EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment is getting in business with Spike TV, both on the scripted and unscripted sides. The cable network, which has been ramping up scripted development, has inked a premium deal for an hourlong political thriller drama project. It will be written by Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff (TNT’s Legends) based on an idea by Kaplan.
Additionally, the network has entered a 3-for-1 agreement with Kapital on the reality side. Under the pact, Kaplan will develop three unscripted projects, one of which is guaranteed to go to pilot. This marks Kapital’s first formal foray into reality programming. Read More »
NPR hourlong radio program Snap Judgment, created, hosted and executive produced by Glynn Washington and executive produced by Mark Ristich, has signed a first-look deal with Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment to explore a TV series based on the the stories featured on the radio show. Snap Judgment, which is broadcast in the top ten major metropolitan markets, presents personal stories using raw, musical narrative to create storytelling with a beat. (You can listen to an episode below.) Launched in 2010, the radio show has nearly 1 million listeners tuning in weekly and more than 1 million monthly downloads. Snap Judgment, repped by CAA and attorney Jonathan Gardner, also tours the country with a live stage show.
Here is Deadline’s annual list of The Overachievers Of Pilot Season. For anyone, landing a pilot is a major accomplishment. These selected few individuals/production companies took that achievement to the next level.
Related: Primetime Pilot Panic!
With marquee comedy clients including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kevin Hart, 3 Arts has been building a strong TV production business. The management/production company has set a new personal record this season with nine greenlights. That includes one straight-to-series order for the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock comedy Tooken at NBC, one pilot/series track order at Fox for Cabot College, from Matt Hubbard, Fey and Carlock, and five more pilots: the comedies untitled Kevin Hart project at ABC, Amy Poehler’s Old Soul and Love Is Relative at NBC and Tom Papa’s More Time With the Family at CBS, plus untitled Richard LaGravenese drama at ABC. Additionally, three 3 Arts pilots from last season, Mulaney and Mr. Robinson, recently received series orders for next season.
Amblin TV has one pilot/series track order at Fox for drama Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer, and pilot orders for drama The Visitors at ABC and comedy The Money Pit at NBC. Additionally, the company scored a straight-to-series order this season for sci-fi drama Extant, which landed Halle Berry as the lead, for a summer launch.
Related: PILOT SEASON: How Many Orders Is Each Broadcast Network Eyeing This Year
Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly‘s Timberman-Beverly has a straight-to-series order at ABC for untitled David O. Russell/Susannah Grant drama and three pilots at CBS, comedy The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry and untitled John Cusack and David Marshall Grant drama projects.
Aaron Kaplan‘s one-man indie shop Kapital Entertainment landed a pilot order with series penalty at ABC for Secrets & Lies, toplined by Ryan Phillippe, and pilot orders for drama The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing at NBC and comedy Dead Boss starring Jane Krakowski at Fox. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Upcoming Australian crime mystery drama Secrets & Lies is getting an American remake. ABC has given a 10-episode commitment to the project, from ABC Studios, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Australian-based Hoodlum, which produces the original series. Search is underway for an American showrunner. The original six-episode series, which will air on Ten network, stars Martin Henderson as a family man who finds the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. He has no choice but to try to find the real killer as his marriage, his kids, his reputation and his sanity are all at stake. Kaplan and Hoodlum’s Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield are executive producing the U.S. adaptation, which already is exploring casting choices for the leads. Secrets & Lies reunites ABC, Kaplan and Hoodlum. The network recently gave a cast-contingent pilot order to comedy Strange Calls, also from Kapital Entertainment and based on a Hoodlum format. Hoodlum is with ICM Partners and Bob Myman; Kaplan is with Jamie Mandelbaum. If Secrets & Lies goes to series, it would be Kapital Entertainment’s sixth and third on ABC, joining The Neighbors and Back In The Game. (The company also has Instant Mom … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Fox has handed a put pilot commitment to single-camera prison comedy Dead Boss, from Warner Bros TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. An adaptation of the BBC3 series created by Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh and starring Horgan, Dead Boss is being written by Patricia Breen, exec producer on WBTV’s ABC comedy series Suburgatory. It centers on a woman trying to prove her innocence after being falsely accused and convicted of killing her boss. Breen is executive producing with Horgan and Kaplan.
The five-episode original series aired on BBC 3 last year (watch the trailer below). Another prison-set comedy with a female protagonist, Orange Is The New Black, recently got off to a strong start on Netflix. This marks the latest collaboration for Kaplan and Horgan, who have had three half-hour projects go to pilot at ABC: Pulling — also based on a Horgan British series — Bad Mom and Bad Management. Horgan is repped by WME, United Agents and George Davis who also reps Walsh. UTA-repped Breen previously worked on HBO’s Big Love.
