EXCLUSIVE: Writer-producer Doris Egan (House) has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, she will join the studio’s high-profile new CW drama Reign as co-executive producer. Created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie SenGupta, Reign, a soapy reimagining of the teenage years of Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) in the French Court, is one of the buzziest new CW series and landed the coveted post-Vampire Diaries slot on the fall schedule. On Reign, Egan will work with McCarthy as SenGupta departed the project last week. Egan, repped by WME and Rain Management Group, was co-executive producer of House for six years. She most recently was co-exec producer on Starz’s upcoming pirate drama Black Sails, from producer Michael Bay, and also developed/co-wrote a Frankenstein series with Laeta Kalogridis at the premium net.
EXCLUSIVE: Meredith Averill, the writer-executive producer of new CW series Star-Crossed, has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios, which is behind the drama. Star-Crossed chronicles the epic romance between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school. Averill will co-showrun the series with Adele Lin, who recently joined the project under an overall deal with CBS Studios. The two are executive producing the series with Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Richard Shepard and Bryan Furst. Star-Crossed reunites Averill with Applebaum, Nemec and Rosenberg. She started out as Applebaum and Nemec’s assistant and worked as a writer for them and Rosenberg on ABC’s Life On Mars and Happy Town. She spent the last three seasons on CBS’ praised drama The Good Wife, also from CBS TV Studios.
EXCLUSIVE: Frasier and Desperate Housewives alum Bob Daily has signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will join the studio’s new CBS single-camera comedy series We Are Men as an executive producer. The project, created/executive produced by Rob Greenberg, stars Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell and Chris Smith as four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex who unexpectedly find camaraderie over their many missteps in love. (Check out the trailer here.) We Are Men is assembling a very strong group of writer-producers. In addition to Daily, Tad Quill was just signed on as a consulting producer. Daily, repped by WME, most recently executive produced/ran NBC’s Robert Padnick comedy pilot.
EXCLUSIVE: Tad Quill has signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will join the studio’s new CBS single-camera comedy series We Are Men as consulting producer. The project, created/executive produced by Rob Greenberg, stars Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell and Chris Smith as four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex who unexpectedly find camaraderie over their many missteps in love. (Check out the trailer here.) The deal expands Quill’s relationship with CBS TV Studios where he created and executive produced a comedy pilot for CBS starring Matthew Broderick this season. Before that, ICM Partners-repped Quill created and executive produced the NBC comedy series Bent and also worked on Samantha Who?, Scrubs and Spin City.
Robert Linden, the associate director of music at CBS Television Studios, died Wednesday after a battle with leukemia. He was 57. Linden had in-depth knowledge of key studio products and cultivated important relationships with CBS staff composers and music supervisors. The USC music grad was also responsible for all West Coast submissions of music cue sheet information for all CBS TV Studios programs to performing rights organizations for licensing. He joined the studio in 2006 from Paramount Television. Aside from being an accomplished musician, Linden was on the Board of Directors of the California Copyright Conference for several years, the advisory committee of the industrywide cue sheet reporting system Rapid Cue, and a producer for the Heliotrope theatre in LA.
Benderspink (Kyle XY) has inked a new first-look deal with CBS TV Studios. The pact, which ends May 31, 2014, extends Benderspink’s relationship with CBS TV Studios where the company has been since 2008. Under the new pact, Benderspink has brought in Elisa Oliveras as TV executive. She succeeds Alex Kerr, who is now at Universal Cable Prods. Oliveras most recently headed TV development at Pine Street Entertainment, Mark Pedowitz’s Warner Bros. TV-based company before he joined the CW as president. Prior to that, she did stints in development and current programming at NBC, UPN and ABC. On the feature side, WME-repped Benderspink has had a first-look deal at New Line for well over a decade. Its upcoming movies include New Line’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and We’re The Millers, which the company produces, and Warner Bros.’ Hangover 3 and Universal’s Ride Along, which they executive produce.
In his first pilot season in the U.S., young British actor Lucien Laviscount (Skins) has landed one of the male leads in the CW reboot of The Selection after arriving in Los Angeles less than three weeks ago. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on America Singer (Yael Grobglas), a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Laviscount, repped by Industry Entertainment, Waring and McKenna in the UK and attorney Adam Kaller, will play Aspen Leger, a handsome/brave young man from the servant class who is having a secret, illegal relationship with America. The role was played by fellow Brit William Moseley last season. Laviscount first got in pilot action last year when he auditioned via tape from Britain, landing a co-starring role in NBC’s Midseason Sun.
