While Fox’s Red Band Society drama deals with the grave topic of ill-stricken teenagers in a Los Angeles children’s hospital, the potentially grim subject matter didn’t daunt network executives, the show’s executive producers said today at TCA. Commenting on the recent string of illness-centered dramas, including The Big C, and Chasing Life alongside the ABC Studios-produced Red Band Society, series EP Margaret Nagle said, “Teens and twentysomethings aren’t about the immortality as seen in Twilight. Rather, they’re more focused on dramas that deal with mortality. They’re very forthright about these things. The way that the show can work is that it has to tonally go to that place of teen life, i.e. My So-Called Life. Even M.A.S.H. was an influence with this series. Those shows were willing to go to a place with their material that were off-center, and off-center was where they thrived.”
Originally intended to be part of ABC’s lineup, Red Band Society landed on Fox’s fall schedule instead. EP Justin Falvey said that Fox “feels like it’s a better fit.” Read More »
How about this for an unexpected hot Hollywood trend: projects about young people afflicted – often terminally – with cancer. ABC Family’s new drama series Chasing Life – about a 24-year-old aspiring journalist who finds out she has leukemia – debuted on June 10. Only two days earlier, cancer teen romance The Fault In Our Stars became one of the sleeper hits of the summer, trouncing Tom Cruise’s big-budget sci-fi thriller Edge Of Tomorrow at the weekend box office. And coming this fall is Fox’s Red Band Society, a drama series about teens with serious illnesses, including cancer, living in a hospital. Given what a sensitive topic cancer is and how tough a sell it is commercially, it is pretty hard for any such project to see green light, so for three to get to the screen at the same time is pretty remarkable.
Neither Chasing Life nor Red Band had an easy road to the small screen. Both took years and went through two incarnations with different writers. Red Band also switched networks, from ABC to Fox. Both were based on formats – the successful Televisa Spanish-language Mexican series Terminales (Chasing Life) and acclaimed Spanish series Polseres Vermelles (Red Band). Not to take away from the U.S. producers who embraced the formats and the network executives who put the adaptations on the air, but it was foreign creators who broke the stigma and defied convention by believing that … Read More »
It’s been a fortnight since Fox unveiled its 2014 schedule and trailers for its new series at its upfront presentation New York. Notably absent from the trailer list was Red Band Society, the hospital-set coming-of-age drama that stars Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and is based on the Spanish series Polseres Vermelles. We understand it took this long to get clearances, so the network is releasing the first-look just now. The series, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios, was written by Margaret Nagle and was a favorite staffing choice for writers this season. Check it out:
Related: Fox’s New Series Trailers
Jason Ensler has signed on to be the executive producer/director of Fox’s new coming-of age-drama series Red Band Society, from ABC Studios and Amblin TV. Written/exec produced by Margaret Nagle and based on a Spanish format, Red Band Society, whose pilot was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, revolves around teenagers who are long-term hospital patients. Ensler will exec produce alongside Nagle, Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Sergio Aguero. WME-repped Ensler previously served as executive producer and directed the pilots of such series as Hart Of Dixie, Cult and Franklin And Bash.
Richie Keen has been tapped to direct and co-executive produce Tracy Morgan’s untitled 10-episode straight-to-series comedy for FXX, from the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia creators Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton & Charlie Day and Sunny writer Luvh Rakhe. Produced by RCG, The Tannenbaum Co. and Nick Frenkel, the series is expected to begin production in New York in August. Keen, repped by CAA, Lonestar Entertainment, and attorney Adam Kaller, will direct the pilot and continue as director/co-exec producer on the series.He has directed several episodes … Read More »
UPDATE, 3:50 PM: Fox has made it 3-for-3, picking up all three of its drama pilots with a series order to Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. The adaptation of the acclaimed Spanish hospital series Polseres Vermelles was written by Margaret Nagle. Red Band Society, which has been a favorite staffing choice for writers this season, is a coming-of-age drama with humor set at a big-city hospital. It explores with dark humor the daily life of a group of teenage kids living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Nagle is exec producing with Amblin’s Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank as well as Sergio Aguero; Carlos and Julio Fernandez of Filmax co-executive produce. The newly picked-up Fox drama series Red Band Society, Empire and Gotham join previously ordered Backstrom and Hieroglyph. On the comedy side, Sober Companion and Cabot College have been garnering buzz — I hear Sober Companion possibly for fall, Cabot College for midseason — with Dead Boss in the mix.
Related: PILOTS 2014: Strong Year For Drama & Latest Pilot Buzz
PREVIOUS 3:10 PM: I’ve learned that Fox has added another new drama to its slate for next season, picking up to series Empire, its drama … Read More »
Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Avenue) has nabbed a series regular role in Fox’s Red Band Society, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. It is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Annable, repped by CAA and Barking Dog Entertainment, will play Dr. William McAndrew, a rock star pediatric oncologist and surgeon who tries not to get too attached to his young patients.
