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James Patterson Inks First-Look Deal With CBS TV Studios

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 3:31pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

James Patterson Inks First-Look Deal With CBS TV StudiosOn the heels of CBS’ straight-to-series order for Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson’s novel, the studio behind the show, CBS Television Studios, has signed a multi-year, first-look deal with James Patterson Entertainment. Under the pact, the studio will tap into the bestselling author’s extensive library for series source material. CBS set Zoo as its next event drama series and its summer 2015 tentpole. The adaptation was written by Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg, whose company Midnight Radio also recently inked a first-look deal with CBS Studios. The four are executive producing with Patterson and Bill Robinson of JPE as well as Cathy Konrad and James Mangold of Treeline Films and Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen of JPE. Zoo was brought to CBS Studios by producer Konrad, whose company also is under a deal there. As part of the JPE pact,  Treeline Films will have a first-look deal at Patterson’s library to develop series projects for the studio. Patterson is reped by CAA and attorney Peter Grossman. Treeline is repped by WME and attorney Jason Sloane.

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CDS Buckles In For Online ‘Maximum Ride’ With James Patterson YA Franchise

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 6:00am PDT

CDS Buckles In For Online ‘Maximum Ride’ With James Patterson YA FranchiseCollective Digital Studio will create an online video series based on the young-adult franchise Maximum Ride from best-selling author James Patterson, the YouTube multi-channel network and production studio said today. Patterson has his hands full with non-book projects based on his novels these days, including an order last week from CBS for a straight-to-series TV adaptation of his thriller Zoo.

Maximum Ride fake trailerThe Maximum Ride fantasy series centers on a group of young human-bird hybrids who escape from a lab called The School, led by the eponymous heroine Maximum “Max’ Ride. The eight Patterson books have sold more than 30 million copies, and also have inspired a Japanese manga spinoff series. Read More »

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CBS Gives Series Order To Adaptation Of James Patterson’s ‘Zoo’ From Midnight Radio, Cathy Konrad & James Mangold

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 11:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CBS Gives Series Order To Adaptation Of James Patterson’s ‘Zoo’ From Midnight Radio, Cathy Konrad & James MangoldWith Under The Dome last year and Extant this week, CBS has made the addition of a new thriller event drama series the highlight of its summer schedule. The network has locked in its high-profile drama entry for summer 2015 with a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson‘s best-selling global thriller. The project, which had a rare pilot production commitment for a pitch originating from sibling CBS TV Studios, hails from writer-producers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. The four are working under their new Midnight Radio moniker (formerly Space Floor) which has inked a two-year first-look deal with CBS Studios. Also producing are Cathy Konrad and James Mangold via their CBS Studios-based Treeline Films, with Mangold set to direct.
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Adaptation Of James Patterson’s ‘Zoo’ From Space Floor, Cathy Konrad & James Mangold Gets CBS Production Commitment

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 10:40am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: CBS has nabbed Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson‘s best-selling global thriller. The high-profile project, which has received a rare pilot production commitment for a pitch originating from sibling CBS TV Studios, hails from writer-producers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg, informally referred to as Space Floor, and producers Cathy Konrad and James Mangold via their CBS Studios-based Treeline Film. Written by Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner and Rosenberg, Zoo is set amidst a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet. A young renegade scientist is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind this pandemic before time runs out for animals and humans alike. Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner, Rosenberg, Konrad, Mangold and Patterson executive produce with James Patterson Entertainment’s Steve Bowen and Leopoldo Gout as well as the company’s former executive Bill Robinson who was involved in putting the project together. Konrad acquired the rights to Zoo shortly after it was published in September 2012 as a feature and then approached Patterson about adapting as a TV series.

