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It’s January Spec Script Bonanza At The Broadcast Networks

Nellie Andreeva

“Got any specs?” has become a popular refrain around Hollywood these days as pilot spec scripts are thriving in a very unusual network executive environment – new top programmers at two of the major broadcast networks, NBC and ABC. With Paul Lee joining ABC in the end of summer when buying season was already underway, and especially Bob Greenblatt, who is just now taking over NBC, studios and producers had been betting that there would be strong demand for specs as the execs may not be that attached to projects they didn’t develop and may look outside for fresh scripts that are ready to shoot.

The gamble seems to be paying off. All 4 pilots Greenblatt greenlighted today were spec (though one, Michael Patrick King’s Mann’s World, was originally bought by NBC’s old regime in early November.) That includes the Steven Spielberg-produced musical Smash, from DreamWorks TV and UMS, which Greenblatt originally developed at Showtime, David E. Kelley/WBTV’s Wonder Woman, which was shopped earlier this month, and a comedy from writer Jhoni Marchiko and 20th TV, which was taken out earlier this week.

Meanwhile, ABC has been in talks about a Cirque … Read More »

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NBC Picks Up David E. Kelley’s ‘Wonder Woman’, Michael Patrick King’s Drama

Nellie Andreeva

Wonder Woman will fly this pilot season after all. New NBC entertainment president Bob Greenblatt capped a day of high-profile pilot pickups with a surprise order to David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman reboot. Additionally, he formally greenlighted another hourlong project from an A-list showrunner, Michael Patrick King’s Mann’s World. Both shows hail from Warner Bros. TV. Meanwhile, the commitment to the J.J. Abrams/WBTV-produced drama Odd Jobs starring Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn, whose script came in very late, is being rolled to next season when it will be applied to the same or new Bad Robot project. And Greenblatt has passed on the Josh Schwartz/WBTV supernatural drama Ghost Angeles starring Rachel Bilson.

WBTV took Kelley’s Wonder Woman spec out to the networks in the first week of January. At the time, NBC was the most interested but, with Greenblatt still on the sidelines, the network couldn’t commit to the type of license fee that the studio was seeking in order to do the show Kelley had envisioned, and WBTV decided to shelve the project. With Greenblatt now firmly taking the reins and Kelley just delivering one of the most promising new series for NBC this season, Harry’s Law, NBC stepped up to greenlight Wonder Woman. The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in … Read More »

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