So NBC’s much-hyped “Infront” experiment heralded by NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker and Ben Silverman in 2008 and 2009 is toast. Oh, what a difference this fall made at the network! It was part of NBC’s master plan to hold down development costs. Well, today at the Television Critics Association confab, NBC Universal Television Entertainment chief Jeff Gaspin announced that NBC will not conduct its “Infront” presentation anymore after two back-to-back years. Instead, NBC named Monday, May 17th, as the date of its 2010 Upfront presentation in New York City to introduce the advertising, sales and media communities to NBC’s new programming and scheduling. So another NBC idea goes down in flames.
NBC also announced some of its early development slate for the 2010-2011 Primetime Season. It includes a large number of big budget and high-profile drama series pilots that have been greenlit to help fill the black hole created at 10 PM by the failure of The Jay Leno Show which as of today was officially yanked. A second NBC idea that went down in flames…
The announcements were made today by Angela Bromstad, the primetime entertainment president for NBC and Universal Media Studios who was brought back to program after Jeff Zucker realized Ben Silverman couldn’t. Here’s the rundown:
• On the drama side, “Prime Suspect” is based on the award-winning BBC series centering on a courageous female detective who investigates complex mysteries in a politically explosive big city. Casting will be announced later. The pilot is produced by Universal Media Studios and ITV. Hank Steinberg (“Without a Trace”) and Erwin Stoff (“The Blind Side”) are the executive producers.
• In “The Rockford Files,” the successful NBC drama from the 1970s is re-imagined by executive producers David Shore (“House”) and Steve Carell (NBC’s “The Office”). The title character, Jim Rockford, remains a roguish private eye who tackles the dangerous, quirky and unpredictable cases that no other detective wants to handle. The pilot is from Universal Media Studios and Carousel Productions.
• “The Event” is a thriller with a unique storytelling device that features multiple points of view concerning a decent, regular fellow who battles against mysterious circumstances that envelope a larger conspiracy. Universal Media Studios produces the pilot that includes Steve Stark (“Medium”) as the executive producer; Nick Wauters (“The 4400”) is the co-executive producer/writer. Casting will be announced later.
• In “Undercovers,” a domesticated husband and wife return from years in retirement and are re-activated as CIA agents. As they work together for the first time on new cases, they discover new aspects from their past – even as they re-ignite their passion for each other. J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” the 2009 feature film “Star Trek”), Bryan Burk (“Lost,” “Star Trek”) and Josh Reims (“Dirty Sexy Money”) are the executive producers; Abrams and Reims are the writers. The pilot is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot Productions.
• “Chase” is a new action-procedural drama from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer (the “CSI” franchise, “The Amazing Race,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” feature films). “Chase,” based on a real-life group and set in the American Southwest, follows a crucial fugitive apprehension team comprised of U.S. Marshals that tracks down the nation’s most notorious criminals. Tension builds as the cat-and-mouse game of the ultimate search escalates in each episode. The series is from Warner Bros. Television and Jerry Bruckheimer Television. Joining Bruckheimer as executive producers are Jennifer Johnson (“Cold Case”) and Jonathan Littman (“CSI,” “Cold Case”).
• “Kindreds,” created by Emmy Award winner David E. Kelley (“Boston Legal,” “The Practice,” “L.A. Law”), follows a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer and his group of misfit associates as their lives come together to form an unconventional kind of law practice. The series is from Warner Bros. Television and David E. Kelley Productions. Kelley is the writer and executive producer.
• “Love Bites” is an hour-long romantic comedy produced by Universal Media Studios and Working Title Films. Writer Cindy Chupack (“Sex in the City,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”), Timothy Bevan & Eric Fellner (both for “Love Actually,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary”) and Shelley McCrory are the executive producers. Casting and producer credits will be announced later.
• Among the comedies is the Adam Carolla comedy project that features the humorous radio and TV personality Carolla (“The Man Show,” “The Hammer”) as a contractor who sets out to re-build his life following a divorce. The pilot is produced by Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun. The executive producers are Carolla, Kevin Hench (The Hammer”), Jon Pollack (NBC’s “30 Rock”), Jimmy Kimmel (“The Jimmy Kimmel Show”), Gail Berman (NBC’s “Mercy”), Lloyd Braun (NBC’s “Mercy”), Daniel Kellison (“The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” “The Man Show”) and James Dixon (“Ace in the Hole”).