Lifetime has ordered another scripted pilot HR (working title) for 2013. Written by Glenn Porter (I Melt With You), HR centers on the uptight Director of Human Resources for a global company who, after a head injury alters her outlook on life, throws standard corporate practices out the window and inspires the business to strive for new ambitions and profits. HR is executive produced by Aaron Kaplan and Kapital Entertainment and co-executive produced by Porter and Michael Lohmann. HR joins recent Lifetime pilot orders for Cinnamon Girl, The Secret Lives Of Wives (working title) and Witches Of East End. This marks 3-year-old Kapital Entertainment’s 16th pilot, coming on the heel of the recent greenlight by Nick at Nite of comedy Instant Mom, which has Tia Mowry in negotiations to star.
Related: Lifetime Picks Up Renee Zellweger-Produced Drama ‘Cinnamon Girl’ To Pilot
ABC Picks Up Dan Fogelman Alien Comedy With Pilot Production Commitment
ABC has formally ordered to pilot an untitled half-hour single-camera comedy from feature writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love; Cars). The network originally bought Fogelman’s spec script in October with a pilot production commitment. The project, which will be produced by ABC Studios, centers on a family that moves into a highly desirable gated community in New Jersey only to discover that the entire neighborhood is made up of aliens disguised as humans. Chris Koch (Modern Family) will direct the pilot, which is executive produced by Fogelman, Koch and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. The Fogelman comedy joins another off-cycle ABC comedy pilot, the Kirstie Alley-starring The Manzanis, which is fully cast and is slated to film shortly. That pilot is also executive produced by Kaplan for ABC Studios.
EXCLUSIVE: Irish actress, writer and comedian Sharon Horgan has signed a blind deal with ABC Studios to write and star in a comedy project for the studio. She will executive produce with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. The pact extends Horgan’s relationship with ABC Studios. She first worked with it during the 2008-09 season when ABC Studios produced a pilot for ABC based on the British comedy series Pulling. Horgan co-created the original series and served as an executive producer on the U.S. adaptation. Last season, she created and co-starred in the ABC/ABC Studios comedy pilot Bad Mom, which she executive produced with Kaplan. Horgan, who played the female lead in the British version of Free Agents, currently co-stars opposite Scott Bakula in the London world premiere production of Saul Rubinek’s Terrible Advice directed by Frank Oz. She also has two comedy projects in development at British networks: Bad Sugar at Channel 4, to which she is attached to star, and Life Story at BBC 3, which she wrote and is starring in. Horgan is with WME and UK’s United Agents.
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development a U.S. version of the praised British comedy Suburban Shootout. Byron Balasco will write the hourlong adaptation of the half-hour original, a dark comedy about a woman who escapes the city and her father’s mob ties for suburban bliss only to discover she (with the help of her new neighbors) has to resort to using the skills she learned from her family to achieve the life she so desires. ABC Studios is producing with Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Laurence Bowen and Philip Clarke’s Feelgood Fiction, the company behind the British series that controls the format rights. Balasco, Kaplan, Bowen and Clarke are executive producing.
This is the second stab at launching a U.S. version of Suburban Shootout. In 2008, HBO ordered a pilot written by Michelle Ashford, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Judy Greer. ABC seems like a good place for the remake given that the original has been referred to as “the British Desperate Housewives,” and ABC, the network that airs Housewives, needs a successor for the suburban dramedy, which is now in its final season. Created by Bowen, Roger Beckett and Gary James Martin, Suburban Shootout premiered in 2006 and ran for two seasons on Five and Paramount Comedy in the UK and on Oxygen in the U.S. ICM reps Balasco, who most recently was co-executive producer on ABC/ABC Studios’ Detroit 1-8-7, and Feelgood Fiction.
The $treet and Miss Match co-creator Jeff Rake has sold two projects — a drama and a comedy — to CBS. Both are from Sony Pictures TV, where Rake is based, and both will be written by him. The drama, which he is executive producing with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, centers on a female detective who finds she can interact with dead people — the victims of murders she investigates. The comedy, which Rake is executive producing with Fanfare’s Jamie Tarses, is about a well-intentioned family man who struggles with being the perfect dad while his perfect dad lives under his roof. Rake’s series credits also include Hawthorne, Cashmere Mafia and Bones. He recently signed with WME.
