Originally produced by France’s Haut et Court for Canal Plus, Les Revenants aired in eight one-hour episodes last fall, drawing record numbers for the pay-TV channel. Paul Abbott, creator of the British and co-creator of the U.S. version of Shameless, and his AbbottVision will produce the English-language adaptation for the international market. The series, with the English working title They Came Back, centers on a group of men and women in a small Alpine village who find themselves in a state of confusion, trying to return to their homes. What they don’t yet know is that they’ve been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. AbbottVision has a first-look deal with Fremantle Media Enterprises which acquired the rights to the project and will handle international distribution.
MadTV alumna and Family Guy voice cast member Alex Borstein is writing the pilot script, which will be executive produced by Abbott, creator of the British and co-creator of the U.S. version of Shameless. The two have worked together on Showtime’s Shameless, where Borstein has served as a writer-consulting producer. Produced by Sony Pictures TV, Linda Green is a blue-collar show set in Boston that revolves around the eponymous character and her four best friends as they navigate their way through their 30s, tackling love, marriage and stability. They are no saints, and each episode takes a peek into their life as they try to be just a little kinder to one another. But only a little. Prolific British writer Abbott created the original series, produced by Red Prods, with Nicola Shindler (watch an excerpt below). Borstein and Abbott are executive producing the Fox version with BBC Worldwide Prods’ Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner.
Showtime will use the Dexter finale to get big sampling for new drama Shameless, which is slated to premiere January 9. The pay cable network will preview the first 20 minutes of Shameless following the Dexter season finale this Sunday. Based on the UK series, Shameless, from John Wells and Paul Abbott, stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Macy plays Frank Gallagher, a far-from-stellar working-class patriarch of an unconventional Chicago brood of six motley kids whose eldest daughter (Rossum) keeps the home afloat while he’s out drinking and carousing. Joan Cusack recurs as an agoraphobic Chicago housewife who strikes up a special friendship with Frank. Here is the trailer:
Showtime has announced January premiere dates for new drama series Shameless, new comedy series Episodes and the fourth season of Californication. Shameless, John Wells and Paul Abbott’s adaptation of Abbott’s British series, will debut on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10 PM. It stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. Episodes, from David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, will premiere on Jan 10 at 10:30 PM. The series, about a British couple trying to adapt their hit British series in the U.S., stars Matt LeBlanc. The fourth season of Californication, starring David Duchovny as hedonistic novelist Hank Moody, will unspool on Jan. 10 at 10 PM, leading into the debut of Episodes. In addition to Shameless and Episodes, Showtime has one more new series in the hopper greenlighted by outgoing entertainment president Bob Greenblatt, period drama The Borgias.
EXCLUSIVE: The media fund is raising money for a number of projects including 28K, written by Paul Abbott. Showtime USA is currently remaking Abbott’s Channel 4 series Shameless, while Universal turned his BBC series State of Play into the Russell Crowe movie. The urban thriller starts filming in October. Ultimate aims to establish a string of tax-effective Enterprise Investment Scheme companies. Each EIS will invest up to £2 million ($3 million) in a spread of film, TV, music, internet and theatre start-ups. For example, distributor Route One plans to release six movies and up to 40 DVDs a year. The idea is to spread the investor’s risk, while still giving him a 20% tax break.
If successful, the rolling media fund aims to raise £20 million each year.
Oliver Rothschild, founder of Buchler Rothschild Investments, is the chairman. Vice-chairman is Martin Carr, an independent feature producer who has worked with Danny Boyle in the past. Other board members include veteran director Piers Haggard, whose credits include the Beeb’s Pennies From Heaven.
This is not the first time Carr has gone down the EIS route. He used the EIS to fund gangland drama Clubbed. The film was released theatrically in the UK and France in 2009 and sold to 20 other territories on DVD. Unusually for a privately-financed EIS film, Clubbed also sold to BSkyB. But investors still not out yet. Sales agent AV Pictures has just closed a US sale. Carr and his partner Neil Thompson have pledged half their net profits from …