X Files veteran Frank Spotnitz moved to London for Cinemax/BBC series Hunted a few years back, and in 2013 launched London-based Big Light Productions. Now, he’s digging even further into the UK TV scene. Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer (Houdini) have created crime series Freud: The Secret Casebook. NBC Universal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films will produce with Big Light. The period drama will see Sigmund Freud become the world’s first criminal profiler. Set in early 20th century Vienna, the series will focus on Freud as he uses his startling new theories about psychology to help solve crimes, and will blend episodic murder mysteries with the on-going tale of the psychoanalyst-cum-detective’s tangled and provocative personal life. The project is out to cast and directors. Downton‘s Gareth Neame is exec producing with Nigel Marchant for Carnival; Alan Gasmer (Vikings), Matt Baer (Unbroken) and Christian Popp and Alexander Keil of Germany’s Producers at Work are also exec producing. Spotnitz is keeping busy in Europe these days. He was at Mip-TV in Cannes last week to talk about his gig as showrunner on the second season of TNT pick-up Transporter The Series, and he also unveiled Big Light’s new first-look distribution deal with Tandem Communications. Transporter, which he boarded in season two, will air on TNT later this year.
Studiocanal-owned Tandem Communications (Crossing Lines) has pacted with X Files veteran Frank Spotnitz‘s Big Light Productions in a first-look distrbution deal. Spotnitz is in Cannes this week in support of the second season of Atlantique Productions’ Transporter The Series, on which he is showrunner. He was also on hand for the announcement this afternoon of the new deal with Tandem, saying he has a slate of projects at Big Light that are looking for the best partners and the best distribution platforms. The writer/producer founded London-based Big Light in 2013 after he moved to the British capital for Cinemax/BBC series Hunted, and found he wanted to stay. Projects being developed at Big Light include work from some U.S. talent, but overall are ambitious European drama series that will have global appeal. They’ll also draw on the best lessons he has been able to bring from the States. At the same time, he is enjoying the local sensibilities. “When you come to Europe, you wake up,” he said. “Hollywood people make lots of money, and here people do it out of passion.” Spotnitz added, “I love many, many things about Hollywood,” but says he’s found that in Europe, people work hard “because they want it to be good… In Hollywood, popularity is always first.” Tandem’s President Rola Bauer did not elaborate on terms of the deal, but said the company had been keen to …
EXCLUSIVE: HBO/Cinemax and The X Files alum Frank Spotnitz are developing Sam Hunter, a drama starring Melissa George to air on Cinemax. A spinoff of Cinemax’s Hunted, the action series sees George reprising her role as Sam, a gutsy agent in the murky world of private espionage. Now on the run from her former employer, Sam has a price on her head and a young daughter to protect. She must work as a freelance spy to find out who wants her dead — and how it connects to the murder of her own mother. Cinemax is planning to launch Sam Hunter as a four-hour miniseries, which Spotnitz is currently writing. Cinemax has been looking to keep Hunted alive in some form since partner BBC One last November opted not to renew the series for a second season.
The miniseries adaptation of The Man In The High Castle was originally announced as a project back in 2010. At the time, the four-parter based on Philip K Dick‘s novel, was to be a Headline Pictures/Electric Shepherd/Scott Free production for the BBC, scripted by British playwright Howard Brenton and sold internationally by FremantleMedia. Some of the puzzle pieces have since shifted. Syfy said today it has sealed a deal to adapt the Hugo Award-winning tome with Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, Hunted) attached to write and exec produce. Ridley Scott’s Scott Free will produce with Headline, Electric Shepherd Productions (the production arm of Dick’s estate) and FremantleMedia International. Producers are Ridley Scott and Stewart Mackinnon. Spotnitz will write the first two hours and supervise the writing of the second two hours, Syfy said today.
Dick’s novel is an alternate history story set in a world in which Nazi Germany and Japan were victorious in the second World War. The year is 1962 and the Axis Powers occupy the U.S., where fascism rules and the few surviving Jews hide under assumed names. Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner was adapted from Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
EXCLUSIVE: The BBC-Cinemax series Hunted won’t go beyond its current freshman season after BBC One opted not to renew the espionage drama for a second season. But Cinemax is working with series creator Frank Spotnitz on a new incarnation of the show about spy Sam Hunter (Melissa George). “We are making plans with creator and executive producer Frank Spotnitz and star Melissa George to present a new chapter in the Sam Hunter mythology,” Kary Antholis, President, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, said in a statement to Deadline. “We are very pleased with what Hunted has done for Cinemax’s brand and are very excited about what lies ahead.”
Because of the project’s setup – BBC originally commissioned eight episodes from Shine-owned British production company Kudos Film and Television before Cinemax came on board as producer/U.S. distributor — I hear continuing the series in its current form proved impossible without partner BBC. That has led to Cinemax brass looking for another way to keep the premise and the Sam Hunter character alive while also assuming greater creative control. In a complex co-production agreement like the one on Hunted, it is hard for each of the partners to realize their vision for the show as decisions are often made by compromise. Additionally, for a pay cable network, doing a series with a public broadcaster like the BBC imposes certain restrictions on the content that could be featured.