It’s spring again, time for an AMC’s annual tradition of meetings with the writers/producers of the scripts the network brass had identified as the strongest pilot contenders. The pilot script showcase, nicknamed by agents and producers a “bake-off,” includes a series of presentations, in which the principals of the selected projects lay out for top AMC execs their vision for their show beyond the pilot with the help of visual aids, including demo reels. The network would not comment, though I hear at least five drama scripts are being spotlighted. That includes the Scott Free-produced World War II drama Raiders, which also made the cut for the script showcase last year, three projects from AMC’s March 2013 development slate: Ashland, White City and the Dahvi Waller Project, as well as one drama from the network’s recent March 2014 development slate, The Sparrow. Of last year’s three scripts, one — Line Of Sight, from Brotherhood creator Blake Masters — went to pilot. Three of the six scripts from the 2012 showcase went to pilot and then series, Chris Mundy‘s Low Winter Sun, Craig Silverstein and Mitchell Akselrad‘s Turn, and Richard LaGravenese-Tony Goldwyn‘s The Divide (now at WE tv). Other AMC series to come out of the script showcase in previous years include The Killing and Hell On Wheels. Here are descriptions of the projects I hear are competing for pilot orders this year:
Writer/Executive Producer: Evan Wright
Executive Producers: David Zucker, Ridley Scott
WWII drama about a rogue U.S. Navy commander who leads an unconventional warfare unit into the heart of Africa on a mission that will bend the arc of history
Writers/Executive Producers: Allison Anders (Gas, Food, Lodging; Mi Vida Loca) and Terry Graham
Co-Executive Producer: Shana Eddy
Set in 1950 in Ashland, a tiny mining town in Kentucky, the Evans family has just relocated from California and the matriarch, Del, must hide her family’s secrets and find a way to support her three children at the height of the Red Scare.
Executive Producer: Tom Freston
Writers/Co-Executive Producers: Nick McDonell, John Dempsey
The drama series follows western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan.
Untitled Dahvi Waller Project
Writer/Executive Producer: Dahvi Waller
Set against the New York automobile industry of the 1920s, two brothers struggle to keep their family-run company afloat with a class-hopping Ziegfeld girl and the daughter of an English competitor blurring the line between love and business.
Writer/Executive Producer: Michael Perry
Based on Mary Doria Russell’s acclaimed science fiction epic, “The Sparrow” tells the story of a Jesuit-led mission to make first contact with an alien race.