E! is developing Swimming With Sharks, a series based on the 1994 Hollywood satire, which starred Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley. Spacey is executive producing the TV adaptation of the cult feature, which is being written by actress-writer Kathleen Robertson. It is one of two high-profile cable projects Robertson has in the works as a writer, along with dramedy Your Time Is Up, which has been set up at Lifetime with Christina Applegate set to star. Both projects hail from Lionsgate TV.
Swimming With Sharks — which is expected to become a co-production with Universal Cable Prods., similar to the studios’ collaboration on E!’s The Royals — is a contemporary update on the original film which skewers and celebrates the Hollywood studio system. In this version, a young female assistant is at the center of a wildly competitive, struggling studio chock-full of manipulators and masters. Little do they know she is poised to outwit and outmaneuver them all. Robertson will write the script and executive produce with Spacey and his producing partner Dana Brunetti through their Trigger Street Prods. You can watch a clip from the original film, written and directed by George Huang, below the post.
In a competitive situation, Your Time Is Up, with sought-after actress Applegate attached to star, Robertson to write and Oscar-nominated producer Gil Netter (Life Of Pi) to produce, was set up at Lionsgate TV in summer 2015. It has now been sold to Lifetime. Your Time Is Up is described as a family saga in the vein of Six Feet Under centering around a disheveled psychologist played by Applegate. In an attempt to get her life back together after a family tragedy, she implements a unique approach to help her patients, inspired by her unconventional upbringing.
There are no current plans for Robertson to act in any of the projects but that is considered a possibility. On screen, she plays the female lead on Stephen Bochco’s crime drama Murder In The First. As production on the third and final season of the TNT series just wrapped, Robertson is shifting her attention to writing, which she has been pursuing for several years alongside her acting career.
She completed the Writers Guild’s Showrunners Training Program, where she was mentored by former WGA West president John Wells. Robertson went on to write a spec script for John Wells Productions and Warner Horizon, Hollywood Babylon, based on Kenneth Anger’s book.
Robertson is repped by Untitled Entertainment and Paradigm as well as NCA Talent and Play Management in her native Canada and attorney Jamie Feldman. Applegate, who recently starred in feature comedy Bad Moms, is repped by CAA and Management 360.