The hottest showrunner at the moment is a free agent no more. Breaking Bad creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan has signed a rich new overall deal with Sony Pictures TV, the studio behind his acclaimed AMC drama. There had been strong interest among all studios in signing Gilligan, whose Sony TV overall deal had expired. I hear it came down to Sony and Warner Bros TV, with Gilligan ultimately opting to stay at his home for the past six years. “Vince is an incredible writer and partner, and he shares our vision for the business and for the kinds of projects we’re passionate about,” said SPT president of programming and production Jamie Erlicht. “There wasn’t a world where we weren’t making this deal.”
Gilligan already has two new series with Sony TV, Battle Creek at CBS and the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul at AMC. Those projects will remain outside the eight-figure new Sony overall deal, which is strictly for television. It will cover all future TV development by The X Files alum Gilligan, who is expected to focus his attention to cable where had his biggest success with Breaking Bad. The dark AMC drama became that rare underrated cable show, which grew into a monster critical and commercial hit and a pop culture phenomenon. The first part of its final season won the best drama series Emmy this year, and its series finale shattered ratings records with more than 10 million tuning in to see it live. “With Vince, you forget you’re working and just become a fan,” said SPT president of programming and production Zack VanAmburg. “His stories are captivating, his energy is electric, and his friendship is appreciated.” Gilligan is with ICM Partners.
Here’s an original idea: A horror-themed game show. Sony Pictures Television‘s UK production joint venture Gogglebox created and is producing Release The Hounds, a one-hour format that mixes the two … Read More »
Sony Pictures Television will introduce a new reality series format at MIPCOM — Milky Way Mission — which will send celebrities into space. The news comes as Survivor and The Voice producer Mark Burnett is … Read More »
ABC has put in development How To Be An Adult, a comedy from writer and Groundlings, Second City and UCB alum Nick Kreiss and Sony TV. Inspired by Kreiss’ life, the hybrid workplace … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Besides being a comedy star, Community and The Hangover standout Ken Jeong is a licensed physician. His life before going into comedy will be the subject of Dr. Ken, a multi-camera comedy that has landed at NBC with a significant penalty. Feature comedy writer Jared Stern (The Internship) is writing the project, from Community producer Sony Pictures TV and John Davis and John Fox’s studio-based Davis Entertainment. Stern, Davis and Fox executive produce, with Jeong co-executive producing. Jeong is a regular on Community, whose upcoming fifth season is rumored to be the cult comedy’s last — but that is never certain as Community has defied the odds before. But even if Community continues for another season and Dr. Ken goes to series, things could be worked out as both shows are with NBC and Sony TV. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: NBC‘s The Blacklist, a drama about a criminal working with the FBI from Sony Pictures TV and Davis Entertainment, is among the hottest new series this fall. Now NBC, Sony and Davis Entertainment are … Read More »
Scott Landsman has been promoted to SVP, comedy development for Sony Pictures Television. He will continue to develop half-hour series for the studio, reporting to Glenn Adilman, EVP, U.S. comedy development. Landsman, previously VP, U.S. comedy … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy’s hot summer continues with another very big commitment for a half-hour project. In a competitive situation with multiple networks bidding, Sony TV/Peter Tolan‘s pitch Irreversible, based on the Israeli series Bilti Hafich, landed at ABC. The network has greenlighted a pilot with a big, seven-figure penalty behind it off of a pitch — a rare feat for any pitch and a first for an Israeli format. In another first for a format originating from the Middle Eastern country, Irreversible will be written solely by the Israeli co-creator of the original series Segahl Avin, who also will direct the U.S. pilot. Avin is executive producing with Fedora’s Tolan and Michael Wimer and Reshet TV, the Israeli broadcaster behind the original series. Irreversible centers on Andy and Sarah, a somewhat eccentric, self-absorbed couple, and their trials and tribulations — most of which they bring upon themselves. Bilti Hafich became an instant hit when it launched in January. It ranks as the No.1 original comedy on Israeli broadcast TV and has already been renewed for a second season. Irreversible reunites ABC, Sony TV and Reshet. Last development season, they teamed to adapt another 2013 Reshet comedy format, Divorce, which went to pilot and remains in contention at ABC after the cast’s options were extended. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline reported this week that Sony TV will produce an El Mariachi series based on the 1992 Robert Rodriguez film. Now … Read More »
The wandering music man of Mexico is returning to the screen – the small screen not the big one this time. Sony Pictures Television and Teleset announced today that they are adapting El Mariachi for the Latin … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jon Bokenkamp, the creator/executive producer of NBC‘s upcoming fall drama The Blacklist, has inked a two-year overall deal with the series’ producer Sony Pictures TV. Blacklist, which NBC said was its highest-testing drama pilot … Read More »
UPDATE, 9:05 AM: After a premature tweet by Starz last week, Sam Heughan was officially set today as the male lead in the upcoming drama series Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels. ”I am UTTERLY delighted to confirm that Sam @Heughan is cast as Jamie Fraser in #Outlander_Starz #Outlander“ Gabaldon said on Twitter today. ”From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast. I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that’s what Sam did,” added executive producer Ron Moore in a statement. The Scotland-born Heughan is repped by UTA and Ruth Young at United Agents. Outlander begins shooting this fall in Scotland and is expected to debut on Starz next spring.
