Drama writer-producer Michael Seitzman has signed a new two-year overall deal with ABC Studios, where he has been for the past six years. Under his most recent pact, Seitzman created and executive produced the studio’s CBS drama series Intelligence. He has developed and sold a number of other projects for ABC Studios in the past few years, three of which have gone to pilot: Americana and Empire State at ABC and House Rules at CBS. Like Seitzman’s previous overall deals, the new one is for development only. On the feature side, the WME-repped Seitzman penned the 2005 film North Country.
The cast and exec producers of CBS’ new cyber-cop-procedural drama Intelligence got the most dangerous assignment at the TCA Winter TV Press Tour today: wax optimistic about your show to a couple hundred TV critics two days after it did a ratings bellyflop. “Did something happen in the ratings?” creator/EP Michael Seitzman answered brightly when hit with the inevitable ratings question.
CBS is pinning great hope on Intelligence’s ability to regain the ratings ground the network once enjoyed Mondays at 10 with CSI: Miami and, to a lesser degree, Hawaii Five-0. Earlier this season, CBS unintentionally pulled a prince-and-pauper with NBC in the hour, putting the new, NBC-esque, heavily-serialized thriller Hostages in the hour, while NBC slotted its homage to CBS procedurals, The Blacklist, in the hour. NBC won.
Two weeks ago Intelligence got off to a terrific start in its out-of-timeslot premiere, clocking nearly 17 million viewers nestled between the most-watched scripted series on television, NCIS, and Person Of Interest, to become the most watched new series premiere this season. In adults 18-49, it posted a respectable 2.4 rating. But, this week, moved to its regular Monday night at 10 slot, Intelligence took a nosebleedingly steep plunge from its premiere to pick up where Hostages left off with a 1.1 in the demo. Intelligence’s soft performance was even more disappointing in that it followed solid performances by CBS’ Monday comedy block, and opposite a so-so Blacklist that lacked a Voice lead-in.
North Country writer Michael Seitzman has sold a second drama this season. Intelligence, which has been bought by CBS, is based on unpublished book Dissident by John Dixon and centers on a man gifted and cursed with a top-secret experimental microchip implanted in his brain that makes him computer-like in the way he sees and processes information. ABC Studios, where Seitzman is under an overall deal, is producing, with Seitzman and feature producer Tripp Vinson (Red Dawn) executive producing.
‘Cleopatra’ Drama From Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura And Writer Michael Seitzman Lands At NBC With Put Pilot Commitment
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation with two networks bidding, NBC has landed Cleopatra, a period drama about the famous Egyptian queen produced by Di Bonaventura Pictures TV and ABC Studios. The project will be written by Michael Seitzman who penned the ABC/ABC Studios drama pilot Americana this past season. Seitzman is executive producing with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott.
Cleopatra is one of the most popular figures in ancient history. The last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, she is known mostly for her beauty and her liaisons with Rome’s Julius Caesar and Mark Antony and her tragic suicide that was followed by the fall of Egypt, which became a Roman province. The NBC project is described as an epic romance set in a world of sorcery, gods and monsters that centers on Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Julius Caesar. The young queen makes a sacred pact with a goddess to win back her throne, igniting a curse and an infamous love triangle that changes the course of history, forever ending the 4,000 year dominion of the Pharaoh.
There have been numerous screen adaptations of the story of Cleopatra, most notably the 1963 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. There is also a high-profile new Cleopatra movie percolating at Sony, with David Fincher attached to direct, Angelina Jolie to star and Scott Rudin …
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has bought one of its most ambitious projects so far this development season — a globetrotting adventure from North Country writer Michael Seitzman and producer Mark Gordon. Based on the Jack West Jr. book series by best-selling Australian action thriller novelist Matthew Reilly, The Seven Wonders is a treasure hunt show in the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Arc and National Treasure. It centers on an unlikely five-member team led by commando-turned-archeologist Jack West Jr. as they search the world for seven pieces of an ancient and powerful relic and along the way form a unique non-traditional family that includes West Jr.’s 12-year-old adopted daughter. Seitzman will write the pilot script for the project, whose first season will be based on the first 2 books in the series, The Seven Ancient Wonders (Seven Deadly Wonders in the U.S.) and The Six Sacred Stones. Seitzman got on board to adapt the novels the moment he read them. “They feel like big boyhood and girlhood adventure stories; they are really fun and remind me of all the movies in the genre I loved,” Seitzman said. He called the novels “a mixture of history and historical truth and carefully drawn-out plausible fiction.” Seitzman is writing the project under the new two-year deal he signed with ABC Studios in …
Drama writer Michael Seitzman is staying at ABC Studios with a new two-year overall deal. Under the seven-figure pact, he will continue to develop for the studio. Two shows he developed at ABC Studios during the 2008-09 season, Empire State and House Rules, were picked up to pilot by ABC and CBS, respectively. This development season, he wrote an adaptation of the hit British series Spooks aka MI-5 for ABC and ABC Studios outside of his overall deal with the studio. On the feature side, the WME-repped Seitzman penned the 2005 film North Country.
With drama sale season in full force, book and format adaptations have emerged as a red-hot commodity. ABC is working on a U.S. version of hit British series Spooks with writer Michael Seitzman, NBC is developing an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Dark Tower with Imagine and writer Akiva Goldsman, Fox handed a series commitment to an Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci/DreamWorks TV-produced adaptation of King’s son Joe Hill’s graphic novel Locke & Key, CBS has picked up Treadstone, a spy drama based on Robert Ludlum’s novels from CSI creator Anthony Zuiker and feature writer John Glenn, and Warner Bros. is looking to turn DC comic The Sandman into series.
Three new projects are about to join them. Sony TV is developing a single-camera half-hour comedy based on the 2009 indie Breaking Upwards with the film’s co-writers/stars Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones and producer Aaron Kaplan. It centers on a young couple exploring alternatives to monogamy as they decide to spend 4 days a week together and the other 3 as single people. Kaplan is executive producing through his Kapital Entertainment. Wein, who also directed the movie, and Lister-Jones are expected to co-exec produce. The duo, repped by Gersh, recently sold comedy pitch Motherf***er to Fox Searchlight.
EXCLUSIVE: An adaptation of the hit British series Spooks aka MI-5 is headed to American television via ABC. ABC Studios has closed a deal for the rights to Spooks, known in the U.S. as MI-5, with Kudos Rights LTD, a division of the Shine Group-owned British production company Kudos Film and Television which produces the BAFTA-winning original series. Michael Seitzman has been tapped to write and executive produce the adaptation, which has received a script order from ABC. But I hear it’s still to be determined if the spooks will be American or British.
Spooks, created by David Wolstencroft, follows the work of a group of MI5 officers based at the service’s Thames House headquarters in highly secure offices known as The Grid. The spy drama, one of the U.K.’s top series of this decade, launched in 2002, with a new season scheduled to premiere this fall. Spooks also has become one of the most recognizable British series in the U.S. in a long while. Under the title MI-5, it has aired in the U.S. on A&E, BBC America and PBS. Another top British drama series, which is well known in the U.S., Torchwood, is getting a U.S. reboot at Starz, which is co-producing the upcoming installment of the Doctor Who spinoff.
MI-5 does not fall under Seitzman’s overall deal at ABC Studios. He had 2 projects for the studio …