EXCLUSIVE: Insatiable, the darkly comedic hourlong pilot starring Debby Ryan and Dallas Roberts, which narrowly missed a pickup at the CW, is getting a 13-episode series order — at Netflix. I hear the Internet network is finalizing a deal with CBS TV Studios for Insatiable, which will become a Netflix original series. It comes from writer Lauren Gussis (Dexter, Once Upon A Time), Ryan Seacrest Productions and Storied Media Group. Netflix declined comment.
This would mark the first scripted series brought to Netflix by VP Content Bela Bajaria, who oversees the licensing of TV and film content from major U.S. studios for the streaming service. Before Netflix and Universal TV, where she was president, Bajaria worked at CBS TV Studios and launched its cable/digital series operation.
With the Insatiable deal at Netflix, CBS TV Studios would be going 3-for-3 with its 2017 CW pilots, all of which are being picked up to series — Dynasty and Valor at the CW and Insatiable at Netflix.
It is a post-upfront tradition — most of the broadcast pilots that were not picked up to series get sent out to other networks with the hope of a series order elsewhere. It almost never works, but, like CBS’ Sneaky Pete, which landed a series order at Amazon two years ago, Insatiable immediately drew interest from potential buyers.
The darkly comedic and quirky Insatiable was well received by the CW executives but was different than anything else on the network. With a rare crop of six pilots, all of them formidable series contenders, the CW brass had to make some tough choices in May, having already renewed 11 current series. The network ended up picking up Dynasty, Valor, Black Lightning and Life Sentence, originally keeping the remaining two pilots, Insatiable and Searchers, in contention before ultimately passing because the CW’s budget had been maxed out on the volume of renewed and newly picked series.
Coming from former Dexter co-executive producer Gussis, the Insatiable pilot is said to have a premium feel, which was even stronger in the pilot script and likely will be explored deeper going forward now that the show is on Netflix. CBS TV Studios supplies CBS Corp’s own streaming service, CBS All Access, with original scripted series, so it was logically to consider All Access as a possible home for Insatiable, but CBS TV Studios also has a good relationship with Netflix, which is the international distributor of the studio’s new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery and carries previous seasons of the CW series via a deal with CBS TV Studios and Warner Bros TV.
Written by Gussis, with Andrew Fleming directing the pilot for the CW, Insatiable was inspired by real-life Southern lawyer and top beauty pageant coach Bill Alverson. It focuses on Bob (Dallas), a disgraced, dissatisfied civil lawyer-turned-beauty pageant coach who takes on Patty (Ryan), a vengeful, bullied teenager as his client, and has no idea what he’s about to unleash upon the world. The cast also includes Christopher Gorham, Erinn Westbrook, Michael Provost, Sarah Colonna, Kimmy Shields, Irene Choi as well as Alyssa Milano in a major recurring role.
Gussis executive produces with RSP’s Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass and Andrea Shay of RSP and Storied Media’s Todd Hoffman and Dennis Kim.