EXCLUSIVE: HBO has acquired and will develop Laughs Unlimited, an hour-long drama that takes on the all too serious issue of vets who return from the Middle East with post traumatic stress disorder. The series was hatched by Oren Moverman, who has directed Rampart and The Messenger, and Anthony Swofford, best known for writing the book Jarhead and the recently published memoirs Hospitals, Hotels & Jails.
The focus of the series is Billie Crown, an Army medic who returns from serving a tour in Afghanistan only to find that her husband is divorcing her and taking custody of their daughter. The medic hides her PTSD from family and colleagues so she can be reinstated as a Sacramento police officer, and so she can reconnect with her daughter. Navigating the pressurized world of a beat cop while trying to assimilate back into normal society turns Billie into a walking time bomb who at any moment could jeopardize her career, family and life. The title is ironic military slang, and refers to a comedy club where Billie and her fellow cops hang out to relax and blow off steam. Sounds like another strong showcase for an actress on a cable series. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: The Cisco Kid is riding back to TV. CBS has put in development The Cisco Kid, a drama series re-imagening the iconic Latino character that is executive produced by Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty) and Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men).
Written by Diego Gutierrez (The Shield), The Cisco Kid is described as a modern day re-retelling of the classic story of a handsome outlaw and his faithful sidekick in the vein of Lethal Weapon. It follows Cisco as he returns to Los Angeles after serving several tours as a Marine in Afghanistan. After witnessing the murder of his father, Cisco and his best friend/fellow Marine, Sam, team up to solve the case and subsequently find themselves doing what the authorities can’t — defending the city’s oppressed and disenfranchised. Executive producing alongside Gutierrez are Hayek and Jose Tamez through their Ventanarosa production company, as well as Donners’ Co.’s Donner and Jack Leslie. CBS TV Studios is producing.
First introduced in O. Henry’s 1907 short story The Caballero’s Way, the Cisco Kid became a fixture of 20th century pop culture — a rare feat for a Latino character. He went on to headline more than dozen movies, beginning with the 1914 silent film The Caballero’s Way and most recently the 1994 TV movie starring Jimmy Smits as Cisco and Cheech Marin as his sidekick Pancho. The role won an Oscar for Warner Baxter, who played Cisco in several movies. The Cisco character also spawned radio shows, comic books as well as an oft-covered song by War. On TV, The Cisco Kid syndicated series starring Duncan Renaldo ran from 1950-56. CBS has been looking to do Latino-themed projects in the last few years with such efforts as drama series Cane and comedy Rob. This is the fourth high-profile reboot in the works at the network this season, which also has Beverly Hills Cop, from Shawn Ryan and Eddie Murphy; the Vince Vaughn-produced The Brady Bunch; and Have Gun, Will Travel, from David Mamet. Read More »