The CW has steadily added comic-based dramas to its slate over the past few years. This season will not be exception, with a pilot order to another high-profile project, Archie Comics’ Riverdale, from Greg Berlanti, the producer behind the three DC dramas on the network, Arrow, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow. Also officially picked up are dramas Transylvania and untitled Mars project (formerly Colony), which are looking to expand the CW’s high-concept/genre portfolio. Additionally, the network continues its push into hourlong comedy with a pilot order to No Tomorrow, from the Jane The Virgin duo of writer/co-executive producer Corinne Brinkerhoff and executive producer Ben Silverman. They join the pilot orders just given to Kevin Williamson’s paranormal drama and a remake of the sci-fi movie Frequency with a female lead.
While the Big 4 networks have largely stayed away from remakes and big titles in their pilot orders so far this season, the CW is betting heavily on projects with recognizable IP, including Riverdale, Frequency and Transylvania. Two of these projects were actually developed at major nets last season, Frequency (NBC) and Riverdale (Fox). Meanwhile, the Mars project was originally developed at the CW two years ago with a different writer.
Riverdale, which migrated to the CW over the summer, is set in present day. Based on the Archie Comics characters, it is a subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade.
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics, Riverdale already has been exploring casting ideas. Aguirre-Sacasa executive produces with Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter as well as Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater for Warner Bros TV and studio-based Berlanti Productions.
Set in the 1880s, Transylvania is executive produced by Midnight Radio, the team of Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg through CBS Studios.
Written/executive produced by Hugh Sterbakov (Hell And Back), Transylvania centers on a headstrong young woman in search of her missing father who ventures from NYC to Transylvania where she teams up with a wrongfully disgraced Scotland Yard Detective, and together they witness the births of the most famous monsters and villains in history.
Like Jane The Virgin, No Tomorrow is based on a Latin American format, this time from Brazil’s Grupo Globo. Written by Brinkerhoff and the comedy writing-directing team Scott McCabe and Tory Stanton aka Two Trick Pony, No Tomorrow centers on Sarah, a risk-averse, straight arrow, female procurement manager at an Amazon-like distribution center who falls in love with Xavier, a freewheeling man who lives life to the fullest because he believes the apocalypse is imminent, to comedic and poignant results as they embark on a quest together to fulfill their individual bucket lists.
No Tomorrow, eyed for the CW’s Monday comedy block, is described as a romantic comedy with the ultimate ticking clock (8 months and 12 days, to be exact). Brinkerhoff and Silverman executive produce with Sean Canino for CBS Studios and Electus.
The original Brazilian series, How To Enjoy The End Of The World, was nominated for an International Emmy in 2013.
Brinkerhoff, who worked on the CBS/CBS TV Studios drama The Good Wife, is the creator and executive producer of CBS/CBS Studios/Amblin TV’s upcoming summer series American Gothic.
The 400-year-old Roanoke Colony mystery is getting a galactic twist with the Mars project, from CBS TV Studios and the Kennedy/Marshall Co. Written by Doris Egan (Reign), the thriller follows a team of explorers who arrive on Mars to join the first human colony on the planet, only to discover that their predecessors have vanished. Led by a woman whose husband is among the missing, the colonists are forced to change their mission from exploration and settlement to investigation and survival, while navigating the hostile planet and their own personal demons. The project is inspired by the story of The Lost Colony, the 16th century British settlement on Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, whose inhabitants vanished without a trace, sparking a slew of theories about their fate. Egan executive produces with Kennedy/Marshall’s Robert Zotnowski and Frank Marshall for CBS Studios.