EXCLUSIVE: What if Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw was dying of cancer? That in essence is the premise of the Mexican drama series Terminales, which is being adapted by ABC Family. Lionsgate TV and Kapital Entertainment are producing the U.S. version of the Televisa format created and produced by Miguel Angel Fox, which chronicles the life of young and successful publicist April Marquez, who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Writer/director/playwright Del Shores (Logo’s Sordid Lives) is writing the script for the project, which is being fast-tracked by ABC Family. Aaron Kaplan and Shores are executive producing; Paul Presburger is overseeing for Televisa. This marks the latest project based on source material for Kapital, whose three upcoming series — Fox’s Terra Nova, ABC’s Good Christina Belles and MTV’s The Inbetweeners – are all based on existing properties (short story for Terra Nova, book for GCB, and a British format for Inbetweeners). In addition to Terminales, the company also has a Miranda Lambert PI series in development at ABC Family.
Exactly 20 years ago, German rock band Scorpions released Wind of Change, which became an anthem for our generation of young Eastern Europeans going through a dramatic political change: the fall of communism. Coming back from the broadcast upfront presentations in New York last week, I’ve been having a hard time getting the catchy tune out of my head. While less far-reaching and profound, there is a clear sense of changing of the guard and a new direction for the broadcast networks this year. I can’t remember a time where the majority of the networks had new heads at their upfront presentations. Paul Lee took over for Steve McPherson at ABC, Bob Greenblatt for Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstad at NBC, and Mark Pedowitz is succeeding Dawn Ostroff at the CW. There is a similar changing of the guard among the top TV producers this year. Upstart Chernin Entertainment and DreamWorks TV, which is re-entering the broadcast arena, topped the pods with the most new series, three each, with another recently launched company, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, scoring two new shows. And in its first season, Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods.got one pilot, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, picked up to pilot, with another, Fox’s Family Album, in serious contention. Meanwhile, such longtime upfront fixtures as Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Mark Gordon Co. and Wonderland didn’t land any new series for next season. Read More »
Here is the second-annual honor roll of the best and brightest at the broadcast upfront. First off, to all who got their pilots picked up to series — congratulations. You’re already winners. This is a list of those who took their upfront success to an extra level:
Whitney Cummings: The undisputed queen of Upfront 2011. She is behind two new comedy series that are among the highest-profile new half-hour entries next fall. She created, stars in and executive produces her eponymous comedy for NBC, which was assigned the network’s best comedy slot, following The Office. She also co-wrote on spec with Michael Patrick King the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, which broke records as CBS’ best-testing pilot (comedy or drama) ever. Both were the first comedy pilots to get a series order at their networks. Cummings, who also has a talk show in contention at E!, will serve as an executive producer on 2 Broke Girls but will be full-time on Whitney, which was in first position. I hope that doesn’t impact 2 Broke Girls, which King is expected to run/co-run, because the pilot indeed looks great. Honorable mention in the category of creators with multiple projects for Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. One of their two ABC pilots, Work It, was picked up to series, while the other, Smothered, is very much in contention for midseason.
What a comeback for J.J. Abrams! After his high-profile NBC drama Undercovers went bust last fall, some questioned whether the networks will continue to bet on him. But bet they did this upfront, with both pilots he produced, CBS’ Person of Interest and Fox’s Alcatraz, going to series. Person of Interest instantly became one of the most anticipated new fall series when CBS made it its new Thursday 9 PM anchor. The network also said it was its best-testing drama pilot ever. And over at Fox, Alcatraz prevailed over several high-profile pilots to land one of only two drama series spots. Then, as icing on the cake, Abrams’ modestly rated but well-liked Fox sci-fi series Fringe got a renewal for next season, bringing the producer’s series for next season to three. Read More »
UPDATED: Modern Family, meet Frickin’ Family. ABC has handed out a pilot order to My Frickin’ Family (previously Cowboys and Indians), a single-camera comedy from writer Erica Rivinoja. Additionally, the network has handed a pilot order to another single-camera family comedy, Bad Mom, from British writer-actress-comedienne Sharon Horgan and producer Aaron Kaplan.
Frickin’ Family, from ABC Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, centers on two young parents whose lives change after they have a baby and the four grandparents with very different cultural backgrounds descend upon their lives to fight for the soul of their grandchild. Brillstein’s Peter Traugott is executive producing. Rivinoja’s credits include Grounded for Life and South Park.
Bad Mom, from ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment, centers on Julia, a single mom whose two kids had been raised largely by her mom. When her mom decides to get her life back, Julia has to do it alone. Horgan, co-creator/star of the BBC comedy series Pulling, is executive producing with Aaron Kaplan. She is also expected to play a co-lead on the show. This marks the fifth pilot order for Kaplan’s 19-month old Kapital Entertainment.