EXCLUSIVE: HBO has put in development a drama series project based on the novel The Madonnas Of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse. The project, to be written by award-winning playwright Julia Cho, takes a look at the lives of a community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Los Angeles. It explores the relationships -– romantic, professional, familial –- of the Latinos that have built the community over the years, and the hipsters who’re making their way in now, examining the complicated dynamic between the two as they struggle to build new lives for themselves in pursuit of the American dream. Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan and British writer Kelly Marcel are executive producing, reuniting after their first collaboration on Terra Nova, which the two executive produced. Terra Nova originated with a 15-page treatment by Marcel, which Kaplan brought to the U.S. For Cho, who will serve as co-executive producer, this marks a return to HBO, where she worked on Big Love. Her TV credits also include a stint on Fringe. She is with WME, Skyhorse is with Jody Hotchkiss.
At HBO, The Madonnas of Echo Park joins another Kapital-produced project, comedy pilot Viagra Diaries, created by Sex And The City’s Darren Star and to be directed by Bridesmaids‘ Paul Feig. Additionally, Kaplan has several other cable projects in development.
At USA, he has the hourlong Finders Keepers. Written by Philip Levens, it is about a former FBI agent and missing persons specialist who finds people by immersing himself in their lives. Levens is with ICM.
At A&E, Kapital Entertainment is developing Dark Heart, a one-hour procedural written by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle (Paradigm), about a benevolent cop who, after having a massive heart attack, gets the heart of a psychopath. Lionsgate TV is producing.
At Lifetime, the company is behind Drink, a one-hour spec script written by Glenn Porter (UTA), which follows the life of the head of HR at a global alcohol and beverage company who, after suffering a head injury, loses her inhibitions and ability to control her impulse and ends up transforming her company into a hotbed of decadence, soaring profits and ambition.
At Nickelodeon, where Kaplan executive produces the Nick At Nite pilot Wendell & Vinnie starring Jerry Trainor, he has two multi-camera comedy projects in development. One is a comedy about a college student who becomes a “manny” for a family who had been transplanted from England. It is written by Howard Busgang and Tom Nursall (CAA), creators of the NBC comedy pilot Isabel, which Kaplan executive produces. The other is a twins project from Barry Safchik and Michael Platt (Verve). In the vein of Weird Science, it centers on a genius kid who creates a robot in his likeness – yet the two could not be more different.
Kapital’s first cable series, The Inbetweeners, launches on MTV later this year. On the broadcast side, Kaplan has executive produced produced two series, Terra Nova and ABC’s GCB, and has four pilot currently in contention.