickup of The Returned, Cuse ties Julie Plec as the writing drama producer with the most series on the air, 3: Bates Motel, and The Returned at A&E and the upcoming horror series The Strain at FX — not too shabby for the former Lost co-showrunner who had been eyeing a slower pace following his intense stint on the complex ABC series.
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TCA: FX’s Vampire Series ‘The Strain’ – A Statement About “Empiricism And Religion” Without Sex

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 5:17pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905FX’s new vampire series The Strain is a “really original re-imagining of vampire lore” that “says something about the precariousness of our modern world” and also about the 2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6intersection of “empiricism and religion,” exec producer Carlton Cuse told TV critics this afternoon.

Then he showed critics a clip from the pilot episode.

“I got a massage just watching that,” Cuse tittered when the gore-tastic clip wrapped. Critics, who looked like the clip had had the same effect on them, were disappointed to learn from Cuse that the vampires of The Strain won’t engage in actual sex. That’s because the particular strain of vampire in Chuck Hogan’s novel trilogy on which the series is based sloughs off genitalia – no use for them. Read More »

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FX’s ‘The Strain’ Gets Official 13-Episode Order, Abraham Role To Be Recast

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 12:36pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

While Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse‘s drama The Strain, based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire novel trilogy, formally had a pilot order at FX, its series pickup was considered a pure formality. It just came in today. From the onset, when FX landed the project in a bidding war, it hired a full writing staff, with the network committing some $500,000 to creature creation. The Strain now is heading into production on its first season, with the bulk of the scripts already completed and one major casting change. The role of Professor Abraham Setrakian, played in the pilot by John Hurt, is being recast. Filming is slated to begin this month in Toronto for a July premiere. As FX CEO John Landgraf indicated in August, the plan for the series is to run for 39-65 episodes.
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A&E Sets U.S. Version of French Series ‘The Returned’, Carlton Cuse In Talks To Adapt

By | Friday September 27, 2013 @ 1:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Hit French series The Returned (Les Revenants) is getting an American remake. A&E Network has nabbed rights to the supernatural/suspense drama, which will be developed as a co-production between A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America. There is no writer in place but I hear the network is in discussions with Carlton Cuse, executive producer/co-showrunner of A&E’s breakout hit Bates Motel to take on the adaptation.

Created by Fabrice Gobert, Les Revenants was inspired by the 2004 feature film by the same name directed by Robin Campillo (English-language title They Came Back). It focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. As they attempt to resume their lives, strange phenomena and gruesome murders begin to occur. “The Returned takes an incredibly unique approach, filled with suspense and twists and turns, to the subject of the living dead,” said A&E’s EVP and general manager David McKillop. Added FMNA CEO Thom Beers, “Having seen Fabrice Gobert’s original version and the success the series has had in France, we’re thrilled to be partnering with the team at A+E to bring this enigmatic thriller to U.S. audiences.” Read More »

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Sean Astin Joins FX Drama Pilot ‘The Strain’

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 7:18pm PDT

Showrunner Carlton Cuse tonight tweeted casting of Lord Of The Rings veteran Sean Astin in the FX pilot directed by Guillermo del Toro. Astin will play CDC administrator Jim Kent in the dram starring Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro and John Hurt. The Strain, which Pacific Rim helmer del Toro co-wrote with Chuck Hogan based on their vampire novel trilogy, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team, of which Astin’s Kent is a member, are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.

Related: John Hurt To Co-Star In FX Pilot ‘The Strain’

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John Hurt To Co-Star In FX Pilot ‘The Strain’

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 4:06pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt has been tapped as the co-lead opposite Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro in FX‘s high-profile drama pilot The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, which is being eyed for a 13-episode pickup. The high-concept thriller, directed by del Toro  from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan based on their vampire novel trilogy, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Hurt, who first worked with del Toro in his 2004 feature Hellboy, will portray Professor Abraham Setrakian, a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and now runs a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem. As the outbreak spreads, he may be the only one with answers — if anyone will listen. Read More »

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Carlton Cuse On ‘Bates Motel’s Twin Peaks’ & ‘Psycho’ Heritage

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 10:25pm PDT

Bates Motel Paley CenterDiane Haithman is a Deadline contributor.

During a Bates Motel panel discussion Friday, Carlton Cuse was blunt about borrowing from a classic. No, not Hitchcock’s Psycho; TV’s Twin Peaks. “We pretty much ripped off Twin Peaks,” joked Cuse, executive producer of the A&E series with Kerry Ehrin, in response to a question about the similarities from panel moderator Shawn Ryan. “If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes,” he continued, tongue in cheek. “I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry and I thought we’d do the 70 that are missing.” Cuse appeared on the Paley Center panel “Inside Bates Motel: Reimagining A Cinema Icon” with Ehrin, Vera Farmiga (who portrays Norma Bates), Freddie Highmore (Norman), Max Thieriot (Norman’s half-brother Dylan), Nicola Peltz (popular teen Bradley Martin) and Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Alex Romero). English actress Olivia Cooke, who plays Norman’s friend Emma Decody, who battles cystic fibrosis, was a no-show because of “visa snafus,” Ryan said. Once it was acknowledged that both TV shows are plenty creepy and set in the foggy Northwest, Cuse, Ehrin and the cast spent more time during the freewheeling discussion citing the similarities and differences of Bates Motel from Hitchcock’s iconic 1960 film.

