With less than a month until the upfronts, we’re kicking off our annual Pilot Buzz series. As usual, the first edition only includes a limited number of projects that have been garnering early attention as many pilots are still filming. So, if a pilot is not mentioned, it probably means it is too early to weigh in or the feedback I’ve received is inconclusive at this time.
Shonda Rhimes. Viola Davis. Need we say more? ABC’s sexy suspense legal thriller How To Get Away With Murder, executive produced by Rhimes and starring Davis, is packing some heat early on. Secret & Lies starring Ryan Phillippe also is getting encouraging early response. It also has a seven-figure penalty and is directed by Charles McDougall, whose strong pilot record includes Desperate Housewives, The Good Wife and most recently, Resurrection last season. Then there is Marvel’s stealth Agent Carter project. Last year, the company went into Fort Knox mode on its Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, which was kept under lock and key. They took that a notch further this year with Agent Carter. Because there is a prototype — the project is inspired by a one shot, which was featured on the Blu-ray release of Iron Man 3 — word has been that it would forgo a pilot and go straight to series. The script was finished more than three months ago (“the script is great,” ABC’s Paul Lee said back in January), the option on one-shot’s star Hayley Atwell came up and was extended, but the green light never came. Now there is talk that a pickup for Agent Carter may come along with a renewal for Marvel’s freshman Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with the new series possibly serving as a bridge between the fall and spring portions of S.H.I.E.L.D. Also getting various level of early traction at ABC is mystery Sea of Fire and several dark horses, alien drama The Whispers (aka The Visitors), medical drama The Warriors and mystery Clementine. Read More »
Fast & Furious‘ Lucas Black is set to co-star opposite Scott Bakula and Zoe McLellan in CBS’ NCIS planted spinoff. Executive produced by NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg … Read More »
John Ducey (Jonas) has been cast in Bad Judge, NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot starring and executive produced by Kate Walsh. The project, from writer Chad Kultgen and producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Anne Heche, centers on a hard-living, sexually … Read More »
Scott Bakula is set to lead the cast of CBS’ NCIS planted spinoff set in New Orleans. Like the mothership series starring Mark Harmon, the spinoff too is built around a central character, NCIS Special Agent Pride, … Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Not surprisingly, today’s freewheeling TCA panel of showrunners from CBS dramas echoed entertainment president Nina Tassler’s defense of traditional network television at her executive session earlier in the morning. On the panel were Rob Doherty (Elementary); Gary Glasberg (NCIS); Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife) and Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman (Person Of Interest). Glasberg said you just can’t argue with the wider-than-cable exposure a network show can bring. “We have 18 million Facebook followers. It’s crazy,” the producer said.
After a career mostly in feature film, Nolan said he appreciates the immediacy of TV. Still, he noted that the producers had joked backstage about the pressure of producing 22-24 episodes rather than cable’s usually smaller series orders. “It’s very difficult. The [number of episodes] is probably calibrated not to the length of the season but to the exact point a showrunner will have a nervous breakdown,” Nolan said. He added that the absolute breakdown point would be 25. One of the realities of 22-24 episode orders: A single season eats up a lot of story. The panelists addressed some of the big changes that have recently occurred on their shows. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In what will be her first acting role since leaving network TV’s most-watched series NCIS, Cote De Pablo has been cast in The 33, the feature film based on the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners after being trapped 69 days in the Copiapo gold and copper mine more than half an mile below the earth’s surface. Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Rodrigo Santoro are among those already aboard the ensemble cast of the pic, which is now in production in Chile and Colombia with Patricia Riggen directing. The script is from Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) and Michael Thomas.
De Pablo, who was born in Chile and whose mother still lives there, will play a wife of one of the trapped miners, who became international stars following their dramatic rescue that played out live worldwide. Her scenes will be shot in Chile’s Atacama Desert near where the actual event, and the subsequent rescue efforts took place. She is repped by Paradigm and Management 360. Read More »
‘Keeper Of Lost Causes’ Is No. 1 In Denmark
Now in release for seven weeks, The Keeper Of Lost Causes keeps on climbing. The Danish film directed by Mikkel Nørgaard has become the No. 1 film of the year in Denmark with approximately $10M at the box office. It overtook Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, Denmark’s Oscar entry, to land the top spot this week. This is a strong year for Danish movies with The Hunt having previously held the No. 1 position since January, and with local heist comedy All For Two and family film My African Adventure also outperforming Hollywood fare on the 2013 chart. Lost Causes is the first installment in Zentropa’s Department Q franchise that’s based on the best-sellling books by Jussi Adler-Olsen. It was penned by A Royal Affair‘s Nikolaj Arcel and focuses on chief detective Carl Mørck, who’s banished to a basement office to run a cold case division. Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Angels & Demons) and Fares Fares (Zero Dark Thirty) star. TrustNordisk has sold the film around the world, and has U.S. buyers circling.
‘Victor Young Perez’ Sells To U.S.
Picture Tree International has sold U.S. rights on boxing movie Victor Young Perez to Florida-based Synkronized. The film will be released theatrically by Synkronized’s distribution partner, Millennium. It’s based on the true story of the French-Arab boxer who was deported to Auschwitz in 1943 and forced to fight for the entertainment of the Nazis. Brahim Asloum stars in Jacques Ouaniche’s movie that opened in France on Wednesday. It has also sold in Latin America, South Korea, CIS and the Baltics. Picture Tree also closed deals on Mary Queen Of Scots with Australia’s Curious Film taking Oz and New Zealand rights, and Caravella DDC/Carmen Group taking the CIS countries. The film screened at AFI Fest earlier this month. Negotiations are underway on a U.S. deal. Read More »
Emily Wickersham (The Sopranos, The Bridge) has been named a new regular on CBS’ flagship drama NCIS. Wickersham, who will fill the void left by the departure of co-star Cote de Pablo, was originally tapped for a three-episode … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With NCIS continuing to reign as the most watched scripted show on television and getting ready to spawn a spinoff series, the man behind both, Gary Glasberg, has been signed in a new overall deal … Read More »
ABC’s gloppiest-named new series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be the hottest launch of the three-day-old broadcast TV season, but The Big Story so far in Premiere Week ?
NBC is up with every single one of its series on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights compared to Premiere Week 2012. The network has won seven of nine hours in the demo among broadcasters. In total viewers, it’s won six of the week’s first nine primetime hours and has moved from third place to first — making those Comcast guys look pretty clever for having re-upped NBC programming chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract without waiting for Premiere Week numbers.
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