PREVIOUSLY, FRIDAY PM: Turns out Starz says its digital division made a mistake earlier today posting the tweet confirming Sam Heughan as the lead. Starz now has taken down the tweet announcing Heughan as Jamie Fraser in the TV adaptation of the Outlander series. A press rep says the actor is in talks with no deal finalized yet. “I can’t confirm that contract is signed, but saw @heughan audition tapes. #jawdrop,” tweeted Outlander author Diana Gabaldon on Friday after Starz had taken down the initial tweet. Read More »
ABC‘s comedy Happy Endings is not going to live up to its name but has cemented its cult status with an untimely death. I hear series’ leading studio Sony Pictures TV has ended its efforts … Read More »
Author Angela Wilder had sued CBS, Sony TV and Relativity Media among others in October alleging that her idea for a talk show based on motherhood was the real inspiration for CBS’ The Talk. CBS immediately … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: David Caspe is staying firmly in the Sony Pictures TV fold. The creator/executive producer of the studio’s cult ABC comedy Happy Endings has closed a new two-year overall deal with the studio. For the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The McCarthys creator Brian Gallivan has signed an overall deal with Sony TV, the studio behind the comedy pilot that remains in contention at CBS. Writer-actor-comedian Gallivan was a staff writer on Sony TV’s cult ABC comedy Happy Endings when his spec The McCarthys, with Sony TV-based Will Gluck attached as executive producer, landed at CBS with a put pilot commitment. It went to pilot, which missed the cut for a series pickup earlier this month but is being kept in consideration by CBS and may undergo some retooling. Loosely inspired by Gallivan’s life, the big family comedy revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. Under the overall pact at Sony, Gallivan will continue on The McCarthys, where he serves as executive producer alongside Gluck, and will develop new projects. Read More »
UPDATED: Exactly a week after its upfront presentation, CBS has picked up another comedy series for midseason, the single-camera Bad Teacher starring Ari Graynor, which has received a 13-episode order. Sony Pictures TV produced the pilot, an adaptation of the 2011 movie, which will now be a co-production with CBS TV Studios. Bad Teacher was among a slew of half-hour pilots that CBS were brass were high on this season. It screened and tested well and, despite not making the cut before the upfronts, talks between CBS and Sony continued through and after upfront week until a deal was reached. Bad Teacher brings the number of new CBS comedy series on tap for next season to a whooping six, the most in almost two decades. (Last season the network picked up a total of two, only one of which, Partners, got on the air.) CBS’ 2013-14 comedy class is split evenly between multi-camera (fall entries Mom and The Millers and midseason’s Friends With Better Lives) and single-cam (fall’s The Crazy Ones and We Are Men, plus Bad Teacher).
Related: CBS New Series Previews – Video
The pickup brings the number of new Sony broadcast series for next season to eight, a record for the independent studio. It was able to land new shows on every network (The Michael J. Fox Show, The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and After Hours at NBC, Rake and Us And Them on Fox, The Goldbergs on ABC and Bad Teacher on CBS). Sony was able to get The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and After Hours picked up and Community renewed for a final season in a complex, hard-fought negotiation with NBC that went down to the wire and resulted in Sony getting all shows involved picked up and securing NBC’s best launching pad, the post-Voice Monday 10 PM slot, for Blacklist. Leveraging the red-hot Blacklist, which had tested through the roof, I hear Sony held firm, indicating it was ready to leave rather than take a bad deal. Meanwhile, I hear NBC got ownership in Blacklist, which could make hundreds of millions of dollars profit in success, and is paying license fee vs. full freight on Community. Read More »
Univision jumped the gun on Friday when it announced during its upfront presentation that it has greenlighted a Spanish language adaptation of Breaking Bad — before there was a deal with series producer Sony Pictures … Read More »