The CW also has made a key addition to its other royal pilot, Reign, from CBS TV Studios, with the casting of Megan Follows (Anne Of Green Gables). It chronicles the rise to power of Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis (Toby Regbo), and with her best friends as ladies-in-waiting. Follows, repped by …
EXCLUSIVE: The Twilight Zone is eying a return to primetime. X-Men director Bryan Singer has closed a deal to develop, executive produce and possibly direct a reboot of Rod Serling’s classic. The drama series project, now in early stages, is set up at CBS TV Studios, which owns the rights to the original series. Search is underway for a writer to pen the new Twilight Zone pending finalizing the deal with the Serling estate. The project has not been pitched to networks yet, but CBS is an obvious destination since CBS TV Studios only supplies CBS and the CW on the broadcast side and CBS carried the original series as well as the first revival. In addition to the TV series project, there has been a feature Twilight Zone remake in the works at Warner Bros. with Matt Reeves attached to direct from a script by Jason Rothenberg.
The original Twilight Zone series ran on CBS from 1959-1964. CBS also aired a remake, which ran from 1985-1989. The most recent series reboot, hosted by Forest Whitaker, premiered on UPN in 2002 and lasted one season. Singer, who directed the pilot for Fox’s long-running medical drama House, which he executive produced, recently helmed and exec produced another reboot of a classic series, NBC’s Munsters-themed Mockingbird Lane pilot, which aired as a Halloween special. On the feature side, Singer …
EXCLUSIVE: CBS and CBS TV Studios have recruited another actress to fill the void left by co-star Jennifer Esposito being sidelined with Celiac disease. Law & Order: LA alumna Megan Boone has been tapped to play a new temporary partner for Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). Her deal is for three episodes with a series option behind it.
In a move that has stirred controversy, Esposito was put on medical leave recently after her doctor advised her to reduce her work load from full- to part-time, a request the studio said it could not accommodate given the demands of the role. CBS left the door for Esposito to return but in the interim, it is bringing in actresses to play revolving partners for Danny, starting with Megan Ketch, who is filming four episodes. She will be followed by Boone. Coincidentally, Esposito was among several actresses tried out as temporary partners for Danny in guest arcs at the beginning of Season 1 before she got the gig full-time. Boone’s option also allows her to become a regular should a need arise. UPDATE: Jennifer Esposito took to Twitter to react to Boone’s casting. “There it is. CBS got rid of the only minority cast member so they can have an ALL WHITE CAST like CSI,” she wrote.
Also on Twitter, Esposito last weekend called the move to sideline her “shameful behavior.” She has expressed her desire to return to …
EXCLUSIVE: Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin, who wrote and are executive producing the CW’s Beauty And The Beast reboot, have signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios, the studio behind the freshman series. The two-year pact will include Cooper and Levin’s services as executive producers/co-showrunners on Beauty And The Beast, which they run with Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson.
EXCLUSIVE: Gary Fleder’s company Mojo Films has signed a two-year deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, Fleder will continue as an executive producer on the studio’s new CW drama series Beauty And The Beast whose pilot he directed. It marked the ninth pilot helmed by Fleder to go to series. He also recently directed the key post-pilot episode of another new CBS TV Studios drama series, CBS’ Vegas.
EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are staying put at CBS TV Studios. The duo’s Timberman/Beverly Prods has signed a new three-year overall deal with CBS Studios, where they have been since 2010. Like their previous pact, the new one is exclusive in network TV and first-look in cable. Timberman and Beverly landed new series on the air in both years of their first deal with CBS Studios. The company is behind one of this fall’s highest-profile new shows, CBS’ Sherlock Holmes reboot Elementary, which landed the marquee Thursday 10 PM slot. It is one of three series Timberman/Beverly has on the air alongside FX’s Justified and Showtime’s newly picked up Masters Of Sex, both produced by Sony Pictures TV, where Timberman and Beverly were previously based. Last season, Timberman/Beverly had two freshman series on the CBS schedule, Unforgettable and A Gifted Man. Following the surprise cancellation of Unforgettable, the studios that produced the drama procedural, CBS TV Studios and Sony TV, are currently exploring ways to continue it elsewhere.
Hot young writer Corinne Brinkerhoff has signed a two-tear deal with CBS TV Studios. For the past three years, Brinkerhoff worked on CBS TV Studios’ praised CBS legal drama The Good Wife, which she joined after the pilot, rising to supervising producer. Under her new pact with CBS TV Studios, which also includes a development component, Brinkerhoff will join the studio’s high-profile new drama series for CBS, Elementary, as a co-executive producer. UTA-repped Brinkerhoff started her career on Boston Legal before segueing to The Good Wife.
EXCLUSIVE: Breakout Kings co-creator Nick Santora has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, he will join the studio’s new CBS drama series Vegas starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis as co-executive producer and will develop new projects. The deal reunites Santora with CBS Studios president David Stapf. As a writer-producer on the CBS drama The Guardian Santora worked with Stapf, then head of current programming at CBS.