The four person team of October Road creators Appelbaum, Nemec & Rosenberg and Pinkner executive produce the CW’s upcoming series Star Crossed and are writing a TNT drama project under Amblin TV’s 3-for-1 commitment at the network. On the feature side, among them they have … Read More »

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Next James Patterson Project? Helmer Brad Furman Boards Potential Drama Series Based On ‘Private’ Novels

EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman has been set to direct a drama series based on James Patterson’s book series Private, which is being pitched around town as a straight-to-series project. Sonar Entertainment is producing. Furman most recently directed Lionsgate’s 2011 feature The Lincoln Lawyer. John McLaughlin (The Black Swan) has written the initial two-episode pilot and will pen future episodes. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro of Tribeca Productions have become involved as exec producers in the project, which will center on the novels’ protagonist former CIA agent-turned-private eye Jack Morgan. Tribeca’s Berry Welsh will serve as co-executive producer, and Patterson exec produces along with Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment. McLaughlin, Furman, Patterson and Tribeca Prods are repped by CAA; Furman is also repped by Atlas Entertainment. Read More »

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Tyler Perry And James Patterson Finalizing Alex Cross Film Sequel With QED: Exclusive

By | Wednesday October 17, 2012 @ 7:10pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that the deal coming together will turn bestselling author James Patterson’s crime novel Double Cross into a 2nd movie starring Tyler Perry as the famous Washington DC crimefighter/psychologist. Perry’s first turn as Alex Cross opens this Friday from QED. Summit Entertainment is distributing in the U.S. It’s Perry’s first lead role that he didn’t produce or direct or write – and his reviews so far have been rather good. Certainly a lot better than I expected from the star of the crossdressing Madea movies. Although the critics have been harsh on helmer Rob Cohen and the film as a whole. QED International’s Bill Block put together Alex Cross at a cost of only $25M (lowered to $23M with Louisiana tax subsidies). He chased down the book rights from Patterson for under $1 million, then hired Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson to pen the screenplay with Patterson. Then Block and Patterson sought out Tyler’s WME agent Charles King. After meetings in Atlanta, QED signed the actor for $5M upfront. Perry took over the role from Morgan Freeman who first played Alex Cross in the films Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider. Amazingly, Perry didn’t want to write, direct or produce the movie. He didn’t even want to move the location to his home base in Georgia for all his creature comforts. And he had the leverage, too. Instead … Read More »

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ABC Inks Script-To-Series Deal With Gaumont For Drama Based On James Patterson’s Character Michael Bennett

By | Wednesday October 10, 2012 @ 12:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Gaumont International Television, the independent TV studio behind upcoming series Hannibal on NBC and Hemlock Grove on Netflix, has signed a deal with ABC for another potential straight-to-series project, James Patterson’s Bennett. The drama, based on bestselling author James Patterson’s character Michael Bennett, has received a script- to 13-episode commitment, meaning ABC has ordered a script and if the network brass likes it, it will trigger a 13-episode order. Gaumont used the same model for Hannibal, which was written by Bryan Fuller.

James Patterson’s Bennett will be written by Ildy Modrovich (Necessary Roughness), who will executive produce with Patterson. Patterson’s Bennett novels center on New York Detective Bennett, a character Patterson says was “inspired by the brave heroes of the NYPD”. The top-selling New York detective series of all time, it consists of five novels so far: Step On A Crack (2009), Run For Your Life (2009), Worst Case (2009), Tick Tock (2010) and I, Michael Bennett (2012). Read More »

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James Patterson’s ‘Private’ Books Getting TV Treatment

By | Thursday April 19, 2012 @ 1:02pm PDT

NEW YORK, April 19, 2012 – Sonar Entertainment and James Patterson Entertainment will produce Patterson’s New York Times best-selling book series Private as a 13×60 original series for television. James Patterson, one of the world’s most prolific, popular and top-selling authors, will serve as Executive Producer. The announcement was made today by Stewart Till, CEO, Sonar Entertainment and Steve Bowen, President of James Patterson Entertainment.

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‘I, Alex Cross’ Sparks Producers’ Lawsuit Over Claims Of Credit By Rivals

Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.

Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released. Read More »

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Arnold Set For QED Action Film ‘Black Sands’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that Skip Woods has rewritten, Schwarzenegger will play a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest. The tone is Man On Fire meets High Plains Drifter. Block will be selling worldwide territories starting today.

