It was Friday evening before upfront week in 2013 when NBC and Sony TV reached an agreement that covered the pickup of 3 new series, The Blacklist, The Night Shift and Welcome To The Family, and the renewal of Community. Exactly two years later, the two companies just reached deals for three pickups, series orders to drama pilots The Player (formerly Endgame) and Game of Silence, and third season renewal for medical drama The Night Shift. Factoring in the early third-season renewal for The Blacklist, we have another four-series package between the network and the independent studio.
Thriller The Player, starring Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes, was an early standout at NBC. The project, from John Rogers and Davis Entertainment, was among the three drama pilots allowed to begin staffing last week, along with Warner Bros. TV-produced Blindspot and Universal TV’s Heartbreaker, both already picked up to series.
Between NBC and Sony, deals traditionally have taken longer as the complex negotiations often involve multiple projects, ownership and securing a time slot. As part of the pickups, Game of Silence has now become a co-production between Sony and Universal TV.
While featuring dark overtones, drama Game of Silence, which marks the return to NBC of Revolution star David Lyons, has been well liked among NBC brass. The adaptation of a Turkish format comes from David Hudgins and Carol Mendelsohn and marks the first series order for Mendelsohn at Sony TV in her first development season with the studio.
The Night Shift, which earned a second season renewal after a surprisingly strong performance last summer, had to navigate soft ratings behind The Voice on Monday and increased competition, with NBC already having picked up two new medical dramas for next season, the Chicago Fire spinoff Chicago Med and the soapy Heartbreaker.
Here are detailed descriptions of the two newly picked up NBC drama series:
GAME OF SILENCE
Carol Mendelsohn, executive producer and architect of the CSI phenomenon, presents a gripping new drama about a successful Atlanta attorney (David Lyons, Revolution) whose long-lost childhood friends unexpectedly reappear after 25 years. When a dark secret they thought they had buried resurfaces, the brotherhood bands together to right the wrongs of their shared past — a journey that will push the limits of their loyalty and quench their thirst for revenge.
The cast includes David Lyons, Michael Raymond-James, Larenz Tate, Bre Blair, Conor O’Farrell, Deidrie Henry, Demetrius Grosse and Claire Van Der Boom.
David Hudgins serves as writer and executive producer. Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz, Tariq Jalil and director Niels Arden Oplev also executive produce. Game Of Silence is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Carol Mendelsohn Productions.
From the executive producers of The Blacklist and starring Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester (Strike Back, Fringe) comes an action-packed Las Vegas thriller about a former military operative turned security expert who is drawn into a high-stakes game where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on his ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out. Can he take them down from the inside and get revenge for the death of his wife, or is it true what they say: The house always wins.
The cast includes Wesley Snipes, Philip Winchester, Charity Wakefield and Damon Gupton.
John Rogers serves as writer and executive producer. John Davis, John Fox and director Bharat Nalluri also executive produce. The Player is produced by Sony Pictures Television Davis Entertainment and Kung Fu Monkey.