CBS Television Studios, Rideback and Thinking Hat are reteaming on a second year of the Rideback/Thinking Hat Campfire writers room, which in its inaugural year developed and sold two projects to CBS. The program, designed to attract experienced feature film writers and other creative voices to broadcast TV development for the first time, has set Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary), Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) and writer Katrina O’Gilvie (Swagger) for this year’s roster.
The trio work with showrunner/executive producers Anna Fricke (Walker), Rina Mimoun (Under the Bridge) and Corinne Brinkerhoff (American Gothic), who all have overall deals at CBS TV Studios. They will provide support from development through series.
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The program, run by Thinking Hat founder and writer-producer Craig Turk (FBI, The Code), sold two projects to CBS Television Network in its first year in 2019-2020: Drift from Chris Salmanpour and The Eshmun Protocol from Jason Keller.
“Our vision for Campfire is to support exciting creative voices using the power of collaboration, in particular by introducing the writers room dynamic from day one,” said Dan Lin, CEO of Rideback, which also runs the diversity-driven Rideback TV Incubator. “We’re excited to have Jeff, Gbenga and Katrina as our creators this year and support their remarkable new ideas.”
Added Turk. “This is a process we wish we’d had when we were starting out. By providing a solid foundation for success with the support of experienced, world-class executive producers, these very talented writers will be free to explore every aspect of their creativity.”
Buhler, who created and was showrunner on Netflix/Syfy’s George R.R. Martin limited series Nightflyers, has genre film credits including most recently Pet Sematary, The Prodigy, Jacob’s Ladder and The Grudge. He also penned Midnight Meat Train.
Akinnagbe most recently made his Broadway debut in To Kill a Mockingbird and is in FX’s upcoming The Old Man. His credits include reuniting with The Wire creator David Simon on HBO’s The Deuce, and the pics The Sun Is Also a Star, Detroit and Crown Heights.
O’Gilvie started as an assistant to Aaron Sorkin on Sports Night before she penned TV One’s Behind the Movement about Rosa Parks. She also was behind TV One’s Sins of the Father and Don’t Waste Your Pretty. She is currently story editor on Apple TV+’s Swagger.
“The search for new and diverse creative voices poses a significant challenge,” CBS Television Studios EVP Drama Development Bryan Seabury said. ” With so much competition for top talent, it’s imperative that studios like ours help nurture and mentor writers entering television. Partnering with Craig and Dan has allowed us access to a host of up and coming creators with limitless potential. It’s a huge win for us.”
Buhler is repped by Gotham Group and Morris Yorn; Akinnagbe by APA, Untitled Entertainment and Andre Des Rochers; and O’Gilvie by manager Adam Robinson at The Rookery and Kaplan Stahler Agency.
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