4TH UPDATE 6 PM: Also getting a pass is nearly frontrunner and Disney-friendly drama Big Thunder, based on the Disney Parks ride, and dramas Reckless and Doubt. Venice aka Westside is not going forward either. It started off well but was eventually overshadowed by fellow soap Betrayal. Also dead is multi-camera comedy Divorce, so ABC ended up passing on both of its multi-cam pilots, including King John, which will make it harder for such pitches next year. Comedy pilot Bad Management is not going for fall but is alive.
3RD UPDATE FRIDAY 5:30 PM: Welcome to Part 2 of ABC’s “pass” calls. Not going forward are comedies Spy, Middle Age Rage and Pulling. I hear Pulling was well liked but ABC brass felt it was too cable in sensibility. I hear ABC Studios plans to shop it elsewhere.
2ND UPDATE 7 PM: Dramedy Murder In Manhattan, about a mother-daughter sleuthing duo, also is not going forward. However, I hear that ABC Studios, which produced the pilot starring Bridget Regan and Annie Potts, is high on it and plans to shop it to cable. With its premise, Murder In Manhattan appears suitable for Lifetime, where ABC Studios successfully migrated another dramedy pilot that narrowly missed at the cut at ABC last year, Devious Maids. ABC is expected to continue with the pass calls tomorrow when it also will pick … Read More »
Melissa George has been tapped for a lead role opposite Janet Montgomery in ABC’s drama pilot Gothica. Set in the present day, the project, created by Matt Lopez and exec produced by Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper of The Mark Gordon Co., weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. It centers on journalist Grace Van Helsing (Janet Montgomery) who takes over her family’s hometown newspaper. George, repped by ICM Partners, 3 Arts and Smelkinson, will play Fiona Hunter, the series’ most formidable force, and everyone – from Grace, to Dorian (Chris Egan), to Victor Frankenstein (Tom Ellis) – will find their mettle and savvy tested by this deliciously cunning woman. Aussie George recently toplined Frank Spotnitz’s BBC/Cinemax series Hunted. While the series ended when BBC opted not to renew it, Ciinemax and Sportnitz have been plotting two-hour movies centered on George’s character, which has developed strong fan following. Read More »
Fringe alum Seth Gabel is headed to another potential genre series with a co-starring role on the ABC drama pilot Gothica. Set in the present day, the project weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. It centers on journalist Grace Van Helsing (Janet Montgomery) who takes over her family’s hometown newspaper. Gabel, repped by ICM Partners, Management 360 and Felker/Toczeck, will play Roderick Usher, the district attorney and heir to the once-powerful Usher family who is carrying secrets.
Another former Fringe co-star, Georgina Haig, and In Living Color alumna Kim Wayans have been added to CBS‘ drama pilot Reckless, directed by Catherine Hardwicke from a script by Dana Stevens. The sultry legal show set in Charleston, South Carolina, centers on Jamie, a gorgeous Yankee litigator, and Roy, a Southern City Attorney (Cam Gigandet), who struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal. Wayans, repped by manager Karen Forman and Patti Felker, will play Vi, Jamie’s paralegal. She took a dramatic turn in last year’s Pariah. Aussie Haig, repped by IFA and Sue Barnett & Assoc. in Australia, plays Lee Anne, a police officer in the Charleston PD.
Emma Booth has been cast in ABC‘s drama pilot Gothica. Set in the present day, the ABC Studios/Mark Gordon Co. project weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. It centers on journalist Grace Van Helsing (Janet Montgomery) who takes over her family’s hometown newspaper. Booth plays Victor Frankenstein’s (Tom Ellis) wife Madeline Usher.
Several child actors have landed lead roles in pilots. Benjamin Stockham of NBC‘s 1600 Penn has been cast in the network’s single-camera comedy pilot About A Boy, which follows the relationship between Will (David Walton), a bachelor man-child who is going through a revolving door of women, and the young boy (Stockham) who moves in next door with his kooky single mother, Fiona (Minnie Driver). I hear the casting, which is in second position to low-rated 1600 Penn, ruffled some feathers at 20th TV, which produces 1600 Penn. (About A Boy is at Universal TV). Wyatt Oleff has been cast in ABC comedy pilot Middle Age Rage as the 11-year-old son of the lead, Carol (Annie Mumolo), a middle-aged wife and mother. Madison Moellers plays the daughter of another lead, Tanner (Jason Lee) from CBS drama pilot’s Second Sight. She is with CESD. Additionally, River Alexander and Brooke Sorenson were recently cast as Rob Riggle’s son and … Read More »
Grey’s Anatomy alumna Chyler Leigh is set to topline NBC’s comedy pilot Holding Patterns, from writer Justin Spitzer, Peter Traugott’s TBD Prods and Universal TV. It is an ensemble multi-camera comedy about a group of friends whose lives completely change after they survive a plane crash. Leigh, repped by UTA and the Burstein Co, plays the sarcastic and free-spirited Leah, who ruins Griffin’s (Humphrey Ker) proposal dinner, and is the unintentional cause of the plane crash. Read More »
Janet Montgomery, one of the breakouts of last pilot season with her starring role in CBS’ Made In Jersey, which helped the project land a series pickup, is set as the lead of another drama pilot, ABC’s gothic soap Gothica. Set in the present day, the ABC Studios/Mark Gordon Co. project weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. It centers on Grace Van Helsing (Montgomery), a Pulitzer prize winning journalist from New York who takes over her family’s hometown newspaper. Dorian Gray (Chris Egan) provides her with the $20 million she needs to retain control of the paper, and she was romantically involved with Victor Frankenstein (To Ellis) years ago. British actress Montgomery, who was pursued for multiple pilots, is repped by UTA, Anonymous and UK’s Hamilton-Hodell.
With young vampires taking big bites out of movie box office and TV ratings in the Twilight franchise, HBO’s True Blood and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, the granddaddy of them all bloodsuckers, Count Dracula, is making a big comeback. TV history buffs may correct me but, while the legend of Dracula has been mined endlessly on the big screen going back to Bela Lugosi, I cannot think of a single live-action American series about Dracula (NBC’s super-short-lived 1979 series Cliffhangers featured a Curse Of Dracula segment, and the syndicated Dracula: The Series was Canadian). Next fall we may have three.
First off is NBC’s straight-to-series drama Dracula, in pre-production for a possible fall launch. Set in 1890s London, it stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the Count and also features his archenemy, Abraham Van Helsing. At the time NBC’s Dracula was announced last summer, Starz said it is developing Vlad Dracula, a drama series from Spartacus producer Rob Tapert “tracing Dracula’s evolution from a revered ruler to the world’s most feared vampire.”
Last month, Showtime gave a straight-to-series order to John Logan and Sam Mendes’ Penny Dreadful. The drama, also set in Victorian London, features “some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters,” with Dracula and Van Helsing front and center. Two weeks after Showtime’s announcement, ABC gave a pilot order to drama Gothica, from producer Mark Gordon. Like Penny Dreadful, it too weaves together classic horror characters and stories, but in present day. One of the most prominent among them is Dracula, who is the series’ main antagonist. Guillermo Del Toro/Carlton Cuse’s FX pilot The Strain, which will likely go to series, also revolves around vampires. Read More »