EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Eastin, creator/executive producer of the USA Network series White Collar and Graceland, has signed with ICM Partners after being at CAA for more than a decade. Eastin has an overall deal at Fox TV Studios, which produces White Collar, set to end its run at some point with a six-episode sixth season. Graceland is now in its second season that premiered this month. Eastin’s credits also include NBC’s short-lived 2004 cop series Hawaii, and writing the 1999 pic Held Up starring Jamie Foxx and the screenplay for the perpetually in-limbo True Lies 2. He continues to be repped by attorney Karl Austin.
Nick Thiel has been promoted from co-executive producer to executive producer on USA’s White Collar, from Fox TV Studios. He will take on responsibilities of co-showrunner alongside series’ creator/executive producer/showrunner Jeff Eastin, helping Easting with the day-to-day running of the show as Eastin is juggling two series — White Collar and USA freshman Graceland, which is looking good for renewal. Thiel, repped by UTA and Rain Management Group, previously worked as co-executive producer on USA’s Burn Notice, also from FtvS. He also served as executive producer/showrunner on Lifetime’s Army Wives. Season 5 of White Collar, starring Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay, premieres Oct. 17.
USA Network is doubling its bet on Jeff Eastin. The cable network has picked up to series Graceland, the new pilot from White Collar creator/executive producer Eastin. The one-hour drama, from Fox TV Studios, follows a group of diverse agents — from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and U.S. Customs — whose worlds collide while forced to live together in an undercover beach house in Southern California. Sean Daniel served as executive producer on the pilot, which was directed by Russell Fine. “Graceland is very much in our sweet spot — it has that fantastic and rich look associated with most of our shows, but we also want to go to very edgy and dark places with it,” USA co-president Jeff Wachtel said. “The characters’ day job takes them to places we haven’t gone with our original series.”
Eastin will run both Graceland and White Collar, whose fourth season premieres July 10, on the heels of what is shaping up to be a big opening for Magic Mike, which features White Collar star Matt Bomer. Because both series are with the same network, USA, and the same studio, FtvS, their schedules will be synched up so Eastin can give his full attention to both. That is the reason Graceland was picked up off-pattern. Eastin is already assembling a writing staff for the new series, with the goal to go into production shortly after filming on Season 4 of White Collar winds down. Graceland brings the number of FtvS-produced series on USA to three, along with White Collar and Burn Notice.
The case of who created White Collar has ended in a private settlement. “The litigation has been resolved and is in the process of being dismissed,” is all plaintiff Travis Romero’s lawyer Rhett Francisco would tell Deadline today. The case was scheduled for a March 2013 trial that could have seen the Executive Producer of the USA Network series plus some Fox TV Studio executives and CAA agents asked some potentially embarrassing questions about their conduct and practices. Romero sued Jeff Eastin, White Collar’s credited creator, last year. Fox TV Studios president David Madden and executive VP Matt Loze and CAA’s Rob Kenneally and Tom Young were also named as defendants. The studio and agency men allegedly encouraged Eastin to cut Romero out of the profits from the show and his co-creator credit. CAA represents Eastin. Fox TV produces the high class crime drama, now in its third season. Romero claimed that that he and his long time creative partner Eastin came up with the idea for White Collar in the latter’s backyard hot tub years back. Romero also claims the duo worked with Fox in pitching it to USA. While the scope of Romero’s initial case had recently been scaled back by Judge Rolf Treu, Eastin, Fox TV and CAA weren’t off the hook. In his May 15 ruling (Read it here), the judge granted Romero the ability to amend his suit to address issues of specificity in regards to …
EXCLUSIVE: Rescue Me alum Daniel Sunjata is set for a starring role in USA Network’s untitled drama pilot from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. The project, from Fox TV Studios, follows four agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who live at a former ganglord’s mansion-turned-safe house for undercover agents in Southern California. Sunjata will play Paul Briggs, an atypical FBI agent with a legendary past who has traded in his suit and tie for a more zen existence. He is the senior agent in a house full of undercover agents. Sunjata, best known for his role as Franco Rivera on FX’s firefighter drama Rescue Me, also did a major arc on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The actor, repped by UTA, Principal and Cornerstone, co-stars in the Katherine Heigl feature comedy One For The Money, which opens next week, and will also be seen in thriller Gone and The Dark Knight Rises.