Santora did stints on The Guardian, The Sopranos and Law & Order before joining Fox’s Prison Break right after the pilot. He worked on the Fox drama for its entire four-year run, rising to co-executive producer and landing an overall deal with the series’ producer, 20th Century Fox TV. Santora and Prison Break executive producer Matt Olmstead went on to create Breakout Kings, originally for Fox. The project migrated to A&E where it was picked up to series and ran for two years via 20th TV’s Fox21 until the network’s decision yesterday not to proceed with Season 3. Both Santora and Olmstead have already lined up their next gigs — Santora is off to CBS Studios and Vegas, Olmstead recently signed on as showrunner on the new NBC/Dick Wolf drama series Chicago Fire.
EXCLUSIVE: After 14 years and three series at 20th Century Fox TV, Greg Garcia is moving to CBS TV Studios. In the biggest overall deal for a writer so far this year, the My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope creator has signed a four-year pact with CBS TV Studios to develop new projects. As part of the agreement, he will remain as showrunner on Fox’s Raising Hope for its upcoming third season while working on development for CBS Studios.
Garcia started off at 20th TV with a stint as a writer on the short-lived Getting Personal before creating his first series for the studio, the 2000 multi-camera comedy Yes, Dear, which ran on CBS for six seasons. (Garcia co-created the series with Alan Kirschenbaum.) Through that series, Garcia worked with CBS TV Studios president David Stapf in his previous role as head of current programming at CBS. “Greg is truly one of the funniest people I know, and certainly one of the elite comedy showrunners,” said Stapf, who had pursued Garcia for several years. “He is a rare creative talent, who has created successful shows in both the multi- and single-camera form across a variety of networks.” Reps for Garcia said he was unavailable for comment as he was indisposed preparing for a colonoscopy.
Garcia, repped by CAA and attorney Sam Fischer, is the biggest-name comedy showrunner to join CBS Studios’ …
After a four-year stint on the ABC/ABC Studios medical drama Private Practice, writer/producer Craig Turk is moving to CBS TV Studios with an overall deal. Under the pact, Turk, a former attorney, will serve as a consulting producer on the studios’ acclaimed CBS legal drama The Good Wife and develop his own original series for the studio. Turk spent the last four seasons on Private Practice, the last two serving as an executive producer. Before that, he worked on ABC’s Boston Legal, CBS’ Cold Case and NBC’s Law & Order. Turk, repped by Paradigm and attorney Michael Gendler, also has been politically active, working on campaigns for political candidates and ballot initiatives, including serving as Chief Counsel of John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2000.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy writer-producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. I hear the pact is purely for development, though Sanchez-Witzel could consult on CBS Studios series part-time. She will have an office on the Radford lot. This marks a change of scenery for Sanchez-Witzel, who spent the last nine years at NBC. Sanchez-Witzel came out of NBC’s diversity writing program, becoming one of the program’s biggest success stories. She is coming off two back-to-back two-year overall deals at NBC’s sister studio Universal TV. Under the pacts, she worked on several series, including a stint as a co-executive producer on the NBC/20th TV comedy My Name Is Earl and most recently as a consultant on the NBC/Uni TV freshman comedy Whitney this season. She is with UTA and attorney Karl Austen.
EXCLUSIVE: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation executive producer/co-showrunner Don McGill has signed a new three-year overall deal with the series’ producer CBS TV Studios. Under the new pact, McGill will continue on CSI, which was recently renewed for next season, the show’s 13th. He co-runs the veteran procedural with executive producer and long-time showrunner Carol Mendelsohn. The mothership CSI, which went through major casting changes in the past two seasons with the addition of Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue as the new leads, has been doing well in the ratings over the past few months, most recently posting a 2.9/8 in 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers last night. McGill has been at CBS and CBS Studios his entire writing career. He started as a writer on JAG before co-creating with Don Bellisario the JAG spinoff NCIS. Before joining CSI, WME-repped McGill served as executive producer on the studio’s CBS drama Numbers.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennie Snyder Urman, creator/executive producer of the CW drama pilot First Cut, has signed a two-year overall deal with the studio that produces it, CBS TV Studios. Urman has a long relationship with CBS TV Studios. She served as co-executive producer on its CW series 90210. Last season, she wrote and executive produced the studio’s CW pilot Danni Lowinski. This development cycle, she had a two-script deal with the studio. Both projects sold, and one of them, First Cut, went to pilot at the CW. It stars Mamie Gummer as a newly minted doctor who discovers that, sadly and comically, life at the hospital where she works is no different than high school. Urman executive produces the project with Dan Jinks. UTA-repped Urman’s series credits also include Gilmore Girls and Men In Trees. On the feature side, she wrote the 2011 romantic comedy Something Borrowed.