USA Network has given a pilot pickup to Damnation, from writer/poet/critic Tony Tost (Longmire), Game of Thrones co-executive producer Guymon Casady and producers James Mangold (Walk the Line) and Daniel Rappaport of Entertainment 360. Universal Cable Productions is the studio.
This marks the first USA pilot greenlight under the new centralized NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment scripted structure through the multi-network scripted content group led by EVP Bill McGoldrick.
Written by Tost, Damnation is described as an epic saga of the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, chronicling the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden, God and greed, charlatans and prophets. The pilot centers on Seth Davenport, who is masquerading as a small-town Iowa preacher in the hope of starting a full-blown insurrection against the status quo. Focused on his mission, he is unaware that an industrialist tycoon has hired a professional strikebreaker named Creeley Turner to stop the uprising by any means necessary. But unbeknownst to those around them, these two men already share a secret bloody past.
“Tony’s script captures a period of American history with many of the same conflicts that we are still facing today,” said McGoldrick. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Universal Cable Productions, James Mangold and Entertainment 360 on this powerful and ambitious historical drama.”
Tost, Casady, Mangold and Rappaport executive produce for UCP. Mangold serves as an executive producer on CBS’ summer drama series Zoo.
Of USA’s previous batch of drama pilots, the network picked up two — Shooter and Falling Water — to series. It also gave a straight-to-series pickup to Eyewitness.