“It’s hard even when you know it’s coming, and we knew,” Justified showrunner Graham Yost told Deadline of Elmore Leonard‘s passing today. “Once he had the stroke – it was a left brain stroke, and he was really was non verbal after – we got an update every day or two on how it was looking. It was pretty clear that it wasn’t looking good.” Yost says plans are already underway to pay tribute to Leonard before the next season begins. “We’ll do something for the Season 4 DVD set, and I’m sure we’ll do something on the first episode of the new season.” Yost and his writers had already plotted to integrate more Leonard characters into the series’ upcoming fifth season. “Before he had his stroke we were thinking, you know, we’re headed to end of the series, we’ve maybe got two seasons left – so we wanted to bring in the Crowe family which is a big part of his world. We’ve got Dewey Crowe on the show but there are other Crowes that populated his books and we thought it would be fun to focus on that.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Fox brass are determined to get an aircraft carrier drama on the air. Last season, the network put in development The Bridge, from writer Taylor Elmore (Justified), producer Mark Johnson and Sony Pictures TV. The project, described as a high-octane soap with a touch of Upstairs, Downstairs set on a Navy aircraft carrier, didn’t go to pilot but the network kept it in contention, rolling in to this season. Now Justified executive producers Graham Yost and Michael Dinner have boarded the drama to help with the rewrite, giving it additional clout. Both will executive produce, with Dinner also attached to direct. Elmore is still the writer, with Johnson and his Gran Via still attached, along with Sony TV.
Meanwhile, in August, Fox bought another drama from high-profile auspices with a similar setting, giving a script commitment with penalty to a project from House executive producers Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner and 20th Century Fox TV. Set on a naval aircraft carrier, the untitled show also has an upstairs/downstairs dynamic: the “downstairs” is filled with 18- to 20-year-olds, their coming-of-age stories heightened by the life-and-death nature of their everyday jobs; the “upstairs” is anchored by a female fighter pilot and her season-long quest to solve a murder that occurs onboard. Read More »
FX has greenlighted its next pilot, The Americans, a period drama created/executive produced by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies) and executive produced by Justified showrunner Graham Yost. The project centers on two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington, DC in the early 1980s. The arranged marriage of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings grows more passionate and genuine by the day but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control. Complicating their relationship further is Phillip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life and the couple’s two children, who know nothing about their parents’ true identity. “Joe Weisberg has written one of the best pilot scripts we have ever read with two richly drawn and indelible characters embarking on an epically exciting, emotional, and morally complex journey,” FX’s EVP original programming Nick Grad said.
The Americans has been laid off at Fox TV Studios, which will produce the pilot with FX Prods. DreamWorks TV is executive producing alongside Weisberg and Yost. The project originated with an idea by DreamWorks TV toppers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, who pitched it to Weisberg, a writer on the … Read More »
Justified‘s Walton Goggins and Graham Yost, Glee‘s Chris Colfer and Brad Falchuk, and The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway‘s Paul Reubens are among the additional presenters announced today for the 2011 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, set for Sept. 10 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Rebecca Romijn and Paul Scheer (NTSF:SD:SUV), Priscilla Presley and Steve Binder (Elvis’ ’68 Comeback Special), and H. Jon Benjamin and Adam Reed (Archer) also will appear to hand out awards. They join presenters revealed last week. The ceremony will air Sept. 17 on ReelzChannel.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures TV is resurrecting Dead Lawyers, the high-concept legal drama it originally developed for SyFy eight years ago, with Graham Yost on board to co-write/executive produce and John Stamos attached to star. The project’s first incarnation, written by Christopher Murphey, went to pilot at Syfy and was directed by Paris Barclay and starred Sean Patrick Flanery. Now Sony TV is taking another stab at the concept — a hotshot defense attorney is run over by a bus and finds himself in his own version of hell: a law firm on earth composed of other dead lawyers, all trying to right miscarriages of justice in order to redeem themselves — with Yost, the developer/executive producer of the studio’s FX drama Justified. CAA-repped Yost will co-write the script with Justified co-executive producer Fred Golan. Stamos is set to play the hot-shot lawyer in what would be his first series starring role since his stint on ER. The project, envisioned as a legal procedural with a twist, is being pitched to the networks this week. Stamos, repped by WME and Brillstein, recently recurred on Fox’s Glee.
FX drama series Justified will return for a second season on February 9 and will run in the Wednesday 10 PM slot for 13 weeks. Developed by Graham Yost and starring Timothy Olyphant, Justified is based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, including his short story Fire in the Hole.