EXCLUSIVE: Top literary managers David Lonner and Larry Shuman are in serious talks to merge their companies, Oasis Media Group and The Shuman Co, respectively. In the scenario being discussed, Shuman and Lonner and his Oasis partner John Mass would join forces under the Oasis umbrella, tied to an effort to secure financing to expand the business. If it closes, the merger would bring under the same roof such feature and TV heavyweights as JJ Abrams, Brad Silberling, Jon Turteltaub, Shawn Ryan and David Shore. While 2-year-old Oasis has some TV clients — crossover A-lister Abrams and ER and Detroit 1-8-7 showrunner David Zabel — the company skews heavily towards features with a client list that includes Abrams, Silberling, Turteltaub, Peter Sollett, Michael Tolkin, Audrey Wells and Rob Minkoff. Meanwhile, Shuman, who has run his boutique company for 20 years, has a TV-heavy roster that includes House creator Shore, The Shield creator Ryan, Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny (co-creators of A&E’s upcoming series Longmire) and The Inside and Drive co-creator Tim Minear. Among Shuman’s handful of crossover clients is TV writer Carl Ellsworth, who segued into features with Red Eye and Disturbia. But overall, there is little overlap between Oasis and the Shuman Co’s areas of coverage, making a merger one where the pieces fit and would give the combined company heft in both film and television. READ MORE »
UPDATE: Medium executive producer Craig Sweeny has come onboard Common Law as executive producer. He will serve as co-showrunner on the series alongside co-creators/exec producers Cormac & Marianne Wibberley through his overall deal at CBS TV Studios.
EXCLUSIVE 5 PM: I hear USA Network is finalizing a series pickup of comedic buddy cop drama Common Law starring Michael Ealy. The project, from CBS TV Studios and Jon Turteltaub’s Junction Entertainment, centers on polar-opposite LAPD homicide detectives Travis Marks (Ealy) and Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), whose nonstop bickering and acrimony prompts their no-nonsense captain Phil Sutton (Jack McGee) to send them to a couples therapist. The role of the therapist, played in the pilot by Amy Acker, will be recast, along with another, smaller part. There will be some reshoots, and I hear the action quotient on the show will be pumped up. With the series order for Common Law, expected by the end of the week, USA will maintain its perfect pilot-to-series batting average. Common Law was one of three cast-contingent pilots ordered by USA last summer, along with Necessary Roughness and Suits (formerly A Legal Mind). The other two have already been picked up to series.
Michael Ealy has been tapped to star in USA Network’s pilot Common Law, a comedic buddy cop drama from producer Jon Turteltaub. Ealy is the first actor cast in the project, written by Cormac & Marianne Wibberley, which centers on …