After two development cycles and two pilots, the CW is throwing in the towel on bringing Keira Cass’ book The Selection to the small screen. By all accounts, the second pilot, which was shot in Budapest, was an improvement over last year’s effort. But in the end I hear the finished product, while beautifully shot, was not compelling enough. I hear CW brass felt that there was no room for two kings-and-castles series on the schedule, and Reign came in stronger.
Rosa Salazar (Parenthood) has been cast in Fox‘s drama pilot Boomerang, from John Wells Prods. and Warner Bros TV. It is about the Hamiltons — parents (Anthony LaPaglia and Felicity Huffman) and grownup sons (Michael Stahl-David and Patrick Heusinger) — who serve as assassins for the federal government. Salazar, repped by Seven Summits and TalentWorks, plays Olive, the ex-girlfriend who Sam (Stahl-David) has never forgotten. The casting stems from the talent deal Fox signed with Salazar following her co-starring role on the network’s comedy pilot Little Brother last year. She recently guest starred on Fox’s Ben & Kate.
Brit Ben Aldridge, repped by Anonymous and Hamilton/Hodell, rounds out the regular cast of the CW/WBTV pilot The Selection. He plays Prince Rafe, the younger brother of Prince Maxon (Michael Malarkey) who loves his country and takes his leadership role seriously — but he does have a secret.
Evie Thompson has joined the cast of the CW pilot Company Town, about the aftermath of a scandal at a Naval base. It centers on Krista (Gage Golightly) and Page (Stella Maeve) that touches the lives of both civilians and military personnel. Thompson, repped by Coast To Coast and Wishlab, will Page’s enthusiastic, yet emotionally scarred teen sister. She will next be seen in The Call and …
EXCLUSIVE: The CW‘s The Selection reboot has found its queen. CSI and Stargate Universe alumna Louise Lombard has joined the project based on Kiera Cass’ book. The Selection, written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain and directed by Alex Graves, is an epic romance centering on America Singer (Yael Grobglas), a working-class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Lombard will play the current queen, Queen Amberly. Refined, intelligent and beloved by the people, Queen Amberly is a canny political player within the palace, and knows everything there is to know about every single girl in The Selection competition. The role was played by Leonor Varela in the original pilot last year. Lombard, repped by Paradigm and Affirmative Entertainment, was recently seen in the BBC film Dripping In Chocolate.
In his first pilot season in the U.S., young British actor Lucien Laviscount (Skins) has landed one of the male leads in the CW reboot of The Selection after arriving in Los Angeles less than three weeks ago. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on America Singer (Yael Grobglas), a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Laviscount, repped by Industry Entertainment, Waring and McKenna in the UK and attorney Adam Kaller, will play Aspen Leger, a handsome/brave young man from the servant class who is having a secret, illegal relationship with America. The role was played by fellow Brit William Moseley last season. Laviscount first got in pilot action last year when he auditioned via tape from Britain, landing a co-starring role in NBC’s Midseason Sun.
The CW also has made a key addition to its other royal pilot, Reign, from CBS TV Studios, with the casting of Megan Follows (Anne Of Green Gables). It chronicles the rise to power of Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis (Toby Regbo), and with her best friends as ladies-in-waiting. Follows, repped by …
EXCLUSIVE: In her first pilot season in the U.S., Israeli actress Yael Grobglas has landed one of the most sought-after roles for young actresses, the lead in the CW drama The Selection. Because of a theater commitment in her native country, I hear Grobglas, who is of French-Austrian decent, only had two weeks to audition in Los Angeles before returning home. They resulted in her booking America Singer. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on America Singer (Grobglas), a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Warner Bros. TV is producing the pilot, written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain based on Kiera Cass’ book. Aimee Teegarden, who played America in The Selection last year, is the lead of another CW pilot this year, Oxygen. Two other Selection cast members from last year, Sean Patrick Thomas and Peta Sergeant, are reprising their roles. While an unknown in the U.S., Grobglas has played the lead of a series before – she toplined the Israeli series Tanuhi (Give It A Rest). She is with Thruline and attorney Jamie Feldman.
Joey McIntyre & Jessica Chaffin Join CBS Pilot ‘The McCarthys’, CW’s ‘The Selection’ Brings Back Peta Sergeant
EXCLUSIVE: Actor-singer Joey McIntyre has been cast in CBS/Sony TV single-camera comedy pilot The McCarthys. Also added to the pilot, written by Brian Gallivan, directed by Fred Savage and executive produced by Will Gluck, is Jessica Chaffin, joining previously cast Jacki Weaver, Jake Lacy and Jack McGee. The McCarthys revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son (Lacy) whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. McIntyre will play Gerard McCarthy, the one short guy in the family who is mad about it. Chaffin, repped by CAA and attorney Jeff Endlich, plays his sister Jackie, who swings wildly from overconfidence to insecurity, and is completely unaware that she’s her mother’s (Weaver) least favorite. This marks McIntyre’s first regular series gig since David E. Kelley’s Boston Public. At CBS, he is joining fellow New Kids On The Block bandmate Donnie Wahlberg, who co-stars on Blue Bloods. McIntyre, repped by Domain and KLWGN, will next be seen in Paul Feig’s The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.
