EXCLUSIVE: The corporate walls are truly coming down this season, with broadcast networks’ affiliated studios selling to competing nets more actively than ever before. The latest example is an untitled drama project from former Friday Night Lights executive producer David Hudgins, which has been sold by Universal TV, where Hudgins is under an overall deal, to CBS. Written/exec produced by Hudgins, the drama centers on an outrageous and irreverent Federal judge with lifetime tenure who bucks the system. The project brings Hudgins back to his legal roots — he was an attorney in Texas before embarking on a writing career.
Hudgins, creator of the Fox series Past Life, worked on Friday Night Lights for the series’ entire run, serving as co-showrunner with developer/exec producer Jason Katims on the final season, which earned the show’s first best drama series nomination and netted two major wins: best drama writing for the Katims-penned series finale and best actor for Kyle Chandler. For the last couple of seasons, Hudgins, repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham, has worked on Katims’ NBC series Parenthood where he currently serves as executive producer.
A New York judge has tossed the yearlong legal action around the short-lived paranormal crime series. “The Court finds that no discerning observer would conclude that Past Life had appropriated protected elements from Transience,” wrote Judge Barbara Jones yesterday (read ruling here). Transience writer Stevan Mena sued Fox Entertainment, Warner Bros Entertainment as well as producers David Hudgins and Craig Perry for copyright infringement last August. Produced by Warner Bros Television, Past Life debuted on February 9, 2010. With low ratings, Fox cancelled the show after three episodes. The screenwriter claimed that significant elements of the TV series were drawn from the script he wrote back in 2008. For instance, both do feature reincarnation, a child who has visions and is taken care of by a doctor and crime. However the judge ruled that there’s nothing unique about such story devices. Mena contends that his feature script made its way to Past Life creator Hudgins via Practical Pictures’ Perry and was the basis for the show. Read More »
Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf is returning to the courtroom with Injustice, a U.S. version of a British format, which will be written by former Friday Night Lights executive producer David Hudgins.
The project, from Universal TV and studio-based Wolf Films, is described as an intricate legal drama/psychological thriller about a devoted criminal defense attorney with a dark past buried deep in his psyche and heart, who juggles his complicated family situation with his emotionally conflicted feelings about representing heinous criminals. Read More »