Matthew MacCaull (The Killing) and Ken Luckey (Mission Park) have been cast in Lifetime’s drama pilot American Housewife starring Melanie Griffith, who is executive producing with husband/producing partner Antonio Banderas. The Fox TV Studios-produced project centers on Leila (Griffith), a seemingly perfect housewife living the American Dream in an affluent neighborhood married to wealthy up-and-coming politician Stanford (Jeffrey Nordling) with whom she has three grown or almost-grown children. McCaull, repped by Pacific Artists Management, will play a quirky but brilliant campaign aide for Stanford, on whom Leila’s youngest daughter (Kacey Rohl) has a crush. Luckey, repped by Greene & Associates and Emerald Talent Group, will play the oldest son, a talented but somewhat unreliable artist and painter who is curious about his mother’s odd behavior.
Brandon Jay McLaren has joined USA’s untitled drama pilot from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. The project, also from Fox TV Studios, follows agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who live at an undercover house in Southern California. McLaren, repped by Pakula/King & Associates and Hofflund/Polone, will play Dale Jakes, a quick-tempered U.S. Customs agent living at the house.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedian/actress Caroline Rhea is set to co-star opposite Nathan Lane, Ken Jenkins and Cheyenne Jackson in USA’s untitled Douglas McGrath comedy pilot. The single-camera comedy, which McGrath wrote and will direct, centers on Jasper (Lane), an unlucky actor whose Broadway aspirations must be put on hold when his father’s (Jenkins) health takes a turn for worse, forcing him to return to his Texas hometown. Rhea, repped by APA and Kipperman Management, will play Jasper’s sister Emilia. Also cast in the pilot, executive produced by McGrath and Lane, is Richard Kohnke (21 Jump Street the movie) as Emilia’s son. Laura Bell Bundy will guest star in the pilot as the wife of Jasper’s new friend Tim (Jackson).
Vanessa Ferlito (CSI: NY) has joined Aaron Tveit in another untitled USA pilot, a drama from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. The project, from Fox TV Studios, follows agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who all live at an undercover house in Southern California. Ferlito will play one of them, Catherine “Charlie” Lopez, a very attractive and strong-willed DEA agent.
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Tveit is set to star in USA Network’s untitled hourlong pilot from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin. The project, from Fox TV Studios, follows agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who all live at an undercover house in Southern California. Tveit will play Mike Warren, a freshly minted FBI agent just out of the Academy and dripping wet behind the ears. Like White Collar, Eastin’s new project has two main leads, with Tveit playing one of them. The cast-contingency on the project will be lifted when both key roles are cast. Tveit is best known for his roles in the Broadway productions of Next To Normal and Catch Me If You Can and his recurring part on Gossip Girl. His feature credits include Ghost Town and Howl.
Raising The Bar alum Teddy Sears and Nick D’Agosto (Heroes) have joined Paul Bettany in Showtime’s pilot Masters & Johnson. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, is an adaptation of Thomas Maier’s book Masters of Sex: The Life And Times Of William Masters And Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love. It chronicles the lives, romance and pop culture trajectory of 1960s human sexuality pioneers Masters (Bettany) and Johnson, whose research touched off the sexual revolution. Sears and D’Agosto …
USA Network is doubling its bet on Jeff Eastin. The top-rated cable network is finalizing a deal for a pilot order to a one-hour drama from the White Collar creator, which follows agents from various federal and local agencies (DEA, FBI, LAPD) who all live at an undercover house in Southern California. The project is produced by the company behind White Collar, Fox TV Studios, where Eastin is under an overall deal. CAA-repped Eastin serves as executive producer/showrunner on White Collar, which was recently renewed for a fourth season. The series stars Matt Bomer as a con man who helps the FBI catch other criminals. The untitled Eastin project joins USA’s current batch of pilots: dramas Over/Under and Wild Card, also from FtvS, and comedies Paging Dr. Freed and the untitled Douglas McGarth project starring Nathan Lane, which mark the network’s foray into half-hours.