Veteran TV comedy director-producer Marc Buckland has signed a two-year overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to work on pilots and series. The deal will start in June when Buckland’s current pact at Universal TV is up. Buckland previously worked with WBTV on the NBC drama series The West Wing, on which he served as a director, and on the Fox comedy pilot Strange Brew, which he directed and executive produced. Buckland’s extensive pilot resume includes NBC’s My Name Is Earl, for which he won a directing Emmy, Grimm and most recently NBC’s comedy The Gates last season. He is repped by ICM Partners and ESA’s Paul Alan Smith.
EXCLUSIVE: Sought-after pilot director Marc Buckland has been tapped to helm The Gates, NBC‘s recently picked up single-camera comedy pilot from writers Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith, Kapital Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV. The project, which was given an early green light, is based on the British series of the same name that premiered on Sky Living in August. It is an adult ensemble comedy set at the front gates of an elementary school drop-off and revolves around the parents, school staff and 15-minute social minefield they have to navigate at the beginning and end of each school day. Yuspa and Goldsmith wrote the script and executive produce with Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan as well as Laurence Bowen and Philip Clarke of Feelgood Fiction, the UK production company behind the original series.
EXCLUSIVE: Sought-after pilot director Marc Buckland is venturing into his own development with an hourlong project, which has sold to NBC through Universal TV. Titled This Thing Called Love, it is described as a comedic documentary that explores the minutae of modern relationships through the eyes of several very disparate couples. Buckland will write, direct and executive produce under his development deal with Universal TV. Under the pact, Buckland made his pilot-writing debut last season with single-camera comedy RIP, which also was set up at NBC. Both pilots Buckland directed for NBC the past two seasons — drama Grimm and comedy Next Caller Please — went to series.
EXCLUSIVE: Director-producer Marc Buckland has sold two projects to NBC, comedy RIP and drama State Of Mind. Both hail from Universal Television where Buckland is under a two-year development deal. He most recently directed the pilot for NBC’s new drama Grimm, which got off to a strong start last Friday. In his pilot writing debut, Buckland will pen and direct the single-camera comedy RIP, about a reluctant angel. A “Kindness Guru” who happens to be an asshole dies and in order to get to heaven is forced to return to earth and help people with the help of his simple minded brother. Buckland is executive producing with Nina Wass. Buckland’s directing duties on an NBC single-camera comedy pilot, that for the network’s series My Name Is Earl, earned him an Emmy Award. Drama State Of Mind, which will be written by Daniel Arkin (Kyle XY), centers on a police forensic psychologist who helps solve the most mysterious homicide cases by getting into the minds of the victims, all while starting to lose his own. Arkin and Buckland executive produce. The two previously worked together on NBC’s drama series Medical Investigation where Buckland directed an episode written by Arkin. Buckland is with ICM.
Richard Shepard, who won an Emmy for directing the pilot of ABC’s Ugly Betty, has come on board to direct another hourlong pilot with a female lead, CBS’ Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Ringer, written on spec by Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder, centers on a troubled young woman (Gellar) who, while on the run from the mob, hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy twin sister. Shepard’s gig on Ringer stems from his overall deal at CBS TV Studios, which produces the pilot. This is WME-repped Shepard’s second pilot this season; he also directed CW’s Danni Lowinski. Shepard previously helmed the pilots for CBS’ Criminal Minds and its upcoming spinoff Criminal Behavior.
Marc Buckland, who won an Emmy for directing the pilot for NBC’s My Name Is Earl, is back at NBC as director of the drama pilot Grimm. Created by David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, it is described as a dark but fantastical cop drama about a world in which characters inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales exist. ICM-repped Buckland, who served as an exec producer on Earl, has also worked on drama series, including Murder One and Medical Investigation.
Former Will & Grace executive producers/showrunners Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally have inked a two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios. Under the pact, said to be seven-figure per year, the two have joined new NBC/UMS anthology dramedy series Love Bites as executive producers. They will serve as writing showrunners on the show, working alongside executive producers/non-writing showrunners Shelley McCrory and director Marc Buckland. Poust and Kinnally replace Love Bites creator Cindy Chupack who recently stepped down from day-to-day showrunner duties because of personal matters but continues to write for the show.
Under their overall deal with UMS, Poust and Kinnally, who are friends with Chupack, originally planned to consult on Love Bites while focusing on development. But when approached for the showrunner gig, the duo, who spent the last 4 years on ABC’s Ugly Betty, decided to go for it, segueing to another hourlong dramedy and reuniting with Betty co-star Becki Newton, who is the star of Love Bites. Newton, who recently announced she is pregnant, presents one of the challenges Love Bites currently faces as her character is virgin in the pilot. Another challenge is the pending departure of Jordana Spiro who was to topline the series with Newton but her character will be phased out because of the actress’ commitment to TBS’ My Boys. Newton’s baby news and Chupack’s exit from the helm of the show led to NBC’s decision to pull Love Bites from the fall schedule, …