CBS TV Studios has brought in Meghan Lyvers as SVP Drama Development and Brianna Bennett as VP Drama Development. They will work under Julie McNamara, EVP Drama Development, Broadcast and Cable.
Lyvers comes from Television 360, a division of Management 360, where she oversaw the department’s development and production slate including Avenues Of Spies, Heartland Trucking and The Terror, among others. She previously served as VP Development & Production at Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions where for more than 10 years she oversaw the feature film and television slate.
Bennett joins CBS from Fox where she was Director, Drama Development, working on Sleepy Hollow, The Following, Gang Related, Almost Human and the upcoming Red Band Society, Empire and Backstrom. This marks her return to CBS TV Studios where she worked as an assistant in comedy development before joining the CW as a drama development coordinator.
Justified executive producer Taylor Elmore has closed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. He will supervise and develop new projects for the studio and is set to begin his new gig in April, after FX’s Justified wraps its sixth and final season. He has been on the show for the past five seasons, having started as a co-producer. Elmore, repped by UTA and attorney Bruce Gellman, shot the Wall Street pilot this past development season for CBS Studios and Timberman/Beverly, and his TV credits include CBS’ Cold Case and Raines, the latter with Justified creator Graham Yost.
Sharknado 2: The Second One will be chomping its way through the San Diego Convention Center as part of Syfy‘s presence at Comic-Con. While the panel on Thursday, July 24 will occur days before its July 30 premiere, there isn’t any announcement about a screening for the cult TV movie, a treat that TCA reporters are getting prior to Comic-Con. Also missing from the Syfy Comic-Con sked, but not from their TCA sked: The TV adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1995 time travel film 12 Monkeys. None the less, a slew of Sharknado stars will be present in Room 6BCF from 7:15-8:15 PM including Ian Ziering (Fin Shepard), Tara Reid (April Wexler), Vivica A. Fox (Skye), Kari Wuhrer (Ellen Shepard Brody), Judah Friedlander (Bryan) and director Anthony C. Ferrante. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Director-producer R. J. Cutler has signed a first-look development deal with CBS Television Studios for scripted projects. The deal formalizes Cutler’s relationship with the studio where he has worked on several projects, including directing last season’s drama pilot The Ordained. “We’ve had such a great time developing material over the past couple of years that it just seemed a natural transition to make CBS Studios my scripted television home,” Cutler said. “Can’t wait to get started on creating a new series together.”
Cutler most recently had a first-look deal at Lionsgate TV, where he executive produces the studio’s sophomore ABC drama Nashville (whose pilot he also directed). Cutler will continue as EP on the series if it is renewed for a third season, as expected. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker (The War Room) and Emmy-winning television producer (American High) also has a first-look deal at Showtime for documentaries. Read More »
Wrapping a very strong development season, Jennie Snyder Urman has re-upped her overall deal at CBS Television Studios for three more years. Urman, who previously created the CW drama Emily Owens, MD for the studio, sold three projects this season — two of which, drama Jane The Virgin at the CW, based on the popular telenovela, and comedy Sober Companion at Fox, were picked up to pilot. Both are considered high-profile contenders, with Sober Companion boasting a cast led by Nick Frost and Justin Long. “Jennie’s had a remarkable pilot season, selling a comedy as well as a very unique twist on the most popular genre in the world, the telenovela,” said CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. “There is truly nothing she can’t do. Jennie is one of the most versatile, inventive writers and showrunners working today and we feel very fortunate that CBS will continue to be her home for years and years to come.”
Related: Dave Hemingson Inks Overall Deal With ABC Studios
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EXCLUSIVE: NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer/showrunner Shane Brennan has signed a new two-year overall deal with the studio behind the hit CBS crime drama. Under the pact, Brennan will continue to run NCIS: LA as he has done since the series’ 2009 launch. Now in its fifth season, NCIS: LA already has been renewed for a sixth. Additionally, Brennan will develop new series for the studio through his Shane Brennan Prods. Australian-born Brennan joined mothership series NCIS at the beginning of Season 4 in 2006, taking the reins as showrunner the following season. He created spinoff NCIS:LA and ran both series for two years before focusing his attention solely on NCIS: LA. The spinoff series is broadcast television’s second most watched drama only behind NCIS, averaging nearly 16 million viewers per episode. It landed a $2 million-plus episode off-network syndication deal with USA only seven episodes into its freshman run, a record for a fast syndication sale. “Shane has propelled NCIS:Los Angeles into one of television’s most beloved dramas,” said CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. “His ability to combine great storytelling, action and humor make him an exceptional showrunner.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Modern Family executive producer Dan O’Shannon will be leaving the Emmy-winning comedy series at the end of this season for a three-year overall deal at CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will develop new comedy projects for network and cable. This marks a return to CBS TV Studios for O’Shannon, who was under an overall deal at predecessor Paramount TV more than a decade ago. Back then, he served as executive producer/showunner of the studio’s flagship comedy Frasier having previously spent four seasons as a writer and, later, exec producer on mothership series Cheers. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: David O. Russell is coming to television. ABC has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to a drama project from the American Hustle writer/director and Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant. The series, developed by CBS TV Studios and studio-based Timberman/Beverly, is an upstairs/downstairs soap set at a private country club. Russell and Grant co-wrote the story, with Grant writing the teleplay. The two are executive producing with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly; CBS Studios is co-producing with ABC Studios. This marks the first TV series for Russell, the hottest filmmaker at the moment with rare back-to-back Best Picture Oscar nominees — American Hustle this year and Silver Linings Playbook last year accompanied by best writing and directing nominations both times. Russell is on a streak, with his previous film, The Fighter, also earning a Best Picture and Best Director nominations in 2011.
