Luke Mitchell (Home And Away) has landed a lead in the CW drama pilot The Tomorrow People three weeks after arriving in Los Angeles from his native Australia. Written/exec produced by Phil Klemmer based on the cult British series, exec produced by Julie Plec and Greg Berlanti and directed/exec produced by Danny Cannon, Tomorrow People revolves around several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution and work together to defeat the forces of evil. Mitchell, repped by Management 360, UTA and McMahon Management in Australia, will play John Young, a member of the Tomorrow People with a specialty in teleportation who is instrumental in recruiting other gifted people to the group.
Malese Jow (Big Time Rush) and Titus Makin Jr. are set to co-star opposite Aimee Teegarden in the CW drama pilot Oxygen. The project, written by Meredith Averill and directed by Gary Fleder, centers on Emery (Teegarden), a teen girl who falls in love with an alien boy, one of nine of his kind integrated into a suburban high school. Jow, repped by repped by Sweeney Entertainment and Todd Rubenstein, will play Julia, a sick girl who loses all hope, but may get a second chance at life thanks to the aliens. Makin Jr., repped by LB Talent Agency, will play Emery’s goofy and cute best friend. CBS … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain have stepped down as executive producers on the CW drama pilot The Secret Circle, based on a three-book series from The Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith. Under their Warner Bros TV overall deal, the Angel and Dollhouse alums last summer were assigned to supervise writer Andrew Miller in developing the project and serve as showrunners on the potential pilot/series. The project was set up at the CW in October. Then, in January, Kevin Williamson was brought in to rewrite Miller’s script. Williamson’s draft was picked up to pilot, with him serving as executive producer/showrunner.
Craft and Fain have a longstanding relationship with Williamson: they worked on his WB series Glory Days and currently serve as consulting producers on his CW series with Julie Plec The Vampire Diaries. But despite the three having a great shorthand, the feel was that there was duplication of showrunner duties and too many bosses on Secret Circle. Realizing that with Williamson on board, they were no longer needed as showrunners, Fain and Craft opted to move on and focus on development under their deal at WBTV in what was described as an amicable departure. Fain and Craft previously created/executive produced the ABC series Women’s Murder Club and served as showrunners on Dollhouse.
As for Secret Circle, which centers on a California teen (Britt Robertson) who moves to her mom’s hometown of New Salem and discovers that she is a witch, Williamson and Miller are exec producing the pilot with Alloy’s … Read More »
Alex Breckenridge (Life Unexpected) has been tapped as one of the 2 leads in CW’s pilot Cooper & Stone. The pilot, from writer-exec producer Laurie Arent and CBS TV Studios, is about Jenna Cooper (Breckenridge) and Stone, two smart young female detectives on Chicago’s North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music, pop culture as they are solving homicides. John Wirth serves as showrunner.
British helmer Mark Mylod (Entourage), who directed the pilots for the U.K. series Shameless and its U.S. version on Showtime, has signed on to direct ABC’s drama pilot Once Upon a Time. The project, from Lost executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real.
John Dahl, who has helmed multiple episodes of Dexter, Californication and Justified, is set to make his pilot directing debut with the CW’s Cooper and Stone. The pilot, from writer-exec producer Laurie Arent and CBS TV Studios, is about two smart young female detectives on Chicago’s North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music, pop culture as they are solving homicides. At the CW, UTA-repped Dahl has directed episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Hellcats.
Veteran Saturday Night Live helmer Beth McCathy-Miller will direct Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen’s multicamera comedy pilot for ABC Work It, from Warner Bros. TV. It centers on two out-of-work car salesmen who realize that it is now a woman’s world and decide that in order to find work again and succeed they are going to have to dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceuticals reps. This is the second … Read More »
The CW has picked up its sixth and final pilot this season, the witch tale Secret Circle executive produced by Vampire Diaries co-creator/exec producer Kevin Williamson.
Williamson recently joined the project, based on a three-book series from The Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith. He worked on the original script penned by Andrew Miller, with the two sharing writer credit. Produced by Alloy Entertainment, WBTV and CBS TV Studios, the companies behind Diaries, Secret Circle tells the story of a young woman who moves to a new town and discovers that not only is she a witch and part of a secret coven, but she’s also the key that will unlock a centuries-old battle of good versus evil.
