PILOT SEASON 2015: More Early Buzz
As producers are scrambling to get their cuts locked and ready, here is some more chatter heading into the important next week of network screenings when we will get a better sense where the various pilots stand. Until then, please keep in mind that any pilot buzz is speculative, based on sometimes incomplete and often subjective information.
Last year, Fox kicked off new series pickups with an order to Gotham a week before the start of upfront week. Will the network… Read
TNT Drama Pilot ‘Breed’ Not Going Forward
TNT has passed on supernatural drama pilot Breed. The project, written by John Scott Shepherd and directed by Scott Winant, followed a series of brutal murders in the Pacific Northwest and the mysterious race of creatures that might be committing them.
Breed was one of 3 pilots ordered by TNT just before Kevin Reilly took over the network and a new programming chief. None have been picked to series yet. One of them, the The Florida drug trade drama, will undergo… Read
Fox 21 TV Studios Lands White House Book ‘The Residence’ For Cable Drama Produced By Kevin Spacey & Megyn Kelly
In a very competitive bidding situation, Fox 21 Television Studios has optioned the book The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower about the relationship between the White House residence staff and the various First Families spanning several administrations.
The non-fiction book will be developed as a cable drama executive produced by Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti of Trigger Street. In her first foray into scripted TV producing, Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly is attached as a… Read
Arrow/Flash Spinoff Casts Franz Drameh
Young British actor Franz Drameh rounds out the main cast of the CW's Arrow/Flash spinoff. He will play Jay Jackson, a former high school athlete whose pro career was derailed by injury. Now making ends meets as an auto mechanic, Jay will come to have a surprising affiliation to the S.T.A.R. Labs crew. The project’s producers are keeping the character’s superhero identity a mystery. Online speculation about Jay’s alter ego has ranged from Static to Black Lightning and… Read
Robin Hood Mania Spills To TV: ‘Outlaw Chronicles’ Series In Works At FMNA
The sudden influx of screen adaptations of one of world’s most popular folk tales — that of medieval English outlaw Robin Hood — is not limited only to film. On the heels of Deadline’s story by Mike Fleming Jr. about four competing Robin Hood features in the works at four big studios — Warner Bros., Disney, Sony and Lionsgate — we have learned that there is also a TV series about the folk hero in development.
FremantleMedia North America has acquired rights to British… Read
Amazon Ordering Comedy Pilot From Bob Nelson & Sacha Baron Cohen
Bob Nelson continues his late-bloomer dream run. After earning an Oscar nomination for his first screenplay, Nebraska, at age 57, the writer-performer has landed his first pilot order. We’ve learned that Amazon is moving ahead with Highston, a half-hour coming-of-age comedy, written by Nelson, executive produced by Borat and Bruno‘s Sacha Baron Cohen and to be directed by the Little Miss Sunshine duo of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
The single-camera project, which… Read
Jimmi Simpson Joins ‘Hap & Leonard’
Jimmi Simpson (House Of Cards, The Newsroom) has been cast as a regular in Sundance's straight-to-series drama Hap And Leonard. There is no official word yet on Christina Hendricks, who has been in talks for awhile about joining the project.
The show follows the story of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (Michael Kenneth Williams), a black, openly gay Vietnam vet with anger issues. Having been raised by an uncle who shunned him after learning he was homosexual, Leonard was… Read
Marc Blucas Joins WGN America Series ‘Underground’ In Recasting
Buffy The Vampire Slayer alum Marc Blucas has been cast as a regular in Underground, WGN America's upcoming pre-Civil War series about the Underground Railroad. He will play John Hawkes in the series from Sony Pictures TV and Tribune Studios, replacing Devon Gummersall, who was originally cast in the role. The change was made before the straight-to-series drama started production on its 10-episode order.
Underground follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from… Read
‘Sirens’ Cancelled By USA After 2 Seasons
EXCLUSIVE: USA Network has opted not to go forward with a third season of paramedic comedy series Sirens, from Fox 21 TV Studios, Denis Leary and Bob Fisher.
Sirens was the first original half-hour comedy series to launch under USA's push in the genre following the off-network acquisition of Modern Family. It was soon joined by Playing House and Benched, two of which, Sirens and Benched have now been cancelled. It was a slow build out of the gate in Season 1, but… Read
JK Simmons To Star In Starz Drama Series From ‘The Imitation Game’ Director
EXCLUSIVE: Coming off an Oscar win for Whiplash, JK Simmons will topline Counterpart, a sci-fi thriller drama series for Starz from MRC, Anonymous Content and Gilbert Films. It was created and written by Justin Marks, writer of the upcoming Disney Jungle Book movie, with Oscar-nominated Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum set to direct the first two episodes.
The size of the series order is TBD. We hear the intention is to pick up two seasons the way the premium cable… Read
Aziz Ansari Comedy Series A Go At Netflix
In his followup to Parks & Recreation, actor-comedian Aziz Ansari is toplining a comedy series for Netflix. Ansari co-created the show, which has a 10-episode straight-to-series order, with Parks & Rec co-executive producer Alan Yang. The two executive produce with fellow Parks & Rec alums, co-creator/executive producer Michael Schur and exec producer David Miner, as well as Dave Becky. Parks & Rec studio Universal TV, where Schur and Yang are under overall deals, is… Read
W. Earl Brown Cast As Hugo Root In AMC Pilot ‘Preacher’
Deadwood alum W. Earl Brown is the latest regular cast addition to AMC’s drama pilot Preacher, based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's cult 1990s comic. Brown will play a character from the comic in the project, from Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, Sony TV and AMC Studios, which centers on Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), a conflicted preacher in a small Texas town who merges with a creature that has escaped from heaven and develops the ability to make anyone do anything… Read