Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on Fox’s new drama series The Mob Doctor, show co-creators/executive producers Josh Berman and Rob Wright said they were looking to create in their lead character Dr. Grace Devlin a female lead akin to Breaking Bad’s Walter White, played by multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston. That is, someone seduced into a moral gray area. The inspiration for her character is Rob Feiber’s book Il Dottore, based on a real-life physician who came to treat such mob leaders as John Gotti and Carlos Gambino, they said. Although they had the idea for a mob doctor before becoming aware of the book, “it helped convince us that this could actually happen”, Wright said.
In the series, shot on location in Chicago, Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) plays a doctor torn between the physician’s Hippocratic Oath and her own family’s mob ties. The idea, the producers say, is to test her morality as much as possible. Wright called it a show for “highbrow and regular people too. It’s a re-imagining of Dr. Faustus, but also ER meets The Sopranos”. Read More »
Former My Boys star Jordana Spiro is taking a dramatic turn as the lead in Fox’s untitled Josh Berman/Rob Wright pilot. Also cast in the project, directed by Michael Dinner, is Jamie Lee Kirchner. The medical drama centers on Grace Delvin (Spiro), one of Chicago’s top young cardiothoracic surgeons who, to save her gambling-indebted brother, is forced to moonlight as a “mob doctor.” Kirchner, repped by Gersh and Blue Stone Entertainment, will play a surgical resident working with Grace whose father is the Chairman of the hospital Board. The pilot, executive produced by Berman, Wright and Dinner, reunites Spiro with Sony TV, which also produced the cult fave TBS comedy series My Boys. The actress, repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment, has been testing the drama waters lately with recurring roles on Harry’s Law and Dexter.
I hear former My Boys star Jordana Spiro has been tapped as the lead in ABC’s comedy pilot Lost and Found. The multicamera comedy, from Warner Bros. TV and creator Marisa Coughlan, centers on Jo (Spiro), a narcissistic 30something New York City bartender and party girl whose life is turned upside-down when the conservative 18-year-old son she gave up for adoption at 16 turns up on her doorstep.
For a second consecutive pilot season, Spiro was pursued for multiple projects. Last year, she settled on NBC’s anthology comedy Love Bites. The pilot went to series but Spiro had to exit after 3 episodes because of her commitment to TBS’ My Boys. With the cult comedy now officially canceled, Spiro, repped by ICM and Principal, was offered several pilots and picked Lost and Found. Spiro’s original Love Bites co-star Becki Newton also booked the lead in a multicamera comedy pilot this season, an untitled CBS family sitcom from creators/executive producers Jeff and Jackie Filgo. Coincidentally, the Filgos also serve as exec producers on Lost and Found.
NBC has cut the order to midseason dramedy Love Bites from 13 to 9. The anthology series, originally slated for a fall launch in the Thursday 10 PM slot, was pushed to midseason after a series of setbacks, including the pregnancy of star Becki Newton, the decision by creator/executive producer Cindy Chupack to step down from day-to-day showrunner duties and the exit of Jordana Spiro because of her commitment to TBS’ My Boys. However, word is NBC brass are happy with the episodes they’ve seen and resorted to the order reduction as they’re running out of shelf space for midseason. NBC has 9 new and returning series – 6 scripted and 3 unscripted – on deck for midseason. Love Bites is one of 3, including half-hour comedies Friends with Benefits and The Paul Reiser Show, which are yet to be scheduled.
While his My Boys co-stars Jordana Spiro and Kyle Howard had to pull out of their regular roles on new NBC series Love Bites and Perfect Couples because of their commitment to the TBS comedy, Reid Scott quietly booked a heavily recurring role on Showtime’s upcoming dark comedy series The Big C. The Sony/Original Film-produced show stars Linney as Cathy, a repressed suburban wife and mother who reclaims her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. Scott, repped by Gersh and Impression, plays Cathy’s oncologist Dr. Todd who has lots of training and intellect but lacks life or professional experience. Scott is doing The Big C with TBS’ blessing. What also helped him do the series while still under contract on My Boys is that his role on The Big C is technically recurring. Additionally, the smaller size of The Big C‘s order – 13 episodes – and its production schedule – it is now filming for an Aug. 16 premiere – would make Scott available in the unlikely event that My Boys is renewed for another season.
NBC is making a scheduling change for fall, with a non-celebrity edition of The Apprentice replacing new anthology dramedy series Love Bites. Production on Love Bites is being pushed by a few weeks to accommodate two new developments: the pregnancy of star Becki Newton and the decision by creator/executive producer Cindy Chupack to step down from day-to-day showrunner duties because of personal matters. Chupack will continue on the series as a writer and is actively working on upcoming scripts. The show’s producers are still figuring out whether Newton’s pregnancy will be incorporated on the show. In the pilot, her character is a virgin.
The anthology dramedy suffered a casting setback recently when its other star, Jordana Spiro, had to be released because of her commitment to TBS’ My Boys. Spiro will exit after 3 episodes but may return for guest appearances. There are no immediate plans for her to be replaced, though Love Bites is adding another regular, Constance Zimmer, who will play Greg Grunberg’s wife. Grunberg was upped to a regular after his memorable guest-starring turn in the pilot where his wife was played by Pamela Adlon. The show’s regular cast now includes Newton, Grunberg and Zimmer.
The tentative new scheduling plan for Love Bites is to launch the show in January in its old Thursdays 10PM slot, following the conclusion of The Apprentice, but the network might put it on it sooner in another time period.
“Love Bites is incredibly important to me, … Read More »