EXCLUSIVE: The CW has set directors for three of its drama pilots. Alex Graves will direct and executive produce The Selection. Written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, Selection is based on the book by Kiera Cass. Set 300 years in the future, the epic romance centers on a working-class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. This marks the second Selection pilot ordered by the CW; the first one last season was directed by Mark Piznarski. Last year, Graves directed the pilot for ABC’s horror/mystery drama 666 Park Ave. He also helmed the pilot for Fox’s Fringe as virtually all of his pilots have gone to series. Additionally, Graves directed the two-hour opener of Fox’s Terra Nova.
Another director whose pilot last season went to series, Bharat Nalluri, is back on pilot-directing duty. He will direct and executive produce The Hundred. Written/executive produced by Jason Rothenberg, the pilot is based on the books by Kass Morgan. Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, it revolves around 100 juvenile delinquents sent back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. Warner Bros TV and Alloy are producing. Last season, WME-repped Nalluri directed the pilot for the CW’s Emily Owens MD.
The CW today got on the pilot board with its first orders, a Selection redo and Taylor Hackford’s Company Town. They join The Originals, the planted Vampire Diaries spinoff, which will air as an episode of the hit drama in April.
The CW brass has been high on the concept for the Hunger Games-esque The Selection since the project was pitched in 2011. The network first ordered a pilot for the adaptation of the book by Kiera Cass last year. The project, written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, didn’t make the cut to series, but the network kept it in redevelopment, ordering a new script from Craft and Fain. CW president Mark Pedowitz recently said that the network is quite happy with the duo’s new treatment, which is now getting a pilot green light. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is described as an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Balancing her loyalty to family, true love, and kingdom, she must attempt to remain true to herself as she navigates the cutthroat competition and palace intrigue, all while a budding rebellion threatens to topple the crown. Warner Bros. TV is producing.…
William Moseley has joined the cast of The Silent Mountain. Moseley, best known for his Peter Pevensie role in the Chronicle of Narnia movies, will play a young lover in the romantic drama. The British-born Moseley was selected earlier this year as one of the leads in the CW pilot The Selection. While not picked up, the show could air midseason. Silent Mountain tells the story of a young couple preparing to get married as Europe descends into World War I. Ernst Gossner will direct. Heinz Stussak, producer of the Oscar nominated Revanche, will produce The Silent Mountain. Eugenia Costantini plays the other young lover. Claudia Cardinale also stars. The film is scheduled to start shooting in Italy later this month. Moseley is repped by Paradigm, manager David Guillod and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
The CW had been open to launching as many as six new drama series next season and it may still do it. The network picked up five pilots to series and the one that just missed the cut, The Selection, remains in serious contention. I hear CW brass are planning to sit down with the producers of the project next week to discuss its redeveloping. Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, who wrote the adaptation of Kiera Cass’ novels, are expected to remain on board but instead of staying close to the source material as they did this season, they will likely use the books more of a jumping-off point the second time around. The cast is expected to change, but the CW and The Selection studio Warner Bros TV are looking to keep the lead – Friday Night Lights‘ Aimee Teegarden — who got high marks. The project is being put on a fast track and, if it comes together, could join the CW’s schedule in midseason. “I truly believe that there is a series in The Selection,” CW president Mark Pedowitz said after the network’s upfront presentation today.
As part of Pedowitz’s efforts to re-introduce comedy series on the network, the CW developed several half-hour scripts. None of them was picked up to pilot — Pedowitz explained the decision with the need to stabilize the schedule, which is done easier with hourlong series. Now that he feels the lineup is in good shape, Pedowitz said he will focus attention on comedies. Of the half-hour scripts that the CW developed this past cycle, two remain in contention: an adaptation of the 2009 British comedy FM starring pre-Bridesmaids Chris O’Dowd, about two radio DJs and their producers; and the Ben McMillan- and Josh Greenbaum-written and Craig Zadan- and Neil Meron-produced Swordfighting, about two young couples. While one of the scripts is written as a single-camera and one as multi-, both may be done as single-camera as the CW will likely re-introduce scripted comedy to its drama-heavy lineup with single-camera shows. Like The Selection, the two comedy projects could be piloted off cycle and launch later in the season.
