EXCLUSIVE: Hawaii Five-0 showrunner Peter Lenkov has signed a new overall deal with CBS Television Studios, the studio behind the CBS crime drama. Under the two-year pact, he will continue as executive producer/showrunner on the Hawaii Five-0 reboot, which he developed and co-wrote with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci and has run since the pilot. Now in its fourth season, Hawaii Five-0 is an important asset for CBS TV Studios as it has a rich off-network syndication deal and is a strong international seller. The new overall deal secures Lenkov’s leadership on the show for the next two seasons and also calls for him to develop new projects for network and cable. This past season, he re-teamed with Kurtzman and Orci to develop high-concept drama Salvation, which sold to CBS.
CBS and CBS Television Studios have signed three talent holding deals with performers from the CBS’ 9th annual Diversity Comedy Showcase, held on January 22nd and 23rd. One of them, with Upright Citizens Brigade’s Drew Tarver, already resulted in his casting as a lead in CBS’ comedy pilot How I Met Your Dad. The other two comedy performers signed in talent deals are Haneefah Wood, who has appeared in the Broadway productions of Rent, Avenue Q, and Brooklyn; and Nico Santos, a recurring panelist on Chelsea Lately. Additionally, another performer in the showcase, which is open to the community, Chloe Wepper, landed a regular role on the ABC comedy pilot My Thoughts Exactly.
Kathleen Kennedy And Frank Marshall Sign Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios, Get Pilot Commitment From CBS
Top feature producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are making a foray into television with a two-year overall deal at CBS Television Studios, which also includes a pilot commitment from sister network CBS. This marks the first overall TV deal for the duo’s Kennedy/Marshall Company, whose only previous TV pact was a first-look agreement at CBS in the 1990s.
Kennedy/Marshall’s TV development will be led by CBS veteran Robert Zotnowski, former co-head of the network’s drama department who left in 2009 to head TV development for Sam Raimi’s Stars Road Entertainment. “Kathleen and Frank are truly gifted filmmakers with a resume that reads like a gold standard of box office success and award-winning and culturally relevant projects,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said. “We are excited to develop with them and reunite with Robert Zotnowski, one of our favorite CBS alumni.” Added CBS TV Studios president David Stapf, “Kathleen and Frank are the type of producers you dream about having on your roster. They have it all — commercial success, artistic acclaim and a passion for attracting and working with the best creative talent in the business.” CBS TV Studios’ collaboration with another feature producing duo, Cathy Conrad and James Mangold, resulted in a new series for fall, CBS’ Vegas starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis.
EXCLUSIVE: A couple of weeks ago, Deadline reported that USA Network was finalizing a series pickup of the comedic buddy cop comedy Common Law. And now it has: USA has ordered 11 episodes to begin production next month …
EXCLUSIVE: Olé, the TV production company launched in September by director Richard Shepard and producers Sean Furst & Bryan Furst, is putting down roots at CBS Television Studios with an exclusive two-year deal. The studio had been handling Olé’s development under Shepard’s overall deal there. Now the two sides have formalized their relationship with a pod agreement. Shepard, an Emmy winner for directing the pilot for ABC’s Ugly Betty, most recently directed the pilot for Ringer, the upcoming CW series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar produced by CBS Studios. He also directed the pilots for the CBS Studios co-produced Criminal Minds and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. “I’ve had a great run at CBS Television Studios,” says Shepard. “And the fact that they are so supportive of all my interests makes continuing and expanding the relationship with our producing company Olé a no-brainer.”
Shepard and the Fursts met on the Pierce Brosnan-starring film The Matador, which the Fursts produced and Shepard wrote and directed, and then worked together again on the HBO documentary I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale before forming Olé. Within weeks, the company set up two projects, including the Shepard-written Corkscrew, which was sold to Showtime. Under the new deal, the Olé partners will “focus heavily on getting entertaining, character-driven shows on the air,” Sean and Bryan Furst said.
After launching two Onion-branded cable series this year, the satiric news organization is setting its sights on broadcast next. The Onion, best known for its fake-news newspaper and Web site, has signed a one-year first-look development deal with CBS Television Studios. Under the pact, The Onion’s creative team will develop ideas for non-Onion-branded broadcast comedy series as well as online series for CBS Interactive’s digital properties. “We’re looking forward to the creative challenge and, in fact, we’ve already come up with several exciting ideas, including 3 and a Half Men, 12 Men and Three-Quarters, and 72.683 Women,” said Joe Randazzo, Editor of The Onion. “This new relationship with CBS will hopefully allow us to take fraction-based comedy to new heights.” Added The Onion’s general manager Mitch Semel. “Also, it’s nice to be able to check off ‘Phase 4’ in our seven-part plan to take over the world by 2014. … Here’s hoping those oil prices continue to rise.” While taking over the world is highly dubious, a TV takeover would not be that far-fetched if the CBS Studios deal results in a broadcast series for the 2012-13 season. The Onion currently has two shows on the air: Onion News Network on IFC, which has already been renewed for a second season, and Onion SportsDome on Comedy Central, which is awaiting word after completing its freshman season.
UPDATE 12 PM: CBS TV Studios just issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit, “Don Bellisario has no rights to what he is claiming in this suit. The contract is clear, the facts are undeniable and the courts won’t need Naval intelligence to conclude that the case has …
After 16 years at NBC – 5 on ER and 11 on Law & Order: SVU – Neal Baer is heading to CBS. In a competitive situation, Baer has signed a three-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios. The pact, said to be in the high-seven figures, includes development as well as showrunner services. It starts on June 2, a day after Baer’s contract on SVU expires. Baer has been the executive producer/showrunner on SVU since the series’ second season. With him departing and the deals of stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni up at the end of this season, the future of the veteran NBC crime drama is in limbo.