EXCLUSIVE: CBS has set up a writers room for drama The Great Game, produced by CBS Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s studio-based Secret Hideout. It will be led by the project’s co-writers/executive producers John Hlavin (The Man Who Fell to Earth) and Matthew Newman (Chicago PD) with the goal of generating multiple scripts for a potential straight-to-series order.
The Great Game, inspired by an unpublished novel of the same name by Newman, is the second CBS drama project from the 2021-22 development cycle that the network has put on a script-to-series path by commissioning a writers room; it joins HSI: Puerto Rico. I hear the purpose of the model is to find dramas that can bypass the pilot stage and go to series which can be produced cost-effectively.
Like its counterparts, CBS has been exploring alternatives to the traditional broadcast development model, a process that was accelerated by the pandemic.
In The Great Game, a washed-up but charming British spy is reluctantly recruited out of retirement by a bright-eyed, tech-savvy, female CIA agent, giving him a shot at redemption as he re-learns the modern, ruthless game of international espionage. .
Hlavin, who has been under an overall deal at CBS Studios, and Newman executive produce alongside Kurtzman, Secret Hideout President of TV Aaron Baiers and the company’s former President of TV Heather Kadin who’d originally set up the project at CBS.
Newman is co-executive producer on NBC’s Chicago PD. His series credits also include Godfather of Harlem as well as Shooter, which was developed for TV and executive produced by Hlavin. Newman is repped by ICM Partners, Heroes & Villains and Felker, Toczek, Suddleson. His The Great Game manuscript is being repped by ICM’s publishing group and is going out to market soon.
Hlavin is the showrunner on CBS Studios and Secret Hideout’s upcoming series The Man Who Fell to Earth, which premieres April 24 on Showtime. He is repped by UTA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
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