Miller and Williamson are executive producing Secret Circle with Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain and Alloys’ Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. Vampire Diaries co-creator/exec producer Julie Plec is not currently attached to the project but could come on board in the future.
Secret Circle joins the 5 pilots previously picked up by the CW: Danni Lowinski, Awakening, Hart of Dixie, Heavenly and Cooper and Stone. The network’s choices include 2 genre shows, Secret Circle and zombie drama Awakening, one medical drama, Hart of Dixie, one cop show, Cooper and Stone, and one legal drama with supernatural elements, Heavenly.
The O.C. alumna Rachel Bilson will reunite with the show’s creator-executive producer Josh Schwartz this pilot season after all. Bilson is close to a deal to star in the CW hourlong pilot Hart of Dixie, from WBTV and Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire. The project is a comedic drama centered on a young New York City doctor (Bilson) who inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town inhabited by an eclectic and eccentric group of characters. Leila Gerstein penned the script and is exec producing with Schwartz, Savage and Len Goldstein. Earlier this development season, Bilson was attached to star in Ghost Angeles, a supernatural romantic comedy co-written by Schwartz. The project landed at NBC in September with a pilot production commitment, but new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt recently opted not to go forward with it. Bilson has done arcs on Schwartz’s NBC dramedy Chuck and on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, on which she played a love interest for Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor). Hart of Dixie expands Schwartz and Savage’s relationship with the CW where the two created and executive produce Gossip Girl.
EXCLUSIVE: First the bad news: Kevin Williamson’s potential companion series to Vampire Diaries is not happening, at least for now. The Vampire Diaries co-creator Williamson has notified the CW that his busy schedule on Diaries, which he is executive producing with fellow co-creator Julie Plec, has not allowed him to focus on fleshing out and writing the new project, about a group of people who investigate paranormal happenings.
Now the great news. Williamson has come on board another CW drama project, Secret Circle, which is based on a three-book series from The Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith. It centers on a California teen who moves to her mom’s hometown of New Salem and discovers that she is a witch. To complete the reunion, the project hails from Alloy Entertainment and WBTV, the companies behind Diaries. It was first set at the CW in October with Angel alums Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain as executive producers and Andrew Miller as writer/exec producer. Williamson is now working on the script and serving as an executive producer on the project, which, with its auspices, has emerged as a strong contender for a pilot pickup. Just like with the potential Diaries companion, on which there was talk about Plec joining Williamson, while not currently attached to Secret Circle, Plec could come on board in the future.
In each of the past 3 years, the CW ordered 6 hourlong pilots. So far this season, the network … Read More »
The CW dramedy pilot Danni Lowinski has cast its last 2 regulars, George Dzundza (Grey’s Anatomy) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Nevermind Nirvana). Meanwhile, Diego Klattenhoff (Men in Trees) has joined Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland. Danni Lowinski is named after the series’ central character: a scrappy hairdresser (Amanda Walsh) who graduates from law school but is brushed off by law firms and sets up her own practice in a shopping mall kiosk. Gersh-repped Dzundza will play Dani’s well-meaning father, a widower who has become a full-blown alcoholic since losing his construction job. Ambudkar, repped by Gersh and Lou Viola Management, will play a hard-working and straightforward guy, working at JB Computers during the day and on his novel at night. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ashley Williams and Gerald McRaney are set as the leads in TNT’s drama pilot Bird Dog, a mystery about an unlikely team of two cops who happen to be father and daughter, call sign “Bird Dog.” Meanwhile, Neal Bledsoe is set to co-star opposite Amanda Walsh on the CW pilot Danni Lowinski.
Mike Robe’s Bird Dog centers on Gail McGrath (Williams), a patrolling officer whose cop dad Sam McGrath (McRaney) becomes her new partner. Williams succeeds Eliza Dushku who was briefly cast in the role before exiting the project over the weekend. Williams, repped by Gersh and Luber/Roklin, recurred on TNT’s Saving Grace and will next be seen in Something Borrowed. McRaney, repped by Stone Manners Salners and Course Management, co-starred on NBC’s Undercovers and will next be seen in Red Tails.
Danni Lowinski is named after the series’ central character: a scrappy hairdresser (Walsh) a law school graduate who is brushed off by law firms and sets up her own practice in a shopping mall kiosk. Bledsoe (Ugly Betty) will play the youngest partner at a Chicago law firm.
