With Under The Dome last year and Extant this week, CBS has made the addition of a new thriller event drama series the highlight of its summer schedule. The network has locked in its high-profile drama entry for summer 2015 with a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson‘s best-selling global thriller. The project, which had a rare pilot production commitment for a pitch originating from sibling CBS TV Studios, hails from writer-producers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. The four are working under their new Midnight Radio moniker (formerly Space Floor) which has inked a two-year first-look deal with CBS Studios. Also producing are Cathy Konrad and James Mangold via their CBS Studios-based Treeline Films, with Mangold set to direct.
Zoo is set amidst a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet. A young renegade scientist is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind this pandemic before time runs out for animals and humans alike. Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner, Rosenberg, Konrad, Mangold and Patterson executive produce with James Patterson Entertainment’s Steve Bowen, Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson who was involved in putting the project together. Konrad acquired the rights to Zoo shortly after it was published in September 2012 as a feature and then approached Patterson about adapting as a TV series. I hear Zoo will likely follow the model pioneered by Under The Dome and also employed by Extant, which features an SVOD release just days after an episode’s on-air premiere.
October Road creators Appelbaum, Nemec & Rosenberg and Pinkner recently executive produced the CW’s series Star Crossed, also from CBS Studios. Additionally, the quartet has come on board as showrunners on Microsoft/Showtime’s Halo drama series, an adaptation of the popular video game from Steven Spielberg and his Amblin TV. They are co-writing the script with Stuart Beattie who had been previously involved in the project. On the feature side, among them they have co-penned Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Amazing Spider-Man 2, the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as the Beverly Hills Cop sequel, now in the works. Mangold and Konrad executive produced CBS/CBS Studios’ drama Vegas. All parties are repped by WME except Patterson, who is with CAA. Mangold is also with Management 360.