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Corey Stoll To Topline FX’s ‘The Strain’, From Guillermo Del Toro & Carlton Cuse

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 3:36pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Corey Stoll The Strain Guillermo Del Toro SeriesEXCLUSIVE: House Of CardsCorey Stoll has been tapped as the lead of FX‘s high-profile drama project The Strain, from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and veteran showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel). The Strain, an adaptation of del Toro’s vampire novel trilogy, formally has a pilot order, but FX president John Landgraf has indicated it is being eyed for a series order. The project already has a full writing staff in place churning out scripts, and I hear FX has committed $500,000 to creature creation.

Del Toro will direct the pilot from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, who also co-authored the books with del Toro. Cuse, who helped develop the adaptation, executive produces alongside del Toro and will serve as showrunner, overseeing the potential series with del Toro. Hogan and del Toro’s longtime manager/producing partner Gary Ungar also serve as exec producers of the project, produced by FX Prods.

The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his … Read More »

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Carlton Cuse To Produce Series Adaptation Of Oni Press’ ‘Sixth Gun’ Comic For NBC

By | Thursday October 11, 2012 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC has put in development Sixth Gun, a drama based on the Oni Press graphic novel, which is being executive produced by former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse. Sixth Gun, produced by Universal TV, is the story of six mythical guns in the Old West. When the Sixth Gun, the most powerful and dangerous of the group, resurfaces in the hands of an innocent girl named Becky Montcrief, dark forces reawaken. Vile men thought long dead set their sights on retrieving the gun and killing Becky. Only Drake Sinclair, a self-serving gunfighter, stands in evil’s way. Feature writer Ryan Condal will write the script and will executive produce with Cuse as well as Eric Gitter and Andy Bourne of Oni Press’s sister company, film/TV producer Closed on Mondays Entertainment. I hear Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria had been eying the property for awhile and brought it to Cuse’s attention. Condal has several feature projects in the works, including Hercules: The Thracian Wars, also a comic book adaptation, which has Dwayne Johnson attached to star and Brett Ratner to direct.

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‘The Strain’ Drama From Guillermo Del Toro And Carlton Cuse Gets Pilot Order At FX

By and | Thursday September 20, 2012 @ 2:00pm PDT

Guillermo del Toro is bringing his vampire novel trilogy The Strain to television as a drama series, which will be run by former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse. In a very competitive situation with multiple cable networks offering major commitments, FX has landed the project, ordering a pilot that will be co-written, directed and executive produced by del Toro. Co-writing the pilot script is Chuck Hogan (Prince Of Thieves), who also co-authored the books with del Toro. Lost alum Cuse will help develop the series and serve as executive producer/showrunner. Like Lost, The Strain is envisioned as having a limited run. Del Toro tells Deadline he believes the books have enough juice to fill three to five seasons of series, and that he would like to helm as many episodes as his feature schedule allows. Del Toro, Cuse and Hogan exec produce with del Toro’s long-time manager/producing partner Gary Ungar.

In the opening book of the series, the 2009 The Strain, a Boeing 777 lands at JFK with no communication or signs of life. Eph Goodweather, who investigates biological threats for the CDC, is called in and discovers all the passengers dead, and signs that a strange being had been aboard the vessel. Soon, he teams with ex-professor and Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and they assemble a ragtag group that represents mankind’s only hope when a swarm of vampires quickly turn civilization into a buffet spread. Fittingly for male-driven FX, unlike the traditional, romanticized portrayals of vampires as tuxedo-clad studs, The Strain‘s bloodsuckers have no seductive powers — they are parasites, husks of their former human form with stingers that drain blood for nourishment, while spreading capillary worms that convert victims into more vampires under the control of The Master. Read More »

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A&E Network Orders Carlton Cuse Series ‘Bates Motel’ Direct To Series

By | Monday July 2, 2012 @ 10:33am PDT

A&E Network is checking into Bates Motel without even ordering a pilot, it was announced today. The network is putting in a 10-episode order of the Alfred Hitchcock Psycho-inspired series from Universal Television, with a 2013 premiere planned. Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin will serve as executive producers. Cuse wrote almost three dozen episodes of Lost and served as executive produce on the show. Ehrin was a writer and producer recently on Parenthood and Friday Night Lights. Roy Lee, John Middleton Jr, and producer Mark Wolper originally put Bates Motel together. As A&E announced earlier this year, the series goes into the story before Psycho. With a contemporary touch, Bates Motel looks at the twisted relationship between serial killer-to-be Norman Bates and his mother Norma.

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