Terrible People, a comedy from UK writer/performer Humphrey Ker (Holding Patterns), Todd Holland and Karey Burke’s Dark Toy Entertainment (Go On) and Betsy Thomas (My Boys), has been sold to ABC through Universal TV where Dark Toy is based. Ker will write the project, which is loosely based on his life, with Thomas supervising. Terrible People centers on Charlie Stevenson who dutifully goes to see his narcissistic, manipulative father and stepmother for a short visit, but finds himself drawn in for a permanent stay when he sees what awful children his half-brother and sister are becoming, believing that he must intervene and help raise these children to stop the cycle of rapacious awfulness. Holland and Burke will executive produce with Thomas. Ker, repped by WME and PBJ Management in the UK, will appear in season three of Showtime’s Episodes. Thomas and Dark Toy are with WME.
CBS has put in development The Man’s Guide To Love, a single-camera comedy inspired by Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett’s website themansguidetolove.com which offers man-to-man advice about love and relationships, born from interviews with over 3,000 men around the world. Levin and Flackett will co-write the script with Andrew Goldberg and will executive produce with Laurence Mark through CBS TV Studios.
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 her primetime TV series debut, Sigourney Weaver is set to star in Political Animals, USA Network’s 6-episode drama series from Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark, which premieres this summer. Written by Berlanti, the Washington DC-based series is a fictional look at a former first family that exposes a dynasty weakened by political ambition, lust and greed. It centers on Elaine Barrish (Weaver), the divorced former First Lady and newly appointed Secretary of State who throws herself into the job after recovering from the dissolution of her marriage and losing the presidential nomination. Barrish relies heavily on her son Doug (James Wolk), an ambitious politico who serves as her chief of staff, but is tormented by his twin brother’s struggles with addiction. With a philandering ex-husband who is still as much in love with her as the office he once held, she attempts to keep her family together, while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and a hungry DC journalist bent on destroying her career. In addition to Wolk, Weaver joins previously cast Brittany Ishibashi as Doug’s fiancée. While launching with a short six-episode order, the Warner Horizon-produced Political Animals is envisioned as a regular series that USA brass hope will run for a number of years. Political Animals reunites Weaver and Berlanti. Avatar star’s only previous TV series appearance was in an episode of Berlanti’s ABC drama Eli Stone, which he co-created … 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. Read More »
After Brett Ratner’s spectacular self-inflicted demise as Oscarcast producer, the Academy gets down to business finding a replacement to join Don Mischer in picking up the pieces. I’ve heard speculation ranging from Scott Sanders (who was eyed before Ratner got the nod) to previous Oscar producers Joe Roth, Adam Shankman and Laurence Mark. Harvey Weinstein offered an out-of-the-box suggestion last night. Weinstein, who has sat through plenty of Oscarcasts, suggested drafting Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, and getting Tina Fey involved in the writing. The idea is they would make Eddie Murphy comfortable and give the broadcast a strong comic focus. I’m not sure Michaels or Fey could spare the time away from their weekly show obligations in New York, though. Who should produce the show?