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It’s January Spec Script Bonanza At The Broadcast Networks

Nellie Andreeva

“Got any specs?” has become a popular refrain around Hollywood these days as pilot spec scripts are thriving in a very unusual network executive environment – new top programmers at two of the major broadcast networks, NBC and ABC. With Paul Lee joining ABC in the end of summer when buying season was already underway, and especially Bob Greenblatt, who is just now taking over NBC, studios and producers had been betting that there would be strong demand for specs as the execs may not be that attached to projects they didn’t develop and may look outside for fresh scripts that are ready to shoot.

The gamble seems to be paying off. All 4 pilots Greenblatt greenlighted today were spec (though one, Michael Patrick King’s Mann’s World, was originally bought by NBC’s old regime in early November.) That includes the Steven Spielberg-produced musical Smash, from DreamWorks TV and UMS, which Greenblatt originally developed at Showtime, David E. Kelley/WBTV’s Wonder Woman, which was shopped earlier this month, and a comedy from writer Jhoni Marchiko and 20th TV, which was taken out earlier this week.

Meanwhile, ABC has been in talks about a Cirque … Read More »

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Fox Picks Up Tim Kring Drama Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

Heroes creator Tim Kring is back with his first pilot since the superhero NBC drama, and this time, it is at Fox. Fox has given a pilot order to Touch, another project with supernatural overtones from Kring, which is being produced by 20th TV and studio-based Chernin Entertainment. Touch centers on a father who discovers that his autistic, mute son can actually predict events before they happen. Kring wrote the project on spec, his first pilot script since Heroes. It was developed internally at Chernin Entertainment with the company’s head of TV Katherine Pope who had remained close with Kring after shepherding Heroes while at NBC and UMS. Because of 20th TV relationship with Fox, the spec was taken out to Fox first, and the network quickly gave it a pilot green light. Kring, Peter Chernin and Pope are executive producing Touch, one of two pilots picked up at Fox today. The network also greenlighted Little in Common, a single-camera comedy from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas.

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