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Pilot Season: High-Concept Dramas, Male- Centered Comedies & Zombies On The Menu

Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline TV coverage, is taking an analytical and irreverent look at the recurring themes in these year’s crop of broadcast pilots.

In assessing the 79 series pilots that are competing for primetime slots at the five broadcast networks during the 2011-2012 season, a few trends quickly emerge, namely: manhood is under siege, parents are obsessed with meddling, zombies are alive and well (relatively speaking), opposites attract, and just about everybody seems to be on some sort of rebound. Moreover, pretty much every permutation of domestic life and dysfunction is being trotted out for a once-over as the networks seek to uncover the next Modern Family or Two and a Half Men. And the popularity of Glee has helped to inspire a musical bent for three pilots.

Multicamera comedy is making a strong showing beyond its usual singular home of CBS. Too, high-concept drama is having a modest resurgence – and both period soaps (ABC’s Pan Am, NBC’s Playboy) and reboots of past classics (NBC’s Wonder Woman from David E. Kelley, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels) are again in vogue, at least in the pilot world. Another hour (ABC’s Grace, from writer-exec producer Krista Vernoff) sounds remarkably like the plotline for the 1979 Bob Fosse film classic All That Jazz, with this one starring Eric Roberts in the lead as a famed choreographer who sleeps with his dancers and has three daughters with different mothers.

Besides Grace, those tuneful contenders … Read More »

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PILOTS: ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Casts Bosley, Constance Zimmer To Star In ‘Home Game’

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) has joined ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot as Charlie’s liaison Bosley.The new Charlie’s Angeles, from Sony TV, Flower Films and Millar/Gough Ink, stars Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh as the trio of sexy sleuths. Rodriguez’s Bosley is described as a charming and funny guy with GQ looks and Peter Pan smile who has great hacking skills and technical knowledge and is a rock of support for the Angels and the good-natured brunt of many jokes. The character of Bosley was played by David Doyle in the original series and then Bill Murray and Bernie Mac in the two features, respectively. Rodriguez’s series credits include The Wire and Day Break. He is with UTA and the Collective.

Constance Zimmer (Entourage) is reuniting with Entourage executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson as the female lead in the Wahlberg and Levinson-produced CBS comedy pilot Home Game. The pilot, from CBS TV Studios and writers Warren Bell and Chris Nowak, is inspired by the experiences of former NFL star Mark Schlereth and centers on Mark, a retired NFL player who returns home to his wife Lisa (Zimmer) and daughters. Lisa is an attractive dynamo who has been raising their three daughters while her husband has been playing in the pros. Zimmerrepped by UTA and Sweeney Management, will star in Roger Kumble’s upcoming play Girl TalkRead More »

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Minka Kelly And Rachael Taylor Close To Angel Gigs in ABC’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor are close to putting on angel wings. The Friday Night Lights alumna and the Transformers babe are in negotiations for the remaining two Angel spots in ABC’s Charlie’s Angels pilot. They would join previously cast Annie Ilonzeh to form the new trio of sexy female sleuths – Kelly, whose character will be renamed, Ilonzeh’s Kate  and Taylor’s Abby.

Producing studio Sony Pictures TV and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films went through an exhaustive search for the 3 leads in the Charlie’s Angels series reboot. Kelly was a name the producers kept coming back to and they are now reworking the role  to tailor it to her. In the current breakdown, the character, previously named Marisa, is described as a former U.S. Marine, a weapons expert trained in all forms of hand-to-head combat and a neat freak.

Taylor’s Abby is the youngest and sassiest of the Angels, the beautiful and privileged daughter of a notorious Wall Street crook who is an expert con artist herself as well as a Krav Maga expert.

Kelly, repped by CAA and Management 360, has kept busy since leaving FNL 2 years ago. She has been recurring on NBC’s Parenthood, which is produced by the same company that produces FNL, Imagine TV. She next stars in Screen Gems’ The Roommate, which opens Feb. … Read More »

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‘Charlie’s Angels’ Officialy A Go At ABC

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s reboot of Charlie’s Angels is already deep into a director and cast search, so a formal pilot pickup has been, well, a formality. It came this morning. The remake of the 1970s series, described as a modern take on the Angels set in Miami, hails from Sony Pictures TV and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. Alfred Gough and Miles Miller penned the script and are executive producing with with Leonard Goldberg, executive producer of the original series, Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen.
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ABC’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ To Shoot Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After a year in development, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot is headed to pilot production. The Sony TV-produced project was originally set up at ABC with a pilot commitment last November with Josh Friedman as a writer. It didn’t go to pilot stage and, after the upfronts, it was put in redevelopment with new writers, Smallville creators/executive producers Al Gough and Miles Millar. Back then, it was one of 5 projects put on fast-track development under previous ABC president Steve McPherson. After McPherson’s successor Paul Lee took over in August, there has been chatter that he liked Gough and Millar’s script. Top casting director John Papsidera recently was quietly tapped to start some exploratory search for the leads. The project just released an official breakdown and I hear it has locked in Miami as location for the shoot, eyed for January. Gough and Millar are executive producing with Leonard Goldberg, executive producer of the original series, Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen. The three also produced the two Charlie’s Angels movies that starred Barrymore. So far, Charlie’s Angels has followed closely the successful reboot of another popcorn 1970s series, Hawaii Five-0, which also went through two cycles of development until its second script by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Peter Lenkov was picked up to pilot. It went on to become a series, which was recently picked up for a full season. Now let the guessing begin who the new TV angels … Read More »

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