Warner Bros TV‘s head of development Susan Rovner is further expanding her turf, also taking over development for the studio’s cable division Warner Horizon TV. Rovner and top WBTV business executive Brett Paul have been named co-presidents of Warner Horizon Scripted Television. They succeed Warner Horizon EVP Craig Erwich, who left this month.
Rovner, who will continue in her role as EVP Development for broadcast-focused WBTV, will also be spearheading the development and programming of the studio’s cable scripted series. Paul, who already had been involved in Warner Horizon’s business operations, will maintain his role as EVP of WBTV, while assuming formal oversight for all business operations for the cable production unit. The process of Warner Horizon’s split into scripted and unscripted began last summer with the hire of former Fox alternative head Mike Darnell to lead all of WBTV’s reality and syndication efforts. Warner Horizon’s unscripted business executive team will report to both Darnell and Paul. Read More »
Bravo has put in development a dramedy project from Warner Horizon and Dan Lin’s Warner Bros-based Lin Pictures. Written by Jill Gordon, the untitled project centers on an eccentric New England family that decides to take justice into its own hands when its matriarch is murdered. When the murderer is freed on a technicality, they decide to hunt down the killer together, as a family. Gordon is executive producing with Lin Pictures’ Jennifer Gwartz and Lin. Gordon most recently penned the Lifetime pilot The Secret Lives Of Wives.
Adam Shankman is venturing into cable. The director/producer/choreographer and his sister, producer Jennifer Gibgot, have closed a two-year first look deal with Warner Horizon Television for their Offspring Entertainment banner. Under the pact, the duo will develop and executive produce scripted cable projects for the studio, a division of Warner Bros TV. Shankman also has the option to direct. In development, Shankman and Gibgot will be assisted by Offspring’s Matt Smith.
Shankman and Gibgot, repped by UTA and Bloom Hergott, most recently worked on the feature Rock Of Ages, with Gibgot producing and Shankman directing and producing. Their joint credits also include the Step Up franchise and 17 Again. Shankman’s first TV directing gig was in cable — helming an episode of USA’s Monk. He has since directed and produced a number of broadcast projects, including directing multiple episodes of Fox’s Glee.
TBS is expanding its relationship with late-night host Conan O’Brien to primetime. The cable network has ordered a half-hour comedy pilot from O’Brien’s Warner Bros TV-based production company Conaco. WBTV’s cable division Warner Horizon Television will produce. The multi-camera sitcom, written by Ben Wexler (Still Standing), Ross Novie (Secret Girlfriend) and Jay Rondot (Secret Girlfriend), centers on a family man who quits his day job and returns to the neighborhood where he grew up. There, he reunites with his former best friend. Wexler, Novie and Rondot are executive producing with O’Brien, David Kissinger and Jeff Ross. Wexler will serve as the showrunner for the untitled pilot, which is slated to begin shooting this year. After veering into developing hourlong comedies for the past two years, TBS is returning to the half-hour comedy genre with two multi-camera pilots ordered over the past two weeks: the O’Brien-produced buddy sitcom and the recently orderedMen at Work, created by Breckin Meyer and produced by Jamie Tarses.
A&E Passes On ‘Big Mike’, Leans Toward Picking Up ‘Longmire’ To Series The pickup had been pending for a while and became a forgone conclusion when A&E passed on its other pilot, Big Mike, last month. Longmire has been given a 10-episode order, including the pilot. Based on the Walt Longmire Mystery series of novels by Craig Johnson, Longmire is named after its central character, Walt Longmire (The Matrix‘s Robert Taylor), the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyo. Widowed only a year, he is a man in psychic repair but buries his pain behind his brave face, unassuming grin and dry wit. Co-starring in the Warner Horizon-produced pilot, which was directed by Chris Chulack, are Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase and Cassidy Freeman. Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny wrote the project and are executive producing with Greer Shephard and Mike Robin.