Related: OSCARS: David O. Russell On Nomination Hot Streak: “I Don’t Know If You Could Force It To Ever Happen Again”
The ABC drama also marks the first series for an outside broadcast network for CBS Studios in its first season opening up its development to broadcast nets besides siblings CBS and the CW. Grant previously created and executive produced the CBS/CBS Studios supernatural medical drama A … Read More »
Doug Ellin is hard at work making the Entourage movie, but when he is done, he will be returning to television with an overall deal at CBS TV Studios. Under the rich, three-year pact, Ellin will develop broadcast and cable projects for the studio under a newly formed production company (name TBD) with Jim Lefkowitz, who will help spearhead development.
The overall pact stems from Ellin’s collaboration with CBS TV Studios on the comedy The Moodys, which received a put pilot commitment at Fox in August. It is based on the Australian series A Moody Christmas about a son who abandons his lofty goals to move back home to help run the family business. Ellin is executive producing the project with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum and Jason Burrows, along with the creators of the original series, Trent O’Donnell and Phil Lloyd, who are writing. “With his unique narrative and creative edge, Doug is one of the defining voices in entertainment for today’s generation,” stated David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “He made his mark in pop culture with Entourage by creating engaging and charismatic characters while making the world of Hollywood relatable and endearing.” On the film side, CAA-repped Ellin also was tapped to rewrite Bad Santa 2 and did a script polish on Grudge Match.
EXCLUSIVE: In his first season as a CBS TV Studios-based producer following his June exit as CBS’ head of current programming, David Brownfield has sold two projects to the network. An untitled drama, from Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s CBS TV Studios-based Tribeca Prods., is written by former Brothers & Sisters and Smash executive producer David Marshall Grant. It centers on a counter-insurgency expert who comes back from Afghanistan to his old police precinct and begins to use techniques he employed overseas to try to control gang violence at home. Grant, De Niro and Rosenthal executive produce with Brownfield; Berry Welsh co-exec produces. Last year, Grant — repped by CAA and Untitled — developed two projects for CBS TV Studios, one of which, The CW’s Blink, went to pilot. He also has upcoming HBO series Looking. Tribeca is with CAA.
Brownfield’s other CBS project is comedy Secrets Of Happy Families, based on the latest book by best-selling author Bruce Feiler, a collection of recommended practices for modern-day parents. Written/exec produced by Owen Ellickson (The Office), the adaptation centers on a blue-collar family that has their patience tested when a parenting expert moves in next door with his wife and … Read More »
Hawaii Five-O‘s Daniel Dae Kim is branching out to producing. He has launched the production banner 3AD, which will be based at CBS TV Studios, the studio behind Hawaii Five-O, with a two-year first-look. Under the pact, Kim will develop and produce projects for network and cable. He is in the process of hiring a development executive. Kim, repped by APA, Anonymous Content and Klevan/Longarzo, is filming the fourth season of CBS’ Hawaii Five-) as Chin Ho Kelly. He rose to fame with his role as Jin Soo Kwon on ABC hit Lost, for which he shared a SAG Award for best drama ensemble.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has put in development Alleged, a drama from CBS TV Studios and Jon Turteltaub‘s studio-based Junction Entertainment. Written by playwright/TV writer David Rambo and Pat Gilfillan, the project centers on a defense attorney who takes on the most important case of his life: defending his own brother, a successful surgeon and father of two who is accused of murdering his wife. The story is informed by high-profile spouse murder cases like those of Drew Peterson and Scott Peterson much like another CBS/CBS TV Studios drama, The Good Wife, was inspired by a string of politicians wives who’d stood by their philandering husbands. This marks the first project under an overall deal WME-repped Junction recently inked with CBS Studios, returning to CBS after a two-year stint at ABC Studios. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has put in development a crime drama based on the Austrian series Fast Forward (female homicide detective who juggles the demands of her job while co-parenting and working side-by-side with her newly divorced husband, the medical examiner. Law & Order alumna Battles executive produces with Tarses and the original series’ producers Andreas Kamm, Oliver Auspitz, Kurt M. Mrkwicka and Katharina Schenk, who oversaw the drama for ORF. on Austria’s ORF Public Broadcasting network in 2008 and had a successful four-season run. The format is repped by Paradigm.
