CBS has pulled midseason series Chaos off the schedule after three low-rated airings in the challenging Friday 8 PM time slot. The CIA dramedy most recently drew a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers this past Friday. That was actually up a tenth in the demo from the previous week but way below what Medium and The Defenders were pulling in the slot earlier this season. For the next two weeks, CBS will air CSI: NY repeats in the 8 PM hour, with Canadian-made backup Flashpoint stepping in May 6 with originals. CBS fought hard to land Chaos in dramatic negotiations with producer 20th Century Fox TV that lasted a couple of months last summer.
Meanwhile, the four unaired episodes of FX’s canceled freshman comedy Running Wilde will run on sibling cable channel FX beginning on April 28 at 10 PM.
EXCLUSIVE: Kurtwood Smith will co-star on CBS’ midseason drama series Chaos. He is set for the regular role of Director Higgins, which was played in the pilot by Stephen Rea. As part of CBS’ midseason series order to the 20th Century Fox TV-produced project in July, the two sides decided to recast the part. Chaos centers on rookie CIA Operative Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) who is forced to spy on his dangerously unpredictable new team members in the ODS (Office of Disruptive Services), facing the possibility that they’ll betray and abandon him in hostile territory. Read More »
Freddy Rodriguez who headlines CBS’ midseason drama series Chaos, has signed with UTA for representation. This marks the actor’s return to UTA after being repped by ICM for the past 3 years. On Tom Spezialy/Brett Ratner’s Chaos, Rodriguez plays agent Rick Martinez, the leader of a group of rogue CIA operatives. The project received a midseason series order by CBS last month after negotiations between the network and 20th TV had broken off and the options on the actors had expired. UTA also recently signed Chaos co-star James Murray. Rodriguez’s previous TV credits include a role on Six Feet Under, which earned him an Emmy nomination, and a stint on Ugly Betty. His feature credits include Lady in the Water, Poseidon and Grindhouse. Rodriguez will continue to be repped by Kass and Stokes Management and attorney Steve Warren.
On the heels of Chaos landing a midseason series order at CBS, one of the show’s co-stars, British actor James Murray, has signed with UTA where he will be represented by Theresa Peters. Murray, best known in the U.S. for his roles on ITV’s Primeval and Comedy Central’s Krod Mandoon, had been without U.S. agency representation. He will continue to be managed by Generate and also repped by U.K.’s United Agents. Murray was pursued by multiple Hollywood agencies after getting buzz for his role in the pilot for Chaos, about a group of rogue CIA operatives led by Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) combating bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence, and political infighting. Murray plays a hard-living member of the ODS team who formerly worked for the British Secret Service.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear the CBS pilot Chaos has sprung back to life in the past 24 hours. This is the latest twist to the story of the 20th Century Fox TV-produced CIA drama pilot, which was close to a midseason pickup by CBS but the deal ultimately fell apart on June 30 after five weeks of negotiations. I hear the groundwork was laid by CAA, which represents the project, and the resurrection process took a step forward yesterday when CBS’ entertainment president Nina Tassler had lunch with 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman to discuss the matter. I hear the Brett Ratner-directed Chaos is now back on track for a midseason series order at CBS, possibly as a co-production between 20th TV and CBS TV Studios. The only major obstacle is bringing back the cast, led by Freddy Rodriguez, which was released on June 30 when the actors’ options expired. I hear the actors have been approached about returning and things look optimistic on that front. I also hear a decision on the future of the project could come as soon as today. It probably will be final this time, though with Chaos, you never know. As one industry insider commented, ”This process has been absurd beyond belief; the most aptly titled pilot of all times.”
CBS has been high on Chaos creator Tom Spezialy and his work on the pilot. The network recently inked a blind script deal with him for a new CBS Studios-based project.
EXCLUSIVE: Former 20th Century Fox TV SVP drama Patrick Moran has been tapped as new head of drama at ABC Studios. He will replace Josh Barry, who is stepping down from his post after a year. Barry, a 10-year ABC/ABC Studios veteran, is well-regarded and, while the top drama job at the studio didn’t quite work out for him, I hear he could stay within the company in a different capacity.
Meanwhile, Moran exited his post as head of drama for 20th TV in early May when the studio tapped Michael Thorne for the job. Moran spent 7 years at 20th TV. He was upped to SVP in August 2007 and took over the drama department in January 2008, following the promotion of EVP Jennifer Nicholson Salke. He oversaw the development of the studio’s breakout freshman hit Glee as well as other 20th hourlong series such as Bones, Lie to Me and Prison Break. This development season, he shepherded the development of new Fox series Lone Star and Ride-Along, as well as Breakout Kings, which landed at A&E, and Chaos, which got close to a series order at CBS.
Barry joined Touchstone TV in 2000 where he worked on Alias and The Amazing Race. As executive director at the studio and then vp drama development at ABC, he helped develop Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. He became SVP and head of drama for ABC Studios in June 2009 as part of the executive … Read More »
UPDATED: After five weeks of negotiations between CBS and 20th Century Fox TV over a midseason order for CIA drama pilot Chaos, the project, once considered a shoo-in for a spot on the schedule, now appears dead after the options on the actors expired at midnight last night. There was a lot of afterhours back-and-forth last night, with CAA, which is behind the Tom Spezialy-written drama, making a last-ditch effort to bring the two sides together. But no last-minute agreement was reached in what is described a classic example of political gamesmanship between two companies that don’t trust each other.
I hear a lot of people on both sides are shell-shocked today as Chaos has been well liked at both the network and the studio and had been on the verge of a series order for so long. There is a slim chance that if a deal is made today, the project could get resurrected and the actors could be asked to come back, but the chance is indeed slim.
CBS originally was expected to make a decision on Chaos shortly after its May 19 upfront presentation so, if picked up, producing studio 20th TV could sell the drama at the LA international screenings the following week. The midseason order came on the last day of screenings, but 20th TV didn’t accept it because it was for 8 episodes as opposed to the standard 13-episode pickup, making the series hard to impossible to … Read More »