The CW rounded out its pilot orders today with pickups of The Tomorrow People, an adaptation of the cult British 1970s sci-fi series from Arrow co-creators/executive producer Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries co-creator/executive producer Julie Plec; and Blink, produced by David Marshall Grant (Smash). In all, the CW picked up eight drama pilots this year, including planted Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, also from Plec. None of them is in the CW’s former bread-and-butter genre of teen soap, with futuristic, sci-fi and high-concept fare galore.
Berlanti and Plec executive produce Tomorrow People, written/exec produced by Phil Klemmer (Chuck). In the vein of X-Men and Heroes, Tomorrow People is the story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together they work to defeat the forces of evil. Created by Roger Price, The Tomorrow People, ITV’s answer to BBC’s Dr. Who, ran on the commercial broadcaster for eight seasons from 1973-1979. It developed a strong cult following and was a favorite of Berlanti and Plec, who are good friends from college. They had been chasing the rights for more than a decade, finally tracking them down to FremantleMedia. Berlanti, Plec, Klemmer and Berlanti Prods’ Melissa Kellner Berman executive produce, with SVP Scripted Programming Tony Optican overseeing for Fremantle.
Written by Vera Herbert and executive produced by Grant, Blink is described as a warm, quirky, humorous drama about a family whose lives are forever changed, for better and worse, when the patriarch has a car accident resulting in a coma-like syndrome where he cannot speak or move, but can see and hear all. His narration and fantasy sequences emanating from his mind provide context and a wry counterpoint to the stories and conflicts of the family and his own situation. Blink is produced by CBS TV Studios and studio-based Timberman-Beverly, with Grant, Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman executive producing and Herbert serving as supervising producer. Herbert sold the project as a spec to the CW. It was laid off at CBS Studios and Timberman-Beverly, and Timberman brought in Grant as the showrunner.
Grant has been on a roll. Two of the three TV projects he sold this season have already gone to pilot. Last month, HBO greenlighted a comedy pilot Grant executive produces with Sarah Condon and Andrew Haigh. His third project, an adaptation of Israeli Format Red Quartet, is in contention at CBS. Additionally, Grant received a WGA nomination as part of the writing staff of ABC’s freshman drama Nashville and shared in the best series Golden Globe nomination for Smash, on which he served as an executive producer last season. Before Smash, CAA-repped Grant was an executive producer on Brothers And Sisters.