The broadcast networks left an uncharacteristically small number of pilots in midseason contention this year. The strongest among them is the Fox drama Guilty starring Cuba Gooding Jr, who tested very high. The network picked up only two new drama series for next season, making a third order a possibility despite limited shelf space.
Magical procedural Gotham still has a pulse at ABC and also is exploring a potential cable play. There are several pilots that are dead but their concepts are not: ABC comedy Only Fools And Horses, based on a British series and which is a favorite of ABC boss Paul Lee, will likely be redeveloped. Ditto for American Judy as ABC brass love star Judy Greer and the fish-out-of-water premise of her pilot this year and are looking to develop a new vehicle for her in that vein.
Similarly, the CW is expected to take another stab at developing a TV series based on The Selection series of books by Kiera Cass. The network brass are very keen on having a show on the air that is thematically close to the blockbuster The Hunger Games movie franchise the way the network’s hit The Vampire Diaries is to Twilight.
Beyond that, there are several pilots being shopped elsewhere, including comedies El Jefe, Super Fun Night and Oh Fk, It’s You.
The CW has made five new drama series pickups, with all early standouts making the cut. That includes the Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries, the Green Arrow-themed Arrow, the contemporary reboot of the 1980s series Beauty and the Beast, mystery Cult and medical drama First Cut starring Mamie Gummer.
Picking up five new scripted series is a record for the CW which, under new topper Mark Pedowitz, has vowed to increase the amount of originals on the air at any time, avoiding long spells of repeats. The CW also has been planning to employ the cable model of shorter seasons with some of its series, including Cult, which had been envisioned from the get-go as doing 13 episodes a season. There had been speculation that the CW would pick up as many as 5-6 of its eight pilots to series. The sixth drama pilot that had been in serious contention but did not get a nod today was the book adaptation The Selection whose chances were boosted by its similarities to the blockbuster Hunger Games movie franchise. Were those similarities too close for comfort?
The large number of new series pickups does not bode well for the CW many bubble series but a couple, like Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and maybe Nikita, would likely make the cut. Studio-wise, three of the five new CW series, Carrie Diaries, Arrow and Cult, hail from Warner Bros. TV, the other two from CBS TV Studios. Two of the series are co-produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s WBTV-based Fake Empire, while Arrow is with Berlanti Prods.
(RE-POSTED FROM FRIDAY): Back by popular demand: Deadline’s Pilot Buzz lists. We’re earlier than normal this year while pilots have generally been late, with only a handful of them having cuts by now and the vast majority still in various stages of production. Therefore, everything on this list has to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt as a lot could change between a table read and a final cut. Take NBC’s comedy pilot SAVE ME for example. After some mixed and even negative chatter early on, mostly related to the tone of the show, originally developed for Showtime, the tide changed completely over the last two days when people saw the completed pilot, which is getting high marks. The list also doesn’t cover every pilot as some of them have not gotten into production yet or feedback has been insufficient:
The network already has one new scripted series on tap for next season, HANNIBAL, which I hear may go for midseason. With the network in such bad shape after years of neglect and bad decisions by previous regimes, NBC seems to have cast a very wide net this season, developing a vast range of projects that are all over the map, making it harder to handicap. On the drama side, mystery MIDNIGHT SUN and the Jekyll & Hyde-esque DO NO HARM are getting some solid early buzz. The Jason Katims/Jason Ritter medical drama COUNTY, which just wrapped, also has been getting positive feedback. Western-esque THE FRONTIER, which is shooting in Australia, is getting notices for its rich look. Comedy-wise, ANIMAL KINGDOM is hot, as is White House family comedy 1600 PENN, despite a last-minute recasting, as well as the Matthew Perry starrer GO ON and Greg Daniels’ FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER. The network also is high on a couple of multi-camera comedies, the untitled KARI LIZER and JIMMY FALLON projects, with TABLE FOR THREE also looking encouraging so far. The Ryan Murphy/Ali Adler blended family comedy THE NEW NORMAL is still shooting but, with the auspices involved, it is considered a strong contender. NBC brass seem to like the SARAH SILVERMAN pilot, which had an early order, but Silverman is considered acquired taste, so a lot will depend on testing.