Mike Fleiss, the creator and executive producer of The Bachelor franchise, is joining the CW’s new series H8R. He will team with creators Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey and Jeremy Spiegel, along with host Mario Lopez, as executive producers on the one-hour reality show. It pairs well-known personalities with real people who don’t like them. The point is to win them over. Fleiss’ Next Entertainment will produce in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Harney will co-executive produce. Fleiss’ reality credits include Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? and High School Reunion. The series premieres September 14 and will air Wednesdays at 8 PM.
TNT gave viewers their first glimpse of its newly greenlighted series Dallas on Monday night during the season premieres of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles. The Warner Horizon Television-produced project — which got the go-ahead late last week with a 10-episode order for a summer 2012 premiere — is from executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who also wrote the pilot. Michael M. Robin directed the pilot and also executive produced. The cast includes Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and Brenda Strong along with a couple of original Dallas denizens you might recognize.
So I hear that NBC’s heavily hyped upcoming warble show The Voice from John de Mol, Mark Burnett, and Warner Horizon Television is costing a whopping $1.4 million per episode. Given that this is a U.S. adaptation of The Voice of Holland, and that the set for the April 26th premiere looks like a cheap Las Vegas lounge with a coupla chairs, a microphone, and hardly any production values, and that judges on these talent shows aren’t paid that extravagantly, then where the hell is the money going? I’m told that, when the show was first pitched, NBCU’s previous boss Jeff Zucker et al was duped into believing that another network was making “a big offer” when in actuality there was no rival bid. Oops. And to think Zucker led us all to believe that scripted programming was too expensive…
EXCLUSIVE: NBC’s late-night host Carson Daly is in negotiations to host NBC’s ambitious new singing competition series (and American Idol rival) The Voice, from top reality producers John de Mol (Big Brother) and Mark Burnett (Survivor) and Warner Horizon Television. The show, in which contestants vie for a recording contract, is modeled after the Dutch Voice of Holland, which is the country’s #1 talent competition show. It features four celebrity artists who each forms a team of singers that they will coach and mentor throughout the competition. Contestants will be eliminated until each coach only has one team member left who will compete in the finals to be named The Voice in a live finale. Casting of the four celebrities is still under way, with NBC targeting the series for a spring launch, going head-to-head with Fox’s juggernaut American Idol. Carson Daly has a strong music series background, having come out of MTV’s signature show Total Request Live. He also regularly features music acts on his late-night NBC show Last Call with Carson Daly. This will mark the primetime debut for Daly, who recently returned as host of NBC’s New Year’s Eve special. Daly shares the same radio background with Idol host Ryan Seacrest who both started off as DJs on Los Angeles radio stations and now have LA morning drive shows.
In its biggest challenge to Fox’s American Idol (and X Factor), NBC has ordered The Voice of America (working title), a singing competition show from leading reality producers John de Mol (Big Brother) and Mark Burnett (Survivor) and Warner Horizon Television. The show, in which contestants vie for a recording contract, is modeled after the Dutch version of the show (The Voice of Holland), which is the country’s #1 talent competition show in Holland. More from NBC’s release: Read More »
The writing had been on the wall for the low-rated cop drama but TNT made it official today – Dark Blue will not be returning for a third season. The series starring Dylan McDermott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Horizon TV never found its footing and its renewal after the first season came as somewhat of a surprise, especially after TNT picked up another dark police drama, NBC’s Southland.Dark Blue didn’t improve in its second season this past summer, averaging about 2 million viewers per episode. It was the only TNT series whose fate had not been decided. The others, The Closer, Rizzoli, Leverage, Memphis Beat and Hawthorne, all got renewed.
It was a short run for AMC’s Rubicon, which is being canceled after one season. The political thriller, produced by Warner Horizon Television, premiered on Aug. 1, a year after it was ordered to series, and never found a wide audience, averaging 1.6 million viewers and 439,000 among 18-49 in its first season. It becomes the first AMC original series to get canceled. Here is AMC’s statement: “Rubicon gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story and we’re very proud of the series. This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenally talented and dedicated team.”