Related: 2014 Fox Pilots
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Patina Miller (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) has been cast in CBS drama pilot Madam Secretary, from CBS Studios and Revelation Entertainment. Written by Barbara Hall and directed by Dave Semel, the series explores the personal and professional life of maverick female Secretary of State Elizabeth McGill (Tea Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. Miller, repped by UTA and The Katz Co, will play Daisy, McGill’s press coordinator. Hall is exec producing with Semel and Revelation’s Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Tracey Mercer.
Related: 2014 CBS Pilots
Ciara Bravo (Big Time Rush) and Nolan Sotillo (Prom) have booked lead roles on Fox’s pilot Red Band Society, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. It is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Bravo, repped by The Savage Agency, Management 101 and attorney Bob Myman, will play Emma, a beautiful patient on the pediatric ward struggling with anorexia. CESD-repped Sotillo will play Jordi Palacios, a very smart and resourceful young man who refuses to take “No” for an answer. Bravo is repped by Authentic, Management 101 and Savage; Sotillo is with Cunningham Escott Slevin & Doherty.
Related: 2014 Fox Pilots
Charlie Rowe, Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Affair) and Zoe Levin are set to co-star opposite Octavia Spencer in Fox’s drama project Red Band Society, from Amblin Television and ABC Studios. Written by Margaret Nagle based on the Spanish series Polseres Vermelles, Red Band Society is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Rowe, repped by UTA and ARG Talent in UK, will play Leo, the leader of sorts of the group of teens who has osteosarcoma. Levin, repped by CAA, Principato-Young, and Patti Felker, plays another teen, the beautiful and smart but mean Kara, a head cheerleader who finds herself in the hospital pediatrics ward after she passes out during a practice. Gersh-repped Rittenhouse plays Nurse Brittany, a new hire on the pediatric ward.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is set as a lead in Fox’s drama project Red Band Society, from Amblin Television and ABC Studios. Based on the acclaimed Spanish series Polseres Vermelles by Albert Espinosa, Red Band Society is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Spencer will play Nurse Jackson, who works in the pediatrics ward. She’s an excellent, intuitive nurse and a tough customer who doesn’t put up with any crap from anyone. Red Band Society, written by Margaret Nagle, has a “series prototype” order under Fox’s new development model, which involves a pilot and backup scripts. his marks the first series regular role for Spencer, who won an Oscar for The Help. Earlier this season, she was attached to a Murder, She Wrote reboot at NBC and received a slew of pilot offers in the past couple of weeks before deciding on Red Band. Spencer most recently was in Fruitvale Station and next will be seen in the James Brown biopic Get On Up and Black And White opposite Kevin Costner. She is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.
Katja Herbers (De storm) has been cast in WGN America‘s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan, from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Herbers, repped by All Star Agency and Lasher Group, will play Helen Price, a member of Frank Winter’s team and one of the few female physicists assigned to the Manhattan Project.She joins previously cast John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern, Rachel Brosnahan, Ashley Zukerman, and Harry Lloyd. Herbers is. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Fox chairman Kevin Reilly quickly is putting his money where his mouth is, making his first move since announcing Monday that the network is abandoning the traditional pilot season for a new development approach that focuses on series. That involves making fewer pilots at different times during the year, all geared towards series, or going straight to series on some concepts that had been fully developed with multiple scripts and a bible.
Related: Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: Practical Guide To How Will It Work
Drama Red Band Society, From Amblin Television and ABC Studios, is getting a firm go on a “series prototype”, a pilot-type production order, plus additional backup scripts. Another drama, Runner (working title), from Sander/Moses Prods., Peter Horton and 20th TV, has received what Fox calls “an off-cycle commitment for further investment towards series production” this summer. That means backup scripts, hiring writers and writing a bible with an eye towards a straight to series pickup. Both projects are adaptation of European formats. Read More »
Amblin TV and ABC Studios are taking another stab at adapting the acclaimed Spanish hospital series Polseres Vermelles (Red Band Society), this time for Fox. The network has put in development the project, which will be written by Side Order Of Life creator Margaret Nagle. Red Band Society is a coming-of-age drama with humor set at a big-city hospital. Unlike most hospital series, it doesn’t center on the doctors but on the patients. It explores with dark humor the daily life of a group of teenage kids living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. The depth of these unexpected friendships allow them to survive the challenges of growing up under such intense circumstances. Red Band Society is based on the Filmax-produced 2011 series Polseres Vermelles for Catalonia’s TV3 network, which was created by Albert Espinosa. (you can watch the opening sequence with English subtitles below) Amblin TV (then DreamWorks TV) first developed an U.S. adaptation of Polseres Vermelles two seasons ago with Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman as writer. Back then, Fox aggressively pursued the project but lost out to ABC in a bidding war. The format was originally brought to WME, which reps Amblin TV, by former Endeavor agent-turned-producer Sergio Aguero (No Reservations), who produces primarily international and Latin source material. UTA-repped Nagle, writer of the upcoming feature The Good Lie starring Reese Witherspoon, is exec producing with Justin Falvey, Darryl … Read More »