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Four Actors Join Broadcast/Cable Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Megan Hilty has joined the cast of NBC’s drama pilot Smash, which was based on an idea by Steven Spielberg. The pilot, from DreamWorks TV and UMS, follows a cross section of characters who come together to put on a Marilyn Monroe musical on Broadway led by the musical’s composer Tom and lyricist Julia (Debra Messing). Hilty, repped by Gersh and One Entertainment, will play Tom’s go-to girl for acting out scenes in progress who is hugely disappointed when she is told she is too old to play Marilyn and has to be part of the chorus. Hilty’s Broadway credits include Wicked and 9 to 5, which was produced by new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt.

Anthony Carrigan (The Forgotten) is the first actor cast in the USA pilot Over/Under.The project, from FtvS/UCP, centers on Paul, a day trader with a massive gambling problem fired from his job who settles in Brooklyn where he finds an unlikely partner, expectant father with a failing business Marino (Carrigan), to start a high-end bookie business. Carrigan, repped by Gersh and the Collective is recurring on Parenthood.

Lost alum Nestor Carbonell is set to co-star opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the CBS drama pilot Ringer. The project centers on troubled young woman Bridget (Gellar) who, while on the run from the mob, hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy … Read More »

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It’s January Spec Script Bonanza At The Broadcast Networks

Nellie Andreeva

“Got any specs?” has become a popular refrain around Hollywood these days as pilot spec scripts are thriving in a very unusual network executive environment – new top programmers at two of the major broadcast networks, NBC and ABC. With Paul Lee joining ABC in the end of summer when buying season was already underway, and especially Bob Greenblatt, who is just now taking over NBC, studios and producers had been betting that there would be strong demand for specs as the execs may not be that attached to projects they didn’t develop and may look outside for fresh scripts that are ready to shoot.

The gamble seems to be paying off. All 4 pilots Greenblatt greenlighted today were spec (though one, Michael Patrick King’s Mann’s World, was originally bought by NBC’s old regime in early November.) That includes the Steven Spielberg-produced musical Smash, from DreamWorks TV and UMS, which Greenblatt originally developed at Showtime, David E. Kelley/WBTV’s Wonder Woman, which was shopped earlier this month, and a comedy from writer Jhoni Marchiko and 20th TV, which was taken out earlier this week.

Meanwhile, ABC has been in talks about a Cirque … Read More »

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CBS Picks Up Drama Pilot Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar

By | Friday January 14, 2011 @ 7:05pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to broadcast series TV with a pilot at CBS. In its first drama pilot pickup this season, CBS has greenlighted Ringer, which is toplined by the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star. The project hails from ABC Studios, CBS TV Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. UPDATE: The pickup of Ringer was followed by another drama pilot order by CBS to an untitled supernatural medical drama from writer Susannah Grant.

Ringer, written on spec by Supernatural writer-producers Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder, centers on a troubled young woman (Gellar) who, while on the run from the mob, hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy twin sister, until she learns that her twin’s life has a bounty on it as well. Brillstein’s Peter Traugott is executive producing, with Gellar, Charmelo and Snyder co-executive producing. Geller, repped by ICM and Brillstein’s Joanne Colonna, has been heavily pursued by the broadcast networks since the end of Buffy in 2003. Her only TV gig since then had been the HBO pilot The Wonderful Maladys. Charmelo and Snyder, who are story editors on Supernatural, are with UTA and the Shuman Co.

The untitled Susannah Grant project, from CBS TV Studios and studio-based Timberman/Beverly Prods., centers on an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the here-after. Grant … Read More »

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