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TCA: Paul Lee & Marc Cherry On Ending ‘Housewives’: It’s About Going Out Classy

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: ABC Will End ‘Desperate Housewives’ In May 2012 After 8th Season
This morning ABC officially announced what Deadline readers already knew: that this coming season will be the last for veteran Desperate Housewives, which, along with Lost, turned ABC’s fortunes around in the fall of 2004. “It is an iconic show; we are so proud of it,” ABC entertainment president Paul Lee said. “I just wanted to make sure that the show that put the network on the map had its victory lap and had a chance to build a great final arc.” Lee was then joined by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. “I think the only thing harder than creating a hit show is to know when to end it,” he said. “It’s something that has weighed on my mind for some time. I’m well aware of people who have overstayed their welcome, and I just didn’t want that to happen to us. I wanted to go out while the network still thought it was a viable series and while it still did well in the ratings; I wanted to go out in the classiest way possible.”

According to the network’s press release, the upcoming “Season Eight of Desperate Housewives will roll out in a way that is accessible even to viewers who may have lapsed in their viewing, and be all the richer and more rewarding to the series’ loyal fans.” Cherry elaborated that the “mystery of what’s going on in the final season harkens back to the first season,” to “the roots of the Mary Alice mystery,” which kicked off the series seven years ago. “It feels right that that would be the storyline that would take us out.” As a result, I hear that Brenda Strong, who narrates the series as Mary Alice but has only made a handful of appearances on the show, may get more screen time this season. Asked whether Nicollette Sheridan’s character Edie Britt will make a return, Cherry, who is being sued by the actress over her termination from the show, made a pause before responding, “I don’t know how I would do that, but I have an idea for the last episode where I want to pay homage to everyone who has been on the show.” Read More »

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Jesse Martin Signs Talent Deal With ABC As Marc Cherry’s ‘Hallelujah’ Is Redeveloped

By | Thursday July 21, 2011 @ 9:53am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Former Law & Order star Jesse Martin, who toplined the ABC/ABC Studios drama pilot Hallelujah this past season, is staying at the network, signing a talent holding deal with ABC and ABC Studios. The rich one-year pact is tied to Marc Cherry’s Hallelujah, which didn’t make the cut to series in May but is still alive and is being retooled. Cherry is now writing a new script for the project, set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., which is being torn apart by the forces of good and evil. While the cast’s options expired at the end of June, there had been talk about 2 actors from the pilot, Martin and Lost alum Terry O’Quinn. Martin’s talent deal will make him available to reprise his role in the pilot, which tested very well, should the reworked Hallelujah be picked up. O’Quinn is also available as the role on Hawaii Five-O he recently booked is recurring, not regular. Under Martin’s deal with the network, Martin will look at Hallelujah as well as ABC pilots targeted for next season. As for Cherry, who has executive produced and showrun his hit Desperate Housewives for the past 7 years, he is expected to serve as a consultant on the ABC dramedy next season while focusing on development. Cherry’s efforts are currently concentrated on the new Hallelujah script, which he is … Read More »

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Madeleine Stowe Among Latest Pilot Castings

Nellie Andreeva

Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny are set to co-star in ABC’s drama pilot Revenge centers on Emily Thorn/Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the Graysons who destroyed her family. Stowe will play Victoria Grayson, the matriarch of the family and a social power broker. Having long ago masterminded the merciless destruction of Amanda’s dad Kevin Clarke and the ostracism of his daughter to a life in foster homes, Victoria has no idea that Emily is actually Amanda and welcomes her as a friend and neighbor. Czerny will play Victoria’s husband Conrad. Stowe, repped by Gersh and Brillstein, took a break from acting during the past couple of years to work on her feature Western script Unbound Captive, which she is also set to direct. Czerny, repped by the Glick Agency and Perry Zimel, was seen in The A-Team and on the first season of The Tudors.

Heroes alum Robert Knepper is returning to NBC with a supporting role in the network’s drama pilot  Reconstruction. Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, the project is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Martin Henderson), a soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as … Read More »

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Terry Kinney, Della Reese, Cheryl Hines Among Latest Broadcast Pilot Castings

By | Friday March 11, 2011 @ 10:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Terry Kinney has joined the cast of CBS’ drama pilot Rookies, an ensemble cop show about six NYPD rookies who balance their personal lives with learning the beat on the streets of Manhattan. Kinney, repped by ICM and Brookside Artist Management, will play Yoda, the Field Training Officer for the rookies. On TV, Kinney, who co-founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, had a recurring role on The Mentalist.

Touched by an Angel alumna Della Reese has been cast in another drama project with spiritual elements, Marc Cherry’s pilot Hallelujah for ABC. The project is set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., where the forces of good and evil are exemplified by hardworking, moral diner owner Rye Turner (Donal Logue), a family man who has had a run of tragic luck, and his longtime nemesis, corrupt millionaire Del Roman (Terry O’Quinn), who is a law unto himself. Del seems to be winning the battle until mysterious newcomer Jared O’Neal (Jesse L. Martin) arrives in town. Reese will play a wicked old conniver who has been the rock of Del’s life since his earliest memory. Also cast in the pilot are Robbie Amell as Del’s cocky, hunky young son, and Zoey Deutch as Rye’s daughter.

