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NBC Buys Danish Series Adaptation From Mitchell Burgess & Robin Green, Sony, eOne

By | Wednesday September 25, 2013 @ 10:14am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The Sopranos alums Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green are heading back to suburbia for another family show with mob elements. NBC has put in development Park Road, from Sony TV and eOne, which has received a script commitment with penalty. Based on the Danish show Lærkevej (trailer with English subtitles below), Park Road is an hourlong black comedy about three orphaned siblings forced to flee their big city life when the eldest of the three accidentally kills an Albania mobster in a drug scuffle. With the body in their trunk, they escape to Park Road, an isolated ex-urban neighborhood where no one turns out to be as benign and ordinary as they seem. Burgess and Green are writing/executive producing. The project originated from a visit eOne’s EVP Global Production Carrie Stein and Becca Tesarfreund, who oversees formats, made to Scandinavia where they met with local producers. They found Lærkevej, optioned it from Denmark’s Cosmo Films and brought it to Sony, which partnered with eOne to develop a U.S. adaptation and sell it to NBC. ICM Partners-repped Burgess and Green came on board after sparking to the format, which they felt was right in their sweet spot tonally, between two series they spent years on, The Sopranos, for which they won 3 Emmys, and Northern Exposure. Lærkevej aired for 2 seasons on TV 2 (22 episodes) in Denmark, followed by a feature film.

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Showrunner Ken Sanzel Exits ‘Blue Bloods’ After Creative Tension With Tom Selleck

EXCLUSIVE: I learned this morning that Tom Selleck hasn’t been accepting the scripts which CBS’ Blue Bloods executive producer Ken Sanzel has been giving him. So a standoff developed over character vs procedural visions for the series, summarized to me as “creative tension”. By midday, Sanzel was still staying with the show. No more. Insiders just emailed me that the former New York cop told the staff late today that he is leaving. There’s no exit date yet. “He’s a stand-up guy; he won’t leave the network or studio hanging,” a network source explains. “Simply creative differences. It happens. He was brought in after the pilot as a showrunner to set the show up. We often do this for pilots picked up to series that have great writers but who haven’t run shows before.” Now, to replace Sanzel, Selleck wants to find ”his guy” who must also meet with studio/network approval. Unfortunately this turmoil is especially embarrassing because it’s executive produced by Leonard Goldberg, a CBS Corporation board member.

Sanzel, a longtime Numb3rs showrunner, was handpicked by CBS and CBS Studios to executive produce with creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, who continue with the show. ”Ken is a real take-charge tough guy and everyone knows it. They begged  him to take the show. He was reluctant to do it. And Selleck was not crazy to have Ken imposed on hm. But Ken was doing the network bidding thanklessly,” an insider tells me. Sanzel’s vision was for a compelling crime procedural, whereas Selleck wanted softer character exploration. Sanzel knew the network was behind him. But Selleck wanted to be in charge of the show.  “Too many cooks,” one of my insiders explains. “They love him at CBS. But Selleck realized it’s not the show he thought he was in. Ken calls Nina Tassler and says, ‘What do you want to do?’ And she says, ‘Let me talk to Tom.’” Today, it became clear to me it was just a matter of hours before Sanzel left the show. ”Not bail on them in one day. Just saunter off peacefully,” a source tells me. “If we were to count up every single show where there’s creative friction between actors and producers, we’d have a number like the census bureau.” Read More »

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TCA: ‘Sopranos’ Alums Burgess and Green On Switching To A Show About Heroes

Nellie Andreeva

At the panel for CBS’ new cop/family drama Blue Bloods, the show’s writers-executive producers Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess were asked about departing the anti-hero drama genre they mastered on HBO’s The Sopranos to take on  the CBS series starring Tom Selleck.

“We did the anti-hero for all  those years, it was wonderful, it’s an old tradition…but every great character you see on TV right now is dark, they have a problem,  we were very interested, as a curative after the Sopranos, to find out what a hero is,“ said Green. Added Burgess: “We were very conscious that we wanted to rediscover the hero, and write that, we did the other thing and now we want to do this. “

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