Without a Trace star Anthony LaPaglia is returning to CBS as the lead of another drama project, pilot Red Zone, written by Nikki Toscano and directed by James Foley. Also cast in the Uni TV project are Graham Rogers (Revolution) and David Castro. Red Zone centers on Holden Weller (LaPaglia), a retired CIA operative and intense high school football coach/athletic director who is pulled back into action when a terrorist event rocks Washington, D.C., forced to investigate closer to home where the next generation of terrorists is being bred. Rogers, repped by APA, Management 360, and Stone Meyer, plays Jake, an all-American teenager and second-string quarterback who has a special bond with Coach Weller. Castro plays Reza, a smart and thoughtful new student at the high school who has just transferred there to play baseball. LaPaglia, who won a Golden Globe for Without A Trace, starred in the Fox pilot Boomerang last season.
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On the heels of getting her first pilot order, drama writer-producer Nikki Toscano also has landed her first overall deal. Toscano has signed a two-year overall pact with Universal TV, the studio behind her pilot as well as the series she has been working on, A&E’s Bates Motel. Toscano’s drama pilot at CBS, which she is executive producing with Bates Motel co-showrunner Kerry Ehrin, centers on a retired CIA operative who, when a terrorist event rocks Washington D.C., is pulled back into action, forced to investigate closer to home where the next generation of terrorists are being bred. “We have greatly valued the work of Nikki on Universal Television’s Bates Motel this season and it’s been a terrific experience developing a new drama pilot with her for CBS,” Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We’re eager to work for many years to come with this talented writer-producer.” Toscano, repped by UTA, manager Carel Cutler and attorney Patti Felker, previously worked as a producer on the first two seasons of ABC’s Revenge.
The breakthrough season for broadcast networks’ in-house production arms selling to rival nets continues with another green light for such a project. CBS has given a pilot order to untitled drama project from Bates Motel writer Nikki Toscano and the A&E/Universal TV series’ executive producer Kerry Ehrin. It hails from Universal TV, which will now co-produce with CBS TV Studios. This marks the 11th (!) pilot or series order this season by ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox to a project from an in-house production division of another network (excluding Fox sibling 20th TV, which has established itself as a major studio selling to everyone.) That is up dramatically from last season’s 3 such pilot orders, two of which — Fox/Uni TV comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine and CBS/ABC Studios drama Intelligence – went to series. This season, after ABC Studios and CBS Studios made a strategic move in that area, ABC Studios has landed 5 outside broadcast orders, Universal TV 4 and CBS TV Studios 2.
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