EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of its first homegrown drama series Banshee, Cinemax is high on another drama project about a protagonist straddling the worlds of crime and law enforcement. Titled Blanco, the project is formally still in development awaiting a green light, but it already is exploring casting. Written by Mark Rosner (Blue Bloods), Blanco centers on an uptown gangster who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire. Fox TV Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment are producing, with Rosner and Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg executive producing.
Last night Fox entered the late-night animated comedy space with the launch of Animation Domination High-Def, and incumbent Adult Swim had something to say about it. In a stealth move through local buys as it was done without Fox’s knowledge, the Turner network aired two ads: one at 11:30 PM after the two ADHD premieres of High School USA and Axe Cop, and one at midnight, following the encores of the two animated debuts. The stripped-down ads featured words on black screen, with elevator music in the background. “The preceding content has been a work of fiction,” the first ad, which followed the ADHD premieres. (Video below.) “Any resemblance to networks, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Pay close attention to the label. Many suitcases look alike. You may find yourself at a beautiful network with a beautiful suitcase. You may ask yourself: How did I get here? [adult swim]” The second: “Congratulations to the crew at ADHD on the launch of their new shows. We wish you all the best…. Nice place you got here… How are the kids?… Great, Great stuff. We’re going to go home now [adult swim].”
ADHD responded to the stunt via Twitter last night: “@adultswim THANK YOU FOR YOUR MONEY” Said ADHD head and Adult Swim alum Nick Weidenfeld today, “We love Adult Swim and we’re happy to receive both their attention and their ad dollars!”
EXCLUSIVE: A hot comedy project is expected to hit the cable marketplace next week. I hear the untitled comedy has Billy Crystal attached to star, co-write and executive produce, Burn Notice creator Matt Nix co-writing/executive producing and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Borat‘s Larry Charles directing/co-writing and executive producing. Fox TV Studios, where Nix is under an overall deal, is producing. Details about the premise are sketchy but I hear the project is based on an European format and is described as an edgy comedy. Charles and Crystal are co-writing with comedy writer-producer Ben Wexler, who previously worked with Nix on Nix’s Fox dramedy The Good Guys. The four executive produce with Nix’s manager, producer Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin, both of Fabrik Entertainment (formerly Fuse), which also is under a deal at FtvS. Fabrik’s Kristen Campo co-exec produces. Bondesen and Fabrik have experience adapting European formats for the U.S., most notably with the AMC drama The Killing, which is coming back for Season 3 next month. USA’s Burn Notice will kick off its seventh season also in June.
Three months after his highly publicized exit from AMC’s The Walking Dead, former Walking Dead executive producer/showrunner Glen Mazzara has launched his own production company, 44 Strong Prods, and has signed an overall deal with Fox TV Studios. Under the pact, Mazzara will develop cable series through 44 Strong — named after his address in Brooklyn, 44 Strong Place — and will shepherd other writers on their own shows. It reunites the writer-producer with FtvS, the studio behind FX’s The Shield, where Mazzara spent six seasons. “The Shield was the show that really put FtvS on the map, and Glen was a huge part of that show’s success,” FtvS president David Madden said. “Years later, Glen has become a lauded and expert showrunner, and after his extraordinary stint on The Walking Dead, we are proud to bring Glen back home.” Added Mazzara, “I’ve had a long history with Fox Television Studios… This is where I want to be, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner as I take the next step in my career.”
UPDATE 5:47 PM Saturday: Producers of the TNT competition reality series The Great Escape have reached an agreement with IATSE. The union called a strike this morning after declaring Profiles Television Productions unfair for interfering with IATSE organizing efforts. The crew is back at work after walking a …
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has put in development Princess of Whales, a drama project from 24 and The Kennedys writer-producer Stephen Kronish and Cold Case star-turned-producer Kathryn Morris. The project is based on the true story of Marcia Hartman and follows the exploits of one of Las Vegas’ most successful casino hostesses, whose job is to bring in the super-high rollers and make them spend as much as possible. But her lavish lifestyle and life-of-the-party personality reveal a dark side that threatens to destroy her. Morris and her development executive at Revival House Josh Gold saw an article about Hartman, tracked her down and secured the rights to her story. “She is the most fascinating, complex female character we had seen,” said Morris, who has no plans to act on the potential series. She took the idea to seasoned showrunner Kronish, who came on board to help develop the project and to write the script. Kronish, Morris and Gold are executive producing with Prospect Park’s Paul Frank, Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank. Fox TV Studios is producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Burn Notice creator, executive producer and showrunner Matt Nix has signed a new two-year high-seven-figure overall deal with Fox TV Studios, the company behind the hit USA Network series. The pact, which has an option for a third year, will cover Nix’s services as showrunner of the upcoming fifth and sixth seasons of Burn Notice, which was given a two-season pickup last April. Additionally, Nix is expected to develop new projects for FtvS. He proved he can juggle running two series at the same time last year when his cop dramedy The Good Guys was picked up to series at Fox, first for the summer and then also for the fall. Over the course of the year, Nix oversaw 20 episodes of The Good Guys and 18 episodes of Burn Notice‘s fourth season. Additionally, he jumped in to write and executive produce the Burn Notice USA movie prequel, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, which was announced in the idea stage at last year’s Comic-Con in July. Nix quickly wrote the script while working on his two series, and in November, the movie was greenlighted with Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan directing. The Bruce Campbell-starring Sam Axe, which premiered last night on USA, comes out on DVD July 26. The fifth season of Burn Notice premieres June 23.
With a two-hour American Idol (7.4/21 in adults 18-49, 24.9 million viewers), Fox easily won last night in 18-49 and total viewers. Versus last Wednesday’s performance show, Idol was down 9% in the demo. (All week-to-week comparisons this week are probably affected by the switch to daylight saving time. TV …
AMC’s new original drama, The Killing, will debut with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, April 3 at 9pm before moving to its regular Sunday 10 Pm slot the following week. Based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen, The Killing, from writer-exec producer Veena Sud and Fox TV Studios, tells the …