Veteran showrunner René Echevarria has signed a premium two-script deal with Legendary Television. No concepts have been set yet, but I hear Echevarria may explore titles from Legendary’s movie library. He has background in shepherding big properties to the small screen with his tenure on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Echevarria also served as executive producer/showrunner on Fox’s Terra Nova and executive produced MTV”s Teen Wolf. Additionally, he co-created USANetwork’s The 4400 and worked on Medium and Castle.
Comic-Con formally began today with a little Intelligence. Though it was a bit less than promised. Showrunner Rene Echevarria was scheduled to appear today on the upcoming one-hour drama’s panel at Comic-Con but having departed the CBS show last week he was an obvious no-show this morning. Still creator/executive producer Michael Seitzman was there as were stars Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory and Marg Helgenberger and EP Tripp Vinson for what was one of the opening panels of this year’s San Diego confab. Set to debut in February, Intelligence focuses on a U.S. Cyber Command unit that has been created around one agent Gabriel (Holloway). The agent has a microchip implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum and the Internet.
The late starting panel opened with a special effect heavy and action packed preview of the first episode of the series. The show started with Holloway sneaking up on a satellite dish in the Himalayas to mentally tap into data and depictions of a terrorist attack and then being taken captive in a Pakistani military base – which of course he escaped from. It then shifted to Cyber Command where CSI alumni Helgenberger, who was walking around the Con yesterday, was introduced as Cyber Command director Lillian Stand. Once Upon A Time regular Ory plays Riley O’Neil, a Presidential detail Secret Service Agent assigned to protest the Gabriel character. I won’t say anymore except to add that a kidnapping of a top scientist by rogue Chinese operatives and paintball figure prominently in the episode. Echevarria’s name was among the EPs in the opening credits of the preview show. The packed Ballroom 20 loved the preview and they really loved it when former Lost star Holloway walked out for the panel.
EXCLUSIVE: Rene Echevarria joined CBS’ midseason drama pilot Intelligence as executive producer/showrunner in February to partner with creator/executive producer Michael Seitzman in running the series for ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios. Now we’ve learned he has left the series. I’ve heard that the spilt, which happened yesterday, was amicable. It’s unclear at this point what the structure will be on the show. Intelligence is set to premiere February 24 on CBS and alternate with new fall drama Hostages in the Monday 10 PM slot. The show is centers at U.S. Cyber Command unit that has been created around one agent (Josh Holloway) with a very special gift — a microchip has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine veteran Echevarria served as executive producer/showrunner on Fox’s Terra Nova and executive produced MTV”s Teen Wolf. He also co-created USA’s The 4400 and worked on Medium and Castle.
Rene Echevarria has joined CBS’ drama pilot Intelligence as executive producer/showrunner. He will be partnering with creator/executive producer Michael Seitzman in running the series for ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios. Based on unpublished book Dissident by John Dixon, Intelligence, which stars Josh Holloway, is centered at U.S. Cyber Command and focuses on a unit that has been created around one agent with a very special gift — a microchip has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Star Trek veteran Echevarria, repped by WME, served as executive producer/showrunner on Fox’s Terra Nova. He also co-created USA’s The 4400 and worked on Medium and Castle.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA
Fox’s drama Terra Nova is really going to premiere in September, the producers of the megabucks Fox prehistoric drama Terra Nova – which seemingly has been in some form of production since the Jurassic Period — assured critics and at a TCA panel this afternoon. Exec producers Rene Echevarria, Brannon Braga and Jon Cassar insisted that not only would the show be premiering on schedule with a two-hour rollout on Sept. 26; the other installments of the 13-episode production are finally coming along despite the challenging visual effects and production complexities stemming from the Queensland, Australia shoot. The two-hour pilot originally was earmarked to air in May, but issues stemming from the drama’s cutting-edge technology pushed it back to fall.
And now? Will everything be delivered on time? “Absolutely,” Echevarria assured the room. “Right now, we’re shooting episodes 8 and 9. We’re in post on 3, 4 and 5. We’re putting the finishing touches on the second hour of the dinosaur-rich pilot after doing some reshoots in Australia. We’re also prepping episodes 10 and 11. Just about every episode is in play right now … This show certainly is ambitious in scope and has it’s challenges. But we’ve finally wrangled it …There is a pipeline that has been created with the visual effects house as well as the animation and rendering and texturing. Was there a learning curve? Yes.”
Terra Nova executive producer/showrunner Rene Echevarria has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the upcoming pre-historic drama series, which recently scored high marks in network testings of the pilot. Under the two-year, seven-figure pact, he will continue to run Terra Nova, which is set to begin production on the remaining episodes of its 13-episode order on June 1 in Australia. The deal also includes potential development but, at least for the time being, he is expected to focus on Terra Nova full-time. Echevarria has a resume that features both sci-fi and character-driven shows, and 20th TV chairman Gary Newman called him “probably the perfect person to assume leadership of Terra Nova,” which he described as a compelling family drama with action and special effects. “This is the most ambitious special effect show ever done in television, which shoots on the other end of the world, so it requires somebody with the maturity, leadership and strength that Rene possesses,” Newman said.
