Schedule changes and lack of certain Primetime Emmy noms doesn’t keep Brooklyn Nine-Nine down. Co-creators Mike Schur and Dan Goor, EP David Miner, and the cast gathered on the CBS Radford lot today to give the TCA corps a look at their urban work environment and provide some insight into Season 2.
With Brooklyn now scheduled for 8:30 PM, and sandwiched between The Simpsons at 8 PM and The Family Guy-Simpsons crossover event at 9 PM, team Brooklyn isn’t daunted by the prospect that they’re one of two Fox live-action shows on Sunday, a night historically known for its animation lineup (the other series being Mulaney airing after Family Guy). Miner exclaimed, “This is a tremendous audience and we are with great comedies. We were thrilled when we got the call.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Television and David S. Goyer have optioned TV rights to horror novel Snowblind, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden (Ghosts Of Albion, Joe Golem And The Drowning City). The New England-set book, published earlier this year by St. Martin’s Press, tracks the denizens of a town still reeling from the disappearance of more than a dozen people who were snatched during a sinister snowstorm 12 years prior.
Goyer is coming off of Da Vinci’s Demons and Man of Steel and will supervise development and executive produce alongside Golden and Pete Donaldson. Project is being developed as a limited series. Snowblind also comes with a choice celebrity endorsement from horror maven Stephen King: “Snowblind is instantly involving and deeply scary. It will bring a blizzard to your bones (and your heart) even in the middle of July. Throw away all those old ‘it was a dark and stormy night’ novels; this one is the real deal. And watch out for that last page. It’s a killer.” Read More »
On the heels of getting her first pilot order, drama writer-producer Nikki Toscano also has landed her first overall deal. Toscano has signed a two-year overall pact with Universal TV, the studio behind her pilot as well as the series she has been working on, A&E’s Bates Motel. Toscano’s drama pilot at CBS, which she is executive producing with Bates Motel co-showrunner Kerry Ehrin, centers on a retired CIA operative who, when a terrorist event rocks Washington D.C., is pulled back into action, forced to investigate closer to home where the next generation of terrorists are being bred. “We have greatly valued the work of Nikki on Universal Television’s Bates Motel this season and it’s been a terrific experience developing a new drama pilot with her for CBS,” Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We’re eager to work for many years to come with this talented writer-producer.” Toscano, repped by UTA, manager Carel Cutler and attorney Patti Felker, previously worked as a producer on the first two seasons of ABC’s Revenge.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development The Money Pit, a comedy series based on the 1986 feature starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Amblin Television, the TV division of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, which produced the movie with Universal Pictures, is producing the potential series with Universal Television. Former Office writer-producer Justin Spitzer, who is under an overall deal at Uni TV, will write the adaptation and executive produce with Amblin TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The movie, written by David Giler and directed by Richard Benjamin, starred Hanks and Long as a couple who are tricked into buying a distress-sale mansion that becomes the proverbial “money pit,” requiring an endless string of repairs. This is the second sale for UTA-repped Spitzer this season. He also has a Detroit auto company comedy with producer Aaron Kaplan that has a put pilot commitment at NBC, and comedy Start-Up in development at USA Network. Spitzer joined The Office at the beginning of Season 3, rising to co-executive producer. Amblin’s portfolio includes series The Americans, Under The Dome, Falling Skies, the just-canceled Lucky 7 and the upcoming Extant.
Ed Helms has formed Pacific Electric Picture Co., which will be based at Universal TV, the studio behind The Office, with a first-look deal. Helms has brought in Mosaic’s Mike Falbo as Pacific Electric Picture’s EVP Production & Development. “We are such fans of Ed Helms from his body of work as an actor but we have always been impressed by his instincts and interest in producing,” said Universal Television EVP Bela Bajaria. While the deals for Pacific Electric Picture was still being hammered out, Helms recently sold the first project through the company — a comedy at ABC penned by Mike Arnold (Archer), which follows a brilliant and strong-willed attorney who loses her fiancé and job at the city’s top law firm and takes up with the scrappy, rival firm of misfits across the street. “I’m so thrilled to bring Mike on board the creative gravy train at Pacific Electric Picture Co,” Helms said. “He’s a genuine, wonderful guy with great taste, and a phenomenal work ethic. He also has great hair, which goes a long way in this business.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development Every Other Saturday, a single-camera comedy from British writer Neil Forsyth, Jon Pollack (Go On, 30 Rock), Amblin Television and Universal TV. It revolves around a good-hearted yet multiply flawed father trying to win over his son after a divorce, despite only having custody every other Saturday. The show was created by Forsyth, whom Amblin found in the UK and brought to the States. The company developed Every Other Saturday internally before introducing Forsyth to Pollack, with whom Amblin TV toppers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey previously worked on another ABC/DreamWorks TV comedy series, Spin City. Pollock came on board and will supervise and showrun through his overall deal at Universal TV. At ABC, Amblin TV has new drama series Lucky 7 as well as comedy pilot Middle Age Rage, which was kept in contention. The WME-repped company is behind the biggest sale so far this season, sci-fi spec Extant, which landed a straight-to-series order at CBS. Amblin’s other on-air series include CBS’ summer breakout Under The Dome, FX’s The Americans and TNT’s Falling Skies, all recently renewed.
