Fox has greenlighted M. Night Shyamalan‘s event series Wayward Pines for a 2014 premiere during next season. Matt Dillon has been cast as the lead in the project based on Blake Crouch’s novel Pines. Described as a mind-bending thriller in which nothing is what it seems, it centers on Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Dillon) who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions. Written by Chad Hodge and directed by Shyamalan, Wayward Pines was one of the first two event series projects Fox put in development at the beginning of the year under its new mandate to make a push in that area. Hodge and Shyamalan executive produce with Donald DeLine and Ashwin Rajan for FX Prods. Dillon is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Related: Fox 2013-14 Schedule
EXCLUSIVE: The CW is jumping down a rabbit hole to Wunderland, putting in development a contemporary reimagining of Alice In Wonderland. Fittingly, Wunderland hails from McG‘s Warner Bros TV-based production company Wonderland Sound And Vision, in association with WBTV. Written by The Playboy Club creator Chad Hodge, the drama project centers on a young female detective in present-day Los Angeles who discovers another world that exists under the surface of this ultra-modern city. Hodge will write the script and executive produce with McG and Wonderland’s Peter Johnson. This is one of two public domain properties the CW is developing as potential drama series for next season, along with Sleepy Hollow, which also is being produced by WBTV. Lewis Carroll’s classic has been closely associated with Disney via the 1951 animated film and Tim Burton’s 2010 extravaganza. Characters from the book also have been featured on Disney-owned ABC’s fairytale drama Once Upon A Time. Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
NBC decided to kick off its two-day TCA soirée this morning with a bang by rolling out the cast and producers of its forthcoming period drama The Playboy Club that Joel McHale described earlier as “Mad Men with boobs.” That satirical assessment of the hour set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in the 1960s was disputed by exec producer Ian Biederman, who described it instead as a drama that “intends to show characters in a certain time and a certain place trying to become something.” The cast and producers also spoke to the show’s dedication to female strength and empowerment, rather than exploitation.
But as NBC and the producers are all too aware, Playboy Club is already a lightning rod for controversy. The NBC station in Salt Lake City already has announced it won’t carry the show, and the Parents Television Council is lobbying other stations to follow suit. Yet exec producer Chad Hodge dismissed any worries today as minor, noting, “It’s certainly (the station’s) right to air or not air the show. And we’re excited that another network in Salt Lake City has picked up the show.” As for the show’s purportedly racy content — which has been rumored to have been quietly toned down — Biederman stressed, “Anything racy is mild compared to a lot of what’s on television.” Read More »
NBC has made its first drama pilot order this development season and it has gone to Playboy, a period drama about Playboy bunnies in the Chicago club in the 1960s. The project, set against the background of the political and moral changes in the 1960s, was written by Chad Hodge. 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV, which first took a stab at the concept last season with a different writer, are producing. Hodge is executive producing Playboy with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and and the company’s new TV chief Francie Calfo. This is the first pilot order this month as the New Year marks the beginning of the traditional pilot pickup season. The green light for Playboy comes before NBC’s new top programmer Bob Greenblatt has officially joined the network, something expected to happen later this month when the Comcast-NBCU gets government approval.