From Ray Richmond, who has been contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
The word for months has been that the big, expensive new Fox drama series Terra Nova has been a show out of control, rife with cost overruns and writing staff replacements and, well, issues. The two-hour pilot had been ascribed a $14 million price tag, and it showed in the cinematic first trailer for the series, screened at the top of the presentation, which looked a lot like Avatar with the aerial shots and Avatar star Stephen Lang playing a role similar to the one in James Cameron’s blockbuster. But at an afternoon session promoting the show during Fox’s day at TCA, the producers downplayed all of the alleged issues, explaining that they emerged after the decision was made last year to move the production to Australia. “We had one writing staff change and that was really it,” insisted exec producer Brannon Braga.
“That rumor probably came out of the production delay, where it took us a little more time casting and finding a shooting location,” executive producer Rene Echevarria believes. “Because of the three-month delay, a lot of the writers had to move on to other projects in the interim. The challenge of casting a family took time, too.” Added Braga, “It wasn’t a matter of firing people and bringing others in.”
Chimed in exec producer/director Alex Graves: “It did take longer than expected to mount this. Creating a show is like …
A lot has been written lately, accurately and often inaccurately, about Fox’s high-profile prehistoric drama series Terra Nova whose behind-the-scene dealings are being put under a microscope because of the project’s enormous scope and the big auspices involved, executive producers Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin. Here is what has been going on at the show, which is entering production on its two-hour pilot episode tomorrow with a table read.
Writer comings and goings: Veteran showrunner Rene Echevarria has been brought in to oversee the two-hour pilot. He will work alongside Terra Nova executive producer/showrunner Brannon Braga with whom he has worked before. Echevarria, who has a strong track record in day-to-day showrunning, production and post-production, has been tasked with bringing a steady hand to a massive production that involves large sets, big cast led by Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang, and elaborate special effects. Echevarria was already at 20th TV – which produces Terra Nova with DreamWorks TV, Chernin Entertainment and Kapital Entertainment – as the writer-showrunner of the studio’s series adaptation of James Cameron’s True Lies for ABC. Braga used to get help from writing executive producer David Fury until, in a setback, he exited the series in September.
As for the other writers on Terra Nova, it is true that …
ABC, which has been largely out of the spy genre since Alias, is reentering it in a big way. The network, which already is developing a Charlie’s Angels reboot, just landed the series adaptation of James Cameron’s 1994 action comedy True Lies, in a premium deal that includes a large penalty. Cameron is executive producing the project, which was taken to the networks earlier this week, with Rene Echevarria, who will serve as writer and showrunner and Lightstorm’s Rae Sanchini and Jon Landau. 20th Century Fox TV is producing. (James Cameron Adapts ‘True Lies’ For TV)
The 1994 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis centered on Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger), a computer salesman/family man who lives a double life as a government spy. During a top-secret mission, Harry discovers that his mousy wife Helen (Curtis), is seeking adventure. Harry sets out to give her the excitement she craves while battling Middle Eastern terrorists who threaten nuclear war with the U.S.
Before True Lies, ABC tried to adapt another movie about a spy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The project was ordered to pilot in 2007 but didn’t go to series. In his development picks so far, new ABC chief Paul Lee has gone mostly for noisy, light/genre projects from proven auspices with premium deals for True Lies, Darren Star’s dramedy adaptation of the book …
EXCLUSIVE: After smashing box office records with Titanic, James Cameron segued to television with a primetime series. Now, after topping Titanic’s record haul with Avatar, Cameron is returning to TV with what is one of the hottest projects this development season: a TV series take on his 1994 action comedy True Lies that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. I hear the project, from Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV, is about to be taken out to the networks. Rene Echevarria is the writer/showrunner, exec producing with Cameron and Lightstorm’s Rae Sanchini and Jon Landau. The 1994 movie centered on Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger), a computer salesman/family man who lives a double life as a government spy. During a top-secret mission, Harry discovers that his mousy wife Helen (Curtis), is seeking adventure. Harry sets out to give her the excitement she craves while battling Middle Eastern terrorists who threaten nuclear war with the U.S.
After Titanic, which nabbed 11 Oscars, Cameron co-created and exec produced his first and only TV series to date, Fox’s sci-fi drama Dark Angel starring Jessica Alba. Echevarria worked on the show for its entire 2-season run, first as a co-executive producer and then as an exec producer. Lightstorm president Sanchini also served as a producer on the series. Echevarria, who co-created/executive produced the USA …