On Friday, ABC Studios closed a put pilot commitment deal at CBS for Gorgeous Morons, a multi-camera comedy from Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky and Danny Chun, which the studio only shopped to outside networks. That was ABC Studios’ first major comedy commitment at a non-Disney network in many years as the studio is pushing a mandate to produce for all networks. (The studio has some tradition on the drama side with such series as Criminal Minds and the upcoming Intelligence, both on CBS.) Now CBS TV Studios, which had been focused entirely on its sibling broadcast networks CBS and CW, made it known this summer that it too will start selling to other broadcast networks. (The studio already has been developing for cable and has TNT series King & Maxwell.) In one of its first sales to a broadcast rival, CBS Studios has set up an untitled sisters comedy project from Danielle Sanchez-Witzel at ABC. The project, which stems from Sanchez-Witzel’s studio overall deal, centers on a woman with a messy life who moves in with her younger sister. It is one of several projects CBS Studios has at ABC and Fox. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mark Tinker has been named a non-writing executive producer of the upcoming NBC spinoff Chicago PD. He will be based in Chicago for the Wolf Films/Universal Television series, where he will lend a hand to busy series co-creator/executive producer Matt Olmstead, who under his new pact with Universal TV and Wolf Films is showrunner on Chicago PD while continuing in that role on flagship Chicago Fire — working on both with Chicago Fire creators/exec producers and Chicago PD co-creators/exec producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, as well as exec producer Wolf. Peter Jankowski and Danielle Gelber also exec produce Chicago PD, which is slated for midseason.
Will Packer, who has seen four of his films debut atop the domestic the box office chart, will develop new projects for Universal Television, it was announced today. The Think Like A Man producer has worked mostly in features, and this is his first overall TV deal. Along with Think Like A Man and its upcoming sequel, Packer’s movie credits include Stomp The Yard, Takers and Obsessed. “We have been impressed by his keen eye on the feature side with the several hit movies he’s produced. We are looking forward to bringing his enthusiasm and expertise into television,” said Bela Bajaria, EVP of Universal TV in a statement Tuesday. Packer also produced the Kevin Hart-Ice Cube comedy Ride Along, which Universal Pictures will release next January. The producer is making a habit of working with Hart; the busy actor-comic also stars in the Think Like a Man films along with the remake of About Last Night, which is set to hit theaters on Valentine’s Day. Packer also is producing No Good Deed, the Idris Elba-Taraji P. Henson thriller set for April 2014. He will follow that with Screen Gems’ Wedding Ringers. The producer, who was the subject of the inaugural Sundance Film Festival edition of Academy Conversations, is repped by UTA and attorney Matt Johnson at Ziffren.
Related: Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘Ride Along’
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: In another indication that they are high on drama pilot I Am Victor, I’ve learned that NBC and pilot’s producer Universal TV have extended the options on six cast members, led by star John Stamos, who plays the title character, an LA divorce attorney. Also picked up are Matthew Lillard, who plays Victor’s best friend; Angela Sarafyan, who plays Victor’s sassy assistant; Kosha Patel and Josh Zuckerman, who play young legal associates/interns; and McKaley Miller, who plays Victor’s daughter.
Earlier this month, the network commissioned a rewrite by Mark Goffman who wrote the original pilot. Based on Jo Nesbo’s book, I Am Victor centers on Victor Port (Stamos), a high-powered divorce attorney with a unique view of relationships. As we reported, the project is being retooled and likely will focus more on Victor’s legal cases while still dealing with his personal life as NBC brass liked the show’s legal world and Stamos, who tested very strong. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: How To Live With Your Parents creator Claudia Lonow has inked an overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, Lonow will join the writing staff of the studio’s upcoming NBC comedy series Sean Saves The World starring Sean Hayes and will also develop new projects. WME-repped Lonow is a rare female comedy writer-producer who has created four shows that have gotten on the air: Accidentally On Purpose for CBS, Rude Awakening for Showtime, Good Girl’s Don’t for Oxygen and most recently How To Live With Your Parents for ABC this past midseason. “Claudia is a gifted writer and producer with a strong female comedic point of view,” Universal TV’s EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We know she’ll contribute greatly to our new comedy Sean Saves The World and enhances our strong roster of creative talent at Universal Television.”
EXCLUSIVE: Writer John Glenn (Eagle Eye) has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television to develop new shows for the studio. The pact comes on the heels of Glenn writing two high-profile projects for NBC this past development season: the modern-day Hatfields & McCoys, through ABC Studios, which went to pilot, and modern-day Moby Dick drama Lost Horizon, a collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan through Sony, which had a put pilot commitment and I hear is now being discussed as a potential event series. Glenn also created Fix It Men, which is being put together as an international co-production/direct-to-series project with Sonar Entertainment, ABC Studios, and producer Mark Gordon. “John Glenn is a great writer with the ability to tap into different worlds and create layered and distinct characters,” Universal TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. On the film side, Glenn, repped by WME and manager Brian Lutz, recently delivered his script Abducted to Paramount and producer Mary Parent and is working with Norwegian director Andre Ovredal on a franchise spec.
Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz‘s Push It Prods. has signed a first-look deal with Universal TV’s Alternative Studio to develop and produce non-scripted projects. “We are very excited to be working with NBCUniversal,” said Hurwitz. Added Sykes, “Wait, I thought we were getting The Tonight Show.” Joking aside, Sykes would actually be qualified for that — she hosted and executive produced her own late-night talk show on Fox. She also co-created/executive produced and toplined the Fox comedy series Wanda At Large. Sykes, repped by WME and attorney Roger Pliakas, is among the top stand-up comedians, with her HBO specials earning multiple Emmy nominations. (She has won three sports Emmys for her work on Inside The NFL.) Hurwitz, repped by WME and attorney Marc Golden, has a history with NBC — she served as an executive producer on two NBC reality series featuring stand-up comedians, Last Comic Standing and Jerry Seinfeld’s The Marriage Ref. She also executive produced Rosie O’Donnell’s OWN daily talk show.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central executive-turned-producer Lou Wallach has signed an overall deal with Universal TV’s Alternative Studio. Under the pact, Wallach will develop, produce and consult on comedies of different formats, primarily for NBC but also possibly for other networks. Wallach most recently has been an independent producer and consultant. He executive produced Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, and BBC America’s Funny As Hell: UK and consulted for AMC, Comedy Central UK, MTVX, Red Bull Media House and Just For Laughs Festival. Previously, he was SVP, Original Programming at Comedy Central where he oversaw Chappelle’s Show, The Colbert Report, Comedy Central Presents, Crank Yankers, and Insomniac with Dave Attell.
Universal Television has signed an overall deal with Steve Cragg and Brian Bradley, the studio announced today. The two-year agreement between the producers and Universal starts in June. “Brian and Steven are experienced, talented showrunners and we look forward to making their next show through Universal TV, said Universal TV EVP Bela Bajaria on Monday. Bradley and Cragg previously had a deal with ABC Studios. The duo were consulting producers on Happy Endings and Scrubs. They wrote and executive produced the King Of Van Nuys pilot, which starred John Leguizamo, for ABC as well as worked on various other projects. Both Bradley and Cragg got their start as comedy writers on MadTV and Saturday Night Live respectively. Cragg later joined MadTV. Bradley is repped by UTA and attorney David Matlof at Hirsch Wallerstein. Cragg is repped by Paradigm and Fred Toczek at Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson, LLP.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Television has secured another key member of departing 30 Rock. Series executive producer Jack Burditt has signed a two-year overall deal with the studio behind the Emmy-winning NBC comedy, which ends its seven-season run January 31. Burditt joins 30 Rock creator/star/executive producer Tina Fey and star/producer Alec Baldwin, who also recently signed deals with Universal TV to remain at the studio following 30 Rock‘s end. “We are thrilled to continue our relationship at the studio with Jack after his invaluable contribution to 30 Rock,” Uni TV’s EVP Bela Bajaria said. “He’s a great showrunner and is a welcome addition to our roster.” Read More »
On the heels of Eva Longoria‘s collaboration with NBC and Universal Television on the upcoming dating reality series Ready For Love, the actress-producer has signed a first-look development deal with Universal TV for her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Under the pact, the Desperate Housewives alumna will serve as a non-writing executive producer on scripted and unscripted projects for the studio. Read More »
NBC-affiliated Universal Television has set up two more projects at an outside network, ABC: drama Beneath from writers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie (The Event) and Uni TV-based producer Peter Traugott; and the comedy High Maintenance, from writers-actors Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, who are also attached to co-star, and 3 Arts.
Beneath is described as a supernatural drama about the unusual changes that befall a town after an energy company comes drilling for natural gas and unleashes something far more powerful. ICM Partners-repped Dworkin and Beattie are writing the script and will executive produce with Traugott and Rachel Kaplan. Beneath expands Dworkin and Beattie’s relationship with ABC — the two serve as consulting producers on the network’s soap Revenge. It also marks Traugott’s first sale outside of NBC since he joined Uni TV last year and his return to ABC, where he did a lot of business as TV president of ABC Studios-based Brillstein Entertainment.
High Maintenance is based on Lemme’s college job experience as an elevator man in a luxury NYC highrise. Heffernan and Lemme, members of the Broken Lizard comedy filmmaking group behind such movies as Super Troopers and Beerfest, will write and act in the show, which centers on the staff at an upscale Manhattan apartment building. The duo, repped by UTA, 3 Arts and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will executive produce with 3 Arts. Heffernan & Lemme’s stand-up special Fat Man Little Boy will be released by Netflix later this year. Read More »