BREAKING: Scribe Maria Maggenti has made an MGM pitch for One Red Paper Clip, based on the nonfiction book by Kyle MacDonald. It’s the true story about a man who wins his girlfriend’s heart by trading up from a red paper clip in hopes of getting a house for them to live in. Through a series of trades, he gets the home and the happy ending. Laurence Mark is producing alongside Motion Theory’s Sean Sorensen and Matthew Cullen. Maggenti separately sold the TV pilot Park And Lex to ABC for DarkFire and Ryan Reynolds to produce. Maggenti is repped by Paradigm and Madhouse. READ MORE »
In USA Network’s biggest production commitment to date, the top-rated basic cable network has given a straight-to-series six-episode order to Political Animals, a drama from Greg Berlanti and feature producer Laurence Mark. In his first cable project, Berlanti wrote Political Animals on spec — his first solo spec script since Everwood – in a midst of a busy first development season for his Berlanti Prods at Warner Bros TV, which has resulted in 4 broadcast pilot orders so far. The Washington DC-based series, from Warner Horizon, explores a fictional former first family that is on the verge of falling apart. It centers on Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady and current Secretary of State who struggles to keep her family together while dealing with the crises of the State Department. She finds an unlikely ally in Susan Berg, a famous DC journalist who has spent her career tearing Elaine down. USA will air Political Animals at the height of the presidential campaign this summer. ”The timing couldn’t be more perfect,” USA co-president Chris McCumber said. “The soap opera of politics will be at top of mind for everyone.”
Berlanti’s series credits also include the WB drama Jack & Bobby, about two brothers in high school, one of whom becomes U.S. president in 2041, and the long-running ABC family drama Brothers & Sisters, which he ran for the first several seasons. “I’m a political junkie and I obviously love smart, rich family dramas — and a drama about a former First Family seemed to me to be the ultimate political family show,” Berlanti said. “Also the fact the family doesn’t currently reside in the White House gave us a lot of room for fun with the characters.” Like on Jack & Bobby, where the names and the story of the title characters evoked John and Robert Kennedy, “many of the characters in (Political Animals) are an amalgamation of former Presidents and their clans — and other famous political figures as well in the tradition of something like Primary Colors, I guess,” Berlanti said. He wouldn’t elaborate on its inspirations, but people who have read the script say that there are noticeable hints of both the Clintons and the second Bush presidential couple in the fictional first family on the show.