EXCLUSIVE: With NCIS continuing to reign as the most watched scripted show on television and getting ready to spawn a spinoff series, the man behind both, Gary Glasberg, has been signed in a new overall deal by NCIS producer CBS TV Studios. Under the two-year extension that runs through May 2016, Glasberg will continue as executive producer and showrunner of flagship NCIS and of its proposed planted spinoff, which will be introduced in a two-part NCIS episode slated to shoot in February and air in the spring. He is writing the New Orleans-set offshoot and is executive producing with NCIS star/executive producer Mark Harmon. Glasberg called the experience working with CBS’ Leslie Moonves and Nina Tassler and CBS Studios’ David Stapf “amazing”, adding “I look forward to continuing to work with my NCIS family and can’t wait to dive in to what lies ahead,” Glasberg, repped by CAA and Michael Gendler, joined NCIS in 2009 and took the reins as showrunner two years later. NCIS closed out the 2012/13 season, its 10th on the air, as the most watched program on TV for the first time, with an average of 21.60 million viewers, edging Sunday Night Football (21.00 million). So far this season, the veteran drama is the most watched scripted program on TV in Live+same day and also ranks among the top 10 U.S. series in a number of international markets, … Read More »
Original CSI cast member George Eads will miss at least portion of the crime series’ upcoming 14th season over a personnel issue. It is understood that Eads got into an altercation with a pregnant writer on the show over what was described as creative issues. “George Eads will not appear in several episodes during the first half of the season,” CSI producer CBS TV Studios said in a statement. “We look forward to him returning to CSI very soon.” It is unclear when Eads, who is under contract, will rejoin the show. Last year, another regular on a CBS/CBS TV Studios drama, Jennifer Esposito of Blue Bloods, was put on a temporary leave and never returned. For Eads, this is the second time off CSI after he was briefly fired over salary demands during 2004 renegotiations.
Related: Marg Helgenberger Returns For ‘CSI’s 300th Episode
The producers who brought Sherlock Holmes to New York for CBS, are doing the same with some other classic literary characters. CBS has put in development Dorothy, a drama project from Elementary executive producers Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman. The project, from CBS TV Studios where Timberman/Beverly Prods. is based, is described as a medical soap based in New York City inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard of Oz. Emily Fox (Ghost Whisperer) will write the script and executive produce with Beverly and Timberman. L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been pursued for screen adaptations and interpretations for decades now, including the 1939 feature classic which will soon mark its 75th anniversary. In addition to Dorothy, Syfy is currently developing Warriors Of Oz, a mini-series project from Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov that is described as a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story. Beverly and Timberman’s series credits also include Unforgettable, Justified and Masters Of Sex.
Related: ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Sets Fall IMAX 3D Debut
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s production company K/O Paper Products have inked a three-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. The agreement to develop TV projects for the studio ends K/O’s partnership with its previous home base 20th Century Fox TV, where it has resided since 2010 in a pod deal. Among the current projects for Kurtzman and Orci is 20th TV’s Sleepy Hollow, which they wrote and Fox acquired — it will premiere in the fall with Len Wiseman directing the pilot and executive producing. (K/O’s first major projects, Locke & Key and Exit Strategy, also went to Fox and got to the pilot stage.) Kurtzman and Orci previously co-penned Fox’s Fringe with JJ Abrams, a series that ended its five-year run last season. The pair also co-wrote and developed CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot, which started their relationship with CBS. Also on the pair’s TV slate is The Hub’s animated series Transformers: Prime. That stems from the duo’s work on the Transformers film franchise; their other extensive film credits include the two Star Trek movies, Eagle Eye, Cowboys & Aliens and Mission: Impossible III, and they executive produced the romantic comedy The Proposal. They also co-wrote and produced People Like Us for Disney, marking Kurtzman’s feature directorial debut. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In one of the first buys for this coming season, the CW has put in development Jane The Virgin, a drama based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen. Jennie Snyder Urman, creator of the CW’s drama series Emily Owens, MD, is set to write the adaptation for CBS TV Studios, where she is under an overall deal, and Ben Silverman’s Electus. Urman, Silverman, Gary Pearl and Jorge Granier executive produce. The CW project centers on Jane, a hard-working, religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated.
Juana La Virgen, created by Perla Farias, was a hit in its original run on Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV in 2002 where it drew an average of 39.1% share, topping the competition by a wide margin. It also did very well in Brazil, Spain, Colombia and Mexico and has been translated into 9 languages. In the U.S., Juana aired on Univision and is available on Hulu (get a glimpse of the first episode below). Read More »