Woods scripted A Good Day To Die Hard, which Fox is readying for production. Waugh and McCoy most recently directed Act Of Valor, an action adventure that features actual Navy SEALs. That film was acquired at an auction for distribution by Relativity Media, which paid a $13 million minimum guarantee and a $30 million P&A commitment, and scheduled the film for release on February 17, which is President’s Day Weekend.

Al Ruddy will produce Black Sands with Block and Paul Hanson. Waugh, McCoy and Max Leitman are the executive producers through their Bandito Brothers banner. Sergio Altieri and Kevin Elders wrote early drafts of the script that Woods is rewriting. scSchwarzenegger has squarely returned to his action wheelhouse since returning to acting after ending his run as California governor. He’s shooting the Kim Jee-woon-directed The Last Stand for Lionsgate, after completing The Expendables 2.

QED just completed I, Alex Cross, the Rob Cohen-directed thriller based on the James Patterson novel, with … Read More »

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Universal To Remake ‘Phasma Ex Machina’ With ‘Cup Of Tears’ Helmer Gary Shore

By | Thursday August 11, 2011 @ 9:14am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired remake rights to Phasma ex Machina, the small independent feature directing debut by Matt Osterman that was the toast of the genre film festival circuit. The studio acquired the project as a pitch for a horror movie called Our House, and the studio has attached Gary Shore to direct the remake and Nathan Parker to write it. John Davis is the producer along with Nick Spicer of XYZ Films. Shore and Parkers are already collaborating on a feature version of Cup of Tears for Universal and Working Title, based on the stylized samurai short film that Shore directed. That short has created heat and prompted Universal to make several deals with him.  I’m told that the hope is for Shore to direct Phasma ex Machina, potentially follow with an adaptation of the James Patterson book series Maximum Ride, and then helm a feature version of Cup of Tears. Read More »

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Rob Cohen And Voltage Team On ‘Bullet Run,’ A ‘Fast & The Furious’ In The Desert

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Productions has set Rob Cohen to direct Bullet Run, an Andrew Hilton-scripted action film that puts Cohen back on the fast car track he was on when he helmed The Fast & The Furious. Voltage Productions producers Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores acquired the script as a spec and brought on Cohen. The intention is for him to direct after he completes the Summit Entertainment adaptation of the James Patterson novel I, Alex Cross, which will star Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox.

The head of an elite private protection team and his former CIA agent wife infiltrate the closed borders of Iran to abduct a man who killed their daughter. The extraction goes awry and they force to rely on their world-class driving skills and a fleet of high-performance street cars to travel 200 miles through a hail of bullets to keep alive the man they really want dead. Zev Foreman is exec producer.

Bullet Run can be a unique and genre-bending action film with huge international appeal,” Cohen said. Hilton scripted The Lost Patrol, which is set up at Legendary Pictures for Steven Norrington to direct. Cohen’s repped by WME, Hilton by Nethercott Agency. Chartier will sell offshore territories, and they haven’t yet made a domestic distribution deal.

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Summit Captures U.S. Rights To James Patterson’s Alex Cross Reboot With Tyler Perry And Matthew Fox

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder.  The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.

Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author. Read More »

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‘Lost’s Matthew Fox Lands Killer Role In ‘I, Alex Cross’

By | Thursday March 17, 2011 @ 9:49am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film role since leaving Lost, Matthew Fox has signed on to play an assassin in I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise character that’s being put together by QED with Tyler Perry starring and Rob Cohen directing. Ed Burns has also signed on to play Tommy Kane, Cross’s partner. At least three studios are vying for the project and a domestic distribution deal will be set imminently.

Contrary to his virtuous Lost character Jack Shepard, Fox will be playing one bad dude in this film. Fox plays Michael Sullivan, who kills both for money and thrills. He’s known as the Butcher of Sligo and shows why after Cross thwarts one of his killing attempts. Sullivan makes his retribution personal, by killing the  detective’s wife in gruesome fashion. Then it becomes a mano a mano battle between them. Sullivan is one of the best known villains  in the Patterson-penned novel series.