EXCLUSIVE: The CW have found their Danni Lowinski. Sons & Daughters alumna Amanda Walsh has landed the lead in the hourlong CW dramedy pilot based on the German series of the same name. The pilot, once eyed for possible midseason consideration, is now targeted for next fall. The CW has no scripted series on tap for midseason and recently opted not order back episodes from sophomore Life Unexpected. Danni Lowinski is named after the series’ central character: a scrappy hairdresser (Walsh) who has worked her way through law school and finally graduates only to be brushed off by law firms that aren’t interested in her type. Determined to make her way in the professional world, she sets up her own practice in a shopping mall kiosk. The German series, which airs on Sat.1, stars popular German comedy actress Annette Frier in the title role. Richard Shepard will be directing the CW pilot from a script by Jennie Snyder Urman (90210). CBS TV Studios is producing. This actually is not the first pilot in which Walsh plays the female lead. She starred opposite Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons in the original pilot for The Big Bang Theory, which never aired, playing a character that was later reconceived. Walsh, repped by ICM and 3 Arts, most recently co-starred in the ABC Family movie Beauty & the Briefcase.
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of his first pilot order last season, CBS’ The Odds, Jeff Wadlow has landed two projects this season, Hail Mary at CBS and Rush at the CW. Both are from Warner Bros. TV and Silver Pictures, which also produced The Odds. Hail Mary is about a female P.I. in the South who partners with her murdered son’s best friend. Rush is about undercover cops working the New York nightclub scene. Wadlow is writing and executive producing both projects with an eye to direct the potential pilots. Beau Bauman is also producing. Read More »
After a popular Nikita movie and series, why retell the story yet again in a new series? It’s a legitimate question and one the writer of the upcoming CW series Nikita Craig Silverstein asked himself when Warner Bros. TV approached him with the idea to do something with the title. “I took it upon myself to find a way — could it be done fresh? Could we have a take where you didn’t know how this story was going to end? And that’s when I came upon the idea of following Nikita (Maggie Q) after she had left the agency which is a chapter that’s never been told, and at the same time doing justice to the origin story of Nikita, that dark fairy tale of taking a girl and changing her life, changing her identity, and the kind of Pygmalion aspect of transforming her into a killer, a beautiful killer and giving her etiquette lessons and all that stuff. We’re doing that with the character of Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca). You don’t know which way this girl is going to go, you don’t know how the story is going to end. So it’s not a rehash.”
McG hit on the empowered female characters theme in Nikita. “From my experience with Charlie’s Angels on down, it’s just I like the idea of empowered female characters that don’t apologize for being beautiful, but are very, very intelligent and multi-dimensional, and I think Maggie nails that voicing.”
Director Danny Cannon shed some light on the action-packed pilot’s budget. “I’m very proud that this pilot cost a third of what other pilots cost this year. And that’s because I did … Read More »
I’m told CW picked up How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls (WBTV/Alloy), which was expected. And I, too, think the title should be changed to ”Surviving The Filthy Rich” as rumored. (Or, even better, “This Is Our Money-Grubbing Attempt to Clone Gossip Girls But Not Call It A Spin-Off”.)
2ND UPDATE: I hear How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls (WBTV/Alloy) is ”probably” picked up at CW, It was considered a slam dunk, like 90210. (Is it true HTTFRG‘s title has been changed to “Surviving The Filthy Rich”?)
UPDATE: I’ve just been told that, as expected, the CW has picked up 90210, the spinoff to Beverly Hills, 90210. I reported earlier that it received the OK to hire writers. I hear the deal is closed with Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah to run the show, and the script is being rewritten. CW renewed The Game for another season. Both are CW/CBS Paramount shows. Meanwhile, the town is still waiting on CW news for Reaper. The network is pairing the Tyra Banks/Ken Mok contest show Stylista with that duo’s America’s Next Top Model. And Variety reports that the CW has pacted with indie producers Media Rights Capital to program the Sunday night lineup this fall, with MRC on board to produce two comedies and two dramas for the block aimed at adults 18-to-49, not CW’s younger demos, and the specific shows will be announced at Tuesday’s upfront presentation.
UPDATE: The Beverly Hills, 90210 Spinoff 90210 (CW/CBS Paramount), a slam dunk pickup, is hiring writers at the CW. I hear the deal is closed with Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah to run the show, and the script is being rewritten. Original alum Jennie Garth is joining. I bet Ian Ziering would pay the network to be cast…