Jonathan Lisco has closed a two-year overall deal with AMC. Under the pact, Lisco will serve as showrunner on the cable network’s newly picked up series Halt And Catch Fire while also developing original projects. “We are thrilled to be in business with Jonathan and excited to have him create here at AMC, starting with showrunning Halt & Catch Fire,” said Susie Fitzgerald, AMC’s SVP Scripted Development. “He has a unique perspective on characters that is really in line with ours — they are deep, layered and do very unexpected things.”
For the last three seasons, Lisco was an executive producer on TNT/Warner Bros TV’s drama Southland. Additionally, he was the creator and executive producer on the John Wells pilot Animal Kingdom. Lisco, repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman, previously had an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, where he created and executive produced the Fox pilot Damages and the Fox series K-Ville. His other credits include NYPD Blue.
AMC has picked up Halt & Catch Fire and Turn in what network topper Charlie Collier said is the first time AMC has picked up two scripted series in the same cycle. Both projects hail from AMC Studios. Jonathan Lisco has been tapped as showrunner of Halt & Catch Fire. Set in the early 1980s, it dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, Joe (Lee Pace); an engineer, Gordon (Scoot McNairy); and a prodigy, Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. The project was written on spec by Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, who will exec produce with Lisco, Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. The pilot was directed by Juan José Campanella. Turn, based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington Spies, was written by Craig Silverstein, who exec produces with Barry Josephson. In the summer of 1778, New York farmer Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell) and some childhood friends form The Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America’s fight for independence. Rupert Wyatt directed the pilot. Turn and Halt & Catch Fire join recently picked-up new series Low Winter Sun. With the LaGravenese/Goldwyn project getting a series order at AMC sibling WEtv, all four AMC pilots ordered over the past year have gone to series.
Kevin Dunn has been promoted to regular on HBO’s comedy Veep. Dunn, who plays Ben, President’s pragmatic Chief of Staff, along with Gary Cole, joined the comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus for major recurring arcs on the upcoming second season, which premieres April 14. Dunn’s promotion comes as he was entertaining broadcast pilot offers. At HBO, Dunn, repped by Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment, also is recurring on the upcoming drama series True Detective starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and co-starred on Luck.
David Wilson Barnes (You Don’t Know Jack) has been cast in AMC‘s drama pilot Halt & Catch Fire. Set in the early 1980s, it dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, Joe (Lee Pace); an engineer, Gordon (Scoot McNairy); and a prodigy, Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. Barnes, repped by Innovative Artists, will play Dale Barnes, SVP of Sales, North America, for IBM. He is Joe’s foil, with the conflict between these two men being personal as much as it is professional.
Harry Lennix and Ilfenesh Hadera have joined NBC/Sony TV’s drama pilot The Blacklist, which centers on Red (James Spader), the world’s most wanted criminal who mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition is he will only work with a newly minted FBI agent, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), with whom he seemingly has no connection. Lennix plays Harold Cooper, the successful yet cynical Assistant Director of Counterterrorism at the FBI. Hadera, repped by Gersh, plays FBI Agent Jennifer Palmer, who is Elizabeth’s best friend. Lennix, repped by Innovative Artists and Brookside Artist Management, will next be seen in Man Of Steel and indie Mr. Sophistication, which he stars in produced. Read More »
Christina Cole (CBS’ Chaos) has been cast as the female lead opposite Jason Lee and Derek Luke in Second Sight, CBS‘ drama pilot from Michael Cuesta and Carol Mendelsohn. Based on the British series, Second Sight is a gothic psychological thriller about Tanner (Lee), the lead detective with the New Orleans Police Department who is hiding the fact that he has an ocular disorder that causes him to have horrifying hallucinations. Cole, repped by ICM Partners, plays Gemma, one of Tanner’s detectives.
Kerry Bishe (Argo) has joined AMC‘s drama pilot Halt & Catch Fire, written by Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers. Set in the early 1980s, Halt & Catch Fire dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, Joe (Lee Pace); an engineer, Gordon (Scoot McNairy); and a prodigy, Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. Bishe plays Donna, Gordon’s wife and the backbone of their family who also is an experience computer engineer. Halt & Catch Fire reunites Bishe and McNairy, who also played a husband and wife in the Oscar-winning Argo, which was set around the time of the AMC pilot. Bishe, repped by WME and Brookside Artists Management, next stars in Max Rose, Grand Piano and Goodbye World.
Former Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace is set as a lead of AMC‘s drama pilot Halt & Catch Fire, from Breaking Bad executive producer Mark Johnson. Also starring in the pilot, written by Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, is Mackenzie Davis (Breathe In). Juan José Campanella is set to direct. Set in the early 1980s, Halt & Catch Fire dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time. Their personal and professional partnership will be challenged by greed and ego while charting the changing culture in Texas’ Silicon Prairie. Pace will play the visionary, the confident and powerful Joe MacMillan. Once a superstar salesman at IBM, MacMillan recently departed under mysterious circumstances only to resurface at a Dallas tech company. Davis plays the prodigy, Cameron Howe, a talented but volatile computer programming graduate student whose aggressive exterior has everything to do with protecting a vulnerability underneath. AMC Studios is producing the pilot, with Johnson and Melissa Bernstein executive producing. Lee, repped by CAA, Management 360 and Peikoff Mahan, recently co-starred in Lincoln, the final Twilight installment and The Hobbit. Campanella is CAA, Protocol Entertainment and Douglas Stone.
AMC is ramping up scripted development with pilot orders to two period dramas: Turn, from Nikita creator/executive producer Craig Silverstein and Barry Josephson, and Halt & Catch Fire, from Breaking Bad executive producer Mark Johnson. The cable network already ordered two scripted pilots this year — Low Winter Sun and the untitled Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn project, marking the first time AMC had picked up two pilots at the same time. Now the network has greenlighted a whopping four pilots in the same year — that is almost as many AMC ordered in the five years it has been in the original programming business. Filming on Turn and Halt & Catch Fire is slated for next year, while Low Winter Sun and the LaGravenese/Goldwyn project recently completed production. I hear AMC brass won’t wait for Halt & Catch Fire and Turn to be done before making pickup decisions on the other two pilots. Halt & Catch Fire and Turn were among half a dozen scripts that participated in AMC’s pilot script showcase in April, along with Low Winter Sun and the LaGravenese/Goldwyn project, which got the nod. Turn and Halt & Catch Fire were kept in consideration, and are now joining the other two as pilots. Read More »