EXCLUSIVE: It looks like thriller drama pilot Doomsday, from producer Carol Mendelsohn and Sony Pictures TV, will go to series after all. I’ve learned that Sony TV is exploring a series order for the project, originally set up at ABC this past development season where it did not go beyond the pilot stage. While pickup conversations are going on, Sony TV has moved to extend the options on the cast of Doomsday, which were set to expire June 30. The project stars Claire Holt, Jack Davenport, Rachelle Lefevre, Dan Byrd, Taye Diggs, Justin Chatwin and Rochelle Aytes.
I hear Sony TV is planning to produce Doomsday for global distribution based on oversees interest in the concept and auspices. I hear the studio would open a writers room and fund the production of the series, likely in the 13-episode range, before taking it out to domestic and international buyers.
I hear one of the potential options considered involves Sony Pictures Television Networks’ AXN set of international channels, which distributes Sony TV’s straight-to-series Stana Katic thriller drama Absentia that just had its world premiere at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.
Doomsday was one of the first big buys of the 2016-2017 broadcast development cycle, landing at ABC with a production commitment plus a series penalty behind it. It went to pilot but did not make the cut to series.
Written by Mark Bianculli & VJ Boyd and directed by Joachim Ronning, Doomsday starts in the aftermath of 9/11, when the U.S. government institutes a secret think tank featuring the most creative minds in science and entertainment that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions. Because the hypothetical ideas are deemed extremely dangerous, the list is sealed and the program shut down. But when a catastrophe occurs that’s ripped from the pages of the missing doomsday book, the team is brought back years later to prevent the disasters of their own making.
Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz executive produce for Sony TV-based Carol Mendelsohn Productions alongside Boyd via Pernomium Pictures and Bianculli via Signal Hill Productions.
If the deals close and Doomsday goes to series, it would be the second broadcast pilot this season to score a series order after getting a pass by its original network. CBS TV Studios’ Insatiable, originally at the CW, has landed at Netflix. As for Sony TV, it would be the second save this season, following NBC’s un-cancellation of the studio’s drama Timeless.