The Wachowskis’ new sci-fi drama project Sense8 has landed at Netflix with a 10-episode order for a debut on Netflix Instant in late 2014. The series is produced by Georgeville TV, Reliance Entertainment/Motion Picture Capital’s TV studio, in association with J. Michael Straczynski‘s Studio JMS. This marks the first foray into TV series for the Wachowski siblings, the masterminds of The Matrix franchise, who are teamed with sci-fi veteran Straczynski (Babylon 5). Sense8 is described as “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted” that incorporates the Wachowskis’ storytelling style. “Andy and Lana Wachowski and Joe Straczynski are among the most imaginative writers and gifted visual storytellers of our time,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Added the Wachowskis, “We’re excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we’ve wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy.” The duo, repped by WME and Circle Of Confusion, also shed some light on how the series was conceived. “Several years ago, we had a late-night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us, and out of that paradox Sense8 was born.”
EXCLUSIVE: El Rey, the upcoming Comcast cable network from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa’s FactoryMade, is looking to make a splash with original scripted series. I have learned that Tres Pistoleros Studios, Rodriguez and FactoryMade’s production company, has signed a mega three-year deal with Reliance’s Georgeville Television that could be worth a quarter of a billion dollars. Under the pact, Georgeville, the independent TV studio formed by Marc Rosen and Motion Picture Capital’s Leon Clarance and Deepak Nayar, will produce a minimum of six 13-episode series for the new network at budgets rumored to be at least $3 million an episode. (UPDATE 14:45 PM: The El Rey-Georgeville TV deal has now been officially announced. You can read the press release under the story.)
With the deal, El Rey hints at its future identity as a scripted player when it launches in January 2014. That is also a direction Oprah Winfrey recently took with her upstart OWN, signing a multi-series pact with Tyler Perry for scripted fare. El Rey is one of three minority-owned new channels Comcast committed to while seeking federal approval for its acquisition of NBC Universal. Of the other two, Magic Johnson’s Aspire, targeting black families, launched last summer, with Sean Combs’ music-oriented Revolt set to unspool in July. The English-language El Rey is targeting the U.S.’ growing Latino audience whose importance is on the rise. Just this month, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision posted its first No.4 in-season sweep finish among adults 18-49, topping NBC.
EXCLUSIVE: Feature director Brett Ratner and Law & Order veteran Barry Schindel have teamed for Tomorrow, a drama project at ABC financed by Reliance’s Georgeville Television, the independent TV studio formed last spring by Motion Picture Capital’s Leon Clarance and Deepak Nayar and producer Marc Rosen.
Like all Georgeville projects, Tomorrow, now in development, has a script-to-series commitment, meaning that if ABC likes the script it would trigger a 13-episode series order. Created and written by Katherine Lindberg and Ted Cyr, Tomorrow is a high-concept law enforcement procedural about an FBI agent who gets trapped in a time travel scenario. Ratner, who is set to direct, and Schindel, who serves as showrunner, executive produce with Lindberg, Cyr and Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Nicole Romano.
Independent TV studio, Georgeville Television has teamed up with The X-Files creator Chris Carter to finance a new drama series. Entitled The After, the series will debut at next week’s MIPCOM TV market where it will be shopped by newly formed Sierra/Engine Television.
Written by Carter, The After is a thriller which revolves around a mysterious, unexplained event. In the vein of The X Files, The After incorporates elements of science fiction, suspense, and real-world fear and paranoia. “Chris has woven his mythology magic within a very human, grounded story about the moment when we realize all of our worst fears about the world and its future,” said Georgeville CEO Marc Rosen, who co-founded the company earlier this year with Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio co-founded recently by Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment, and producer Marc Rosen, has teamed with feature director Martin Campbell (Casino Royal) to revive the cult 1978 adventure/sci-fi series Blake’s 7. Writer Joe Pokaski (Heroes, CSI) will pen the re-imagining of the original series created by Terry Nation, a prolific UK TV writer who also created the Daleks for the classic BBC series Doctor Who. Campbell is attached to direct the Blake’s 7 reboot, which is being shopped to U.S. networks.