The KEVIN WILLIAMSON project was very strong at the script stage, got even stronger with the casting of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and seems to be sailing through production. Meanwhile the untitled KARYN USHER teen-spy drama, which also was an early standout during the script phase, then hit a speed bump in casting the lead, which took a very long time, now appears to be in great shape, with newcomer Saxon Sharbino getting strong reviews. The Williamson and Karyn projects seem to be the top drama contenders at the moment,
EXCLUSIVE: The Chronicles Of Narnia star William Moseley has landed one of the most buzzed-about pilot roles this season: He will play Aspen in the CW’s drama pilot The Selection. Based on the upcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is described as an epic romance set 300 years in the future. Written by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain and directed by Mark Piznarski, it centers on America Singer (Aimee Teegarden), a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to marry Prince Maxon (Ethan Peck) and become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads. Moseley, repped by Intellectual Artists Management, Paradigm and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will play the other male lead, Aspen Leger, a handsome and brave young man with a regal bearing under his ragged clothes who belongs to the servant class and has to support his entire family. He is having a secret, illegal relationship with America since it’s not allowed to date anyone out of one’s caste. Despite his love for her, when he learns she has a shot at bettering her and her family’s lives by competing in The Selection, he takes himself out of the picture by enlisting in the royal army. Also cast in the Warner Bros TV-produced pilot, which has been compared to The Hunger Games, is Andrew Elvis Miller in the guest-starring role of Gavril, …
EXCLUSIVE: Leonor Varela (Blade II) and Martin Donovan (Boss) are set to co-star in the CW’s drama pilot The Selection, which has been compared to The Hunger Games. Based on the upcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is described as an epic romance set 300 years in the future. Written by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain and directed by Mark Piznarski, it centers on America Singer (Aimee Teegarden), a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to marry Prince Maxon (Ethan Peck) and become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads. Varela and Donovan will play Maxon’s parents, Queen Amberly and King Clarkson. Varela, repped by KLWGN, just wrapped a six-episode arc on TNT’s Dallas reboot. Donovan is with Buchwald/Fortitude and Parseghian Planco.
EXCLUSIVE: The CW tapped the offspring of acting royalty to play the prince in its futuristic drama pilot The Selection. Ethan Peck (full name Ethan Gregory Peck), the grandson of Oscar winner Gregory Peck, is set to star opposite Aimee Teegarden in the project, which draws parallels to The Hunger Games. Based on the upcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is described as an epic romance set 300 years in the future. Written by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain and directed by Mark Piznarski, it centers on America Singer (Teegarden), a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to marry Prince Maxon (Peck) and become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads. Maxon has an unusual run-in with potential bride America and is impressed and intrigued with her honesty and moxie. The CW has history of casting on its shows young actors who are the descendants of movie icons. Steven R. McQueen, the grandson of Steve McQueen, plays Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) brother on hit Vampire Diaries. Peck’s credits include feature In Time, a regular role on ABC Family’s 10 Things I Hate About You and an arc on the CW’s Gossip Girl. He is with ICM.
Robert Knepper is set to co-star in the CW drama pilot Cult. The project, from Warner Bros TV and Fake Empire, centers on Skye (Jessica Lucas), an inquisitive young female production assistant on a wildly popular television show called Cult who, after a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, joins a journalist blogger in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life. Prison Break and Heroes alum Knepper will play actor Roger Reeves, who portrays charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm on the show-within-a-show. Billy is a charismatic madman who commands his own cult of followers willing to do anything Billy asks of them — including kidnapping and murder. Meanwhile, off-screen Roger is an affable, working actor. Knepper, repped by Innovative Artists and Kramer Management, will next be seen in Universal’s R.I.P.D.
Friday Night Lights‘ Aimee Teegarden has landed the lead in another CW drama pilot, Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain’s The Selection. Based on the upcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is an epic romance set 300 years in the future that centers on America Singer (Teegarden), a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads. Teegarden is with Innovative.
The CW today gave the green light to three more drama pilots: J.J. Abrams and Mark Schwahn’s Shelter; Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain’s The Selection; and Bert Royal’s Joey Dakota, which has Mark Harmon executive producing. That brings the total number of hourlong pilots picked up at the CW this year to eight, which is at the high end of projections and a record for the 6-year-old network. The CW also re-entered the comedy arena this development season with several scripts. Word is that the network still may order 1-2 half-hour pilots, but they will likely be off-cycle.
Shelter, written by One Tree Hill creator/showrunner Schwahn and produced by Warner Bros TV, is set at a historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own. WME-repped Abrams and Schwahn are executive producing through their companies Bad Robot and Mastermind Laboratories, along with Bad Robot’s Bryan Burk. This marks Abrams’ first project at the CW. It reunites him with CW president Mark Pedowitz and EVP Development Thom Sherman, who worked with him at ABC and ABC Studios. Most recently, Pedowitz was president of ABC Studios, where Abrams was under an overall deal before moving to WBTV in 2006, and Sherman ran Abrams’ production company Bad Robot for two years before joining …