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Stephen Hopkins To Direct NBC Drama Pilot ‘Beautiful People’

By | Tuesday December 13, 2011 @ 6:50pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning helmer Stephen Hopkins has been tapped to direct NBC’s futuristic drama pilot Beautiful People. The project, written by Cougar Town co-executive producer/director/actor Michael McDonald, is set in the near future in a society where humans co-exist with mechanical androids that look like people but are treated like second-class citizens. Beautiful People, which Mad TV alum McDonald originally wrote 10 years ago, is co-produced by ABC Studios and Universal TV. Hopkins has directed the pilots for such series as Fox’s 24, Showtime’s Californication and the network’s upcoming House Of Lies.

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Ahoy Matey: Fox Eyes Pirate Limited Series From Ridley And Tony Scott

By | Tuesday May 24, 2011 @ 8:56am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: While Jack Sparrow is frolicking on the big screen in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, his brethren are becoming a hot commodity on TV. Just as FX and Fox International Channels teamed with producers Graham King and Gale Anne Hurd for 17th century pirate drama Port Royal, another pirate series is setting sail at Fox. The network is in negotiations for the project, Pyrates, which is envisioned as a 10-13-episode event-type limited series for summer 2012. The series was created by Law & Order/Numbers veteran Barry Schindel, with Stephen Hopkins (24) on board to direct the first episode. Indie producer Ensemble Entertainment is producing in association with Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. Based on historical events, Pyrates is described as a gritty portrayal of the men and women who pulled off the largest heist on pirate history — the capture of the Spanish silver fleet in 1628 — sparking the golden age of piracy, a time when there was greater honor amongst thieves than those who hunted them. Ensemble is exploring an international co-production model for the project and is scouting potential locations for the production, including the Caribbean and Australia. Endemol will handle international distribution for Pyrates through the first-look deal with Ensemble the company signed last fall. Read More »

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Showtime Developing Comedy Series Adaptation Of Comic ‘Chew’

By | Thursday March 24, 2011 @ 2:35pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Showtime has bought a script for Chew, a quirky half-hour cop show based on John Layman and Rob Guillory’s bestselling comic book of the same name. Stephen Hopkins is attached to direct and executive produce the project, which hails from Circle of Confusion, the company behind AMC’s hit series adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer (Eureka) wrote the Chew script, which will now be tweaked under Showtime’s guidance. Chew tells the darkly comic story of federal agent Tony Chu, a “cibopath” able to get psychic impression from the things he eats who is assigned to the most usual and bizarre crimes. “There are a lot of superhero comic books, but there are not many food comic books,” Layman told me back in July when the TV project was still in the nascent stages. Along with Hopkins, Burton, Milbauer, David Engel and Circle of Confusion are also executive producing Chew, with Hopkins’ producing partner Kate Garwood expected to produce in some capacity. Hopkins has a longstanding relationship with Showtime: He directed the pilot for the network’s dark comedy series Californication and recently helmed an episode of freshman drama Shameless as well as one of Showtime’s recently ordered pilots, the Don Cheadle starrer House of Lies.

In addition to The Walking Dead, which has been renewed for a second season, Circle of Confusion is executive producing Powers, a drama project based on the comic by … Read More »

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Comedy About Big Business Nears Pilot Pickup At Showtime

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: It could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle. Matthew Carnahan’s half-hour script House of Lies, set in the world of corporate management consulting, was put in development under previous Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt and was turned in just as the pay cable network was undergoing a regime change in the summer. But new Showtime programming chief David Nevins read it shortly after he started and got behind it right away, putting the project on the fact track and attaching Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins to direct it. Now I hear Nevins is eying it as his potential second pilot order following the pickup of drama Homeland starring Claire Danes. The green light is contingent on locking in the lead, which may not be far off. I hear Don Cheadle is in talks to star in the project, which is described as a sophisticated dark comedy about Marty, a thirtysomething top management consultant who is cutthroat and not afraid to play dirty. Dirt creator Carnahan is executive producing House of Lies with Jessika Borsiczky (FlashForward). Production on Homeland, which just cast Mandy Patinkin opposite Danes, starts on January 10 in Charlotte N.C.

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Circle Of Confusion & Stephen Hopkins To Develop TV Series Based On Comic ‘Chew’

Nellie Andreeva

comicon 2010EXCLUSIVE: Circle of Confusion, which is working on its first TV series, AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, is putting together another TV series project based on a comic book, John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew. Stephen Hopkins has come on board to direct and executive produce the project, which is in the process of locking in a writer. Chew tells the darkly comic story of federal agent Tony Chu, a “cibopath” able to get psychic impression from the things he eats who is assigned to the most usual and bizarre crimes. “There are a lot of superhero comic books but there are not chew01_c1many food comic books,” Layman said. “Food turned out to be a very universal theme embraced by readers.” For Layman, who has been writing comic books since 1995, this marks his first original creation and his first success. “It only took 15 years,” he quipped. Layman is celebrating another anniversary this year – he is heading to Comic-Con for the 20th consecutive year, and this time, he will have a table for Chew following the success of the series’ first two volumes. Circle of Confusion’s partners also will be going to Comic-Con, which will feature a panel for Walking Dead on Friday. The company, which represents many comic book writers, also has Powers, a drama project based on the comic by Brian Michael Bendis … Read More »

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