Talk about a nail-biter this year. It’s Friday night and neither of the broadcast networks that present on Monday, NBC and Fox, had finalized their new series orders. Fox just accomplished that and, after days of dealmaking, has wrapped its series pickups with nods to its big frontrunner Minority Report and dark horse Lucifer. They join previously ordered medical drama Rosewood and The Frankenstein Code.
Fox is going for big, familiar titles this year, with three of the four newly picked up drama series, Minority Report, Lucifer and Frankenstein, based on famous properties/characters. (The network also has Ryan Murphy’s straight-to-series comedic horror anthology Scream Queens). Fox’s fifth drama pilot, music-and-drugs-themed Studio City, is not getting picked up now but Fox is expected to revisit the pilot after the upfronts for potential midseason consideration.
Minority Report‘s series pickup was never in doubt, but the project, based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie, got the ultimate seal of approval from Spielberg, whose company Amblin TV is producing the TV adaptation. The filmmaker, who had been involved in the development of the futuristic drama, recently watched the pilot, directed by Mark Mylod and, impressed by what he saw, opted for an executive producer credit, something that he is entitled to on all Amblin TV projects but rarely goes for.
Minority Report, from 20th TV and Paramount TV, whose feature siblings produced the Tom Cruise-starring film, and Amblin TV, is set 10 years after the end of Pre-crime in DC, when one of the three Pre-cogs struggles to lead a “normal” human life, but remains haunted by visions of the future, when he meets a detective who just may help him find a purpose to his gift.
Godzilla writer Max Borenstein penned the adaptation and executive produces with showrunner Kevin Falls, Mylod and Amblin’s Spielberg, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The cast includes Meagan Good, Stark Sands, Wilmer Valderrama, Daniel London, Laura Regan, Li Jun Li and Zhane Hall.
This marks the first broadcast series order for the the recently restarted Paramount TV, which made its first step with a co-production participation in a broadcast pilot two years ago, CBS’ The Beverly Hills Cop. Since then, it has received green lights for a live staging of Grease on Fox and series School of Rock on Nichelodeon.
Lucifer, from Warner Bros. TV, DC Comics and Jerry Bruckheimer Television, was written by Californication creator Tom Kapinos and directed by Len Wiseman, who also helmed the pilot for Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. The pilot was an underdog to fellow WBTV drama Studio City for most of the run-up to the upfronts, only starting to heat up in a big way a couple of days ago. Kapinos, who also had a CW pilot, was not very involved in the pilot, and I hear the project is in the process of securing a showrunner.
Kapinos and Wiseman executive produce the project, based on the characters from DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, with Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and Ildy Modrovich.
Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals. The cast of the show also includes Lauren German, Rachael Harris, DB Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Nicholas Gonzalez and Scarlett Estevez.
Fox’s new series orders also include comedies The Grinder, Grandfathered and The Guide to Surviving Life.