Marc Moss wrote the script and he and Cohen have generated a new draft that has some twists different from the novel. QED partners Bill Block and Paul Hanson are producing. WME put the package together.

The reboot of the Alex Cross series took root in late January, with Perry taking the role originated by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came Read More »

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Tyler Perry As Alex Cross In James Patterson Franchise Reboot

By | Monday January 31, 2011 @ 6:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

QED has packaged an adaptation of I, Alex Cross, the James Patterson novel that is essentially a reboot of the James Patterson mystery series that starred Morgan Freeman as the detective/psychologist based in D.C. Tyler Perry will headline this version, and Rob Cohen will direct. Distributors are circling the project right now. In fact, Paramount, which distributed the Cross mysteries Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, is interested in taking the project off the table. It will be interesting to see if Lionsgate steps up after Perry has consistently turned in winners for the minimajor, which collects a distribution fee on pictures that Perry owns. The Alex Cross reboot was originally conceived as a vehicle for actor Idris Elba, who was going to play the character in the novel Cross, with David Twohy directing. Perry became the lead in recent weeks. It’s likely to be a controversial choice, and the key will be whether Perry can bring the considerable following that follow his directing vehicles. His biggest successes came when Perry played the female alter ego, the stereotypical matriarch Madea.

He last directed For Colored Girls, an adaptation of the iconic 1975 play by Ntozake Shange. His movies usually have a strong female following, and the Cross mysteries are action mystery which appeals to a male viewing audience. It is a radical departure for Perry, who usually stars … Read More »

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Grand Central Books Exterminators To Tackle Bedbug Problem

By | Wednesday July 21, 2010 @ 7:48am PDT
Mike Fleming

bedbug2Bedbugs have run rampant in New York City offices this summer (Bedbugs In CBS’ NY Offices), and Grand Central Publishing is the latest haunt to catch the bug. The publisher, whose Park Avenue offices near Grand Central Station are home to such bestselling authors as James Patterson, David Baldacci , Nelson DeMille and Nicholas Sparks, let staff know about the problem yesterday, and gave staffers the option of working from home today. There’s a corporate outing tomorrow that will keep the troops out of the office, and nobody works hard in the publishing industry on Fridays during the summer, anyway. The plan is to eradicate the critters and have the place back to normal Monday morning. A spokesperson said there is no infestation, but the decision was made to treat the problem chemically on Thursday, before it becomes a real problem. The bedbugs have found their way to hotels, agencies, and such places as satellite offices at CBS. These are nasty little critters that feed on human blood, and while vampire books continue to be the rage in publishing, this is taking things too far.

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Is E-Book Sales Milestone Worth Cheering?

Mike Fleming

318208709_e9bcd442a6Amazon.com is crowing that for the first time, its e-book sales volume has surpassed hardcovers. Am I the only one who sees this as an apocalyptic sign for the great pleasure of book reading? Amazon’s basing  its assertion on sales figures for the last three months, when buyers were lining their Amazon Kindles with summer beach reading. Amazon chief Jeffrey Bezos marvels that the milestone is more remarkable given that Amazon has only been selling e-books 33 months, as opposed to the 15 years it has been moving hardcovers. A report on the milestone in The New York Times indicates that within the next decade, less than 25% of books sold will be in print.

The lure of e-books is easy to understand: with no trees killed, books come cheaper to consumers, who no longer have to lug around hardcovers when an entire library can be loaded into a single lightweight device. On the cost front, I wonder what will happen when the makers of Kindle and other devices corner the publishing market and are no longer interested in selling its software at loss leader prices so that it can move hardware. That confrontation is inevitable, when more brick and mortar stores vanish. BookShelf

My biggest problem–and the reason I’ll always stick to print books–is that I think the entire experience of reading a books is cheapened by technology, same as it was in … Read More »

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