Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have been ramping up their TV operation under new head of television Owen Shiflett, who joined four months ago. The company has sold two drama projects, Smoke Sex Magic to NBC and The Work to Fox. Additionally, Parkes + MacDonald’s martial arts drama Warrior, which went to pilot at NBC last season, is being redeveloped by Fox with original writer Dave Digilio.
Smoke Sex Magic, through Universal TV where Parkes + MacDonald has a first-look deal, centers on two sisters who inherit their mother’s popular restaurant only to discover that the secret to their mother’s cooking was black magic. It is written by Matthew Murphy, the winner of the 2011 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for his script Unicorn.
The Work, through 20th Century Fox TV, is set in the world of professional wrestling. It was written on spec by Scott O’Connor, author of the novels Untouchable and Half World. The script was shopped to cable networks, with Fox stepping up to take it off the table. O’Connor has been interested in professional wrestling and penned an article about WWE star Brock Lesnar in New York Times Magazine in August.
Parkes, MacDonald and Shiflett executive produce Smoke Sex Magic and The Work which are looking to bring new voices to TV. Under Parkes+MacDonald’s first-look deal at Uni TV, the company recently produced NBC’s limited series The Slap, written by Jon Robin Baitz and Parkes,
“First Robbie Baitz with The Slap, then Dave Digilio with Warrior, now with O’Connor and Murphy; Parkes MacDonald is committed to bringing strong, original voices to television,” Shiflett said. “It’s an exciting time to be working in the medium, and we’ll continue to pursue business with any storyteller who brings a unique perspective.”
Parkes+MacDonald’s development slate also includes a TV drama adaptation of RASL, the black-and-white science fiction noir comic book by Jeff Smith. It also has a series based on the book Tokyo Underworld by Robert Whiting set up at Amazon with David Scarpa writing.