Curb Your Enthusiasm co-star Cheryl Hines has joined ABC’s comedy pilot Suburgatory. The pilot, from creator Emily Kapnek, centers on Tessa … Read More »

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Donal Logue To Star In Marc Cherry’s Drama Pilot ‘Hallelujah’

By | Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 9:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

After a stint on FX with Terriers, Donal Logue is returning to broadcast television as the lead in Marc Cherry’s Hallelujah drama pilot for ABC. The project is set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., where the forces of good and evil are exemplified by hardworking, moral diner owner Rye Turner (Logue), a family man who has had a run of tragic luck, and his long-time nemesis, corrupt millionaire Del Roman (Terry O’Quinn), who is a law unto himself. Del seems to be winning the battle until mysterious newcomer Jared O’Neal (Jesse L. Martin) arrives in town. The pilot brings Logue back to ABC, where he toplined the underrated comedy series Knights of Prosperity.

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Terry O’Quinn To Co-Star In Marc Cherry’s ABC Pilot ‘Hallelujah’

By | Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 3:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Lost co-star Terry O’Quinn is returning to ABC with a lead role in Marc Cherry’s drama pilot Hallelujah. Once again, he will play a mysterious character, but this time, it looks like he is a baddie. Hallelujah is set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., which is being torn apart by the forces of good and evil and whose fortunes change when a stranger comes to town, bringing justice, peace and possibly restoring faith. O’Quinn will play Del, a local millionaire who virtually owns the town. Described as a latter-day J.R. Ewing, Del donates heavily to the local church and various charities, but under his upstanding persona is a corrupt bully who will resort to any means to get his way.

This development season, O’Quinn was originally attached to star with fellow Lost co-star Michael Emerson in the J.J. Abrams-produced action drama Odd Jobs, from writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. After the project didn’t go to pilot at NBC, both Emerson and O’Quinn were heavily pursued for other pilots. Emerson picked another Abrams-produced show, CBS’ Person of Interest, while O’Quinn settled on Hallelujah. O’Quinn’s role as John Locke on Lost earned him 3 Emmy nominations and one win in 2007.

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Several Actors Join Broadcast Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Frances O’Connor is set to co-star in Marc Cherry’s ABC pilot Hallelujah. It us set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., which is being torn apart by the forces of good and evil and whose fortunes change when a stranger, Rye Turner, comes to town, bringing justice, peace and possibly restoring faith. O’Connor will play Rye’s wife dealing with the aftermath of their son’s brain injury. This marks O’Connor’s return to ABC where she had a role on Cashmere Mafia. The actress, repped by Gersh, Rob Marsala and U.K.’s Artists Rights Group, joins previously cast Jesse L. Martin.

Scrubs alumna Kerry Bishe has landed the lead in the Fox single-camera pilot Iceland. The project, from writer-executive producer Andy Bobrow and Sony TV, centers on Mackenzie (Bische), a 20something woman whose fiance recently passed away. Also cast in the pilot is John Boyd. Bishe, repped by WME and Brookside Artists, will next be seen in Kevin Smith’s Red State. Read More »

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Jesse Martin To Star In Marc Cherry’s Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

Former Law & Order star Jesse L. Martin is returning to series TV with a lead role in Marc Cherry’s drama pilot for ABC Hallelujah. Martin is the first actor cast in the project, which features musical elements. Hallelujah is set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., which is being torn apart by the forces of good and evil and whose fortunes change when a stranger comes to town, bringing justice, peace and possibly restoring faith. Martin will play a mysterious, charming drifter who crosses paths with the newcomer. The actor, repped by ICM and manager Bob McGowan, fielded interest from several pilots this season. He recently wrapped The Merchant of Venice opposite Al Pacino on Broadway and is filming the feature Joyful Noise opposite Queen Latifah, in which he plays her husband.

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UPDATE: ABC Loads Heavy Drama Guns, Orders Pilots From Marc Cherry, Oren Peli, Darren Star, ‘Twilight’ Producers, Mark Gordon And ‘Lost’ Alums

Nellie Andreeva

3RD UPDATE: ABC just greenlighted six drama pilots, including Marc Cherry’s Hallelujah, the Mark Gordon-produced Identity and Once Upon a Time, from Lost executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Also picked up are the Oren Peli/Steven Spielberg collaboration The River, co-produced by DreamWorks TV, the Darren Star-produced Good Christian Bitches and the Count of Monte-Cristo-flavored Revenge, co-produced by Twilight producer Temple Hill. All six pilots hail from ABC’s sibling ABC Studios.

ABC programming chief Paul Lee received Cherry’s script, the Desperate Housewives creator’s first since the hit ABC dramedy, over the weekend and quickly moved with a pilot order. Hallelujah is set in the town of Hallelujah, Tenn., which is being torn apart by the forces of good and evil. Its fortunes change when a stranger comes to town, bringing justice, peace and possibly restoring faith. There is a music twist: the  episodes of Hallelujah will be punctuated by songs sung by the gospel choir, which serves as a sort of Greek chorus. In addition to writing, Cherry is exec producing with Sabrina Wind. This marks the first production order for Cherry and Wind’s new production banner Wind Prods.

Identity, written by Eagle Eye scribe John Glenn, is based on an ITV/ITV Studio format and is an action procedural centered on an elite police unit formed to combat the explosion of identity-related crime. Glenn and Gordon are executive producing with Deb Spera and ITV’s Paul Buccieri.

Read More »

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