As usual, the CW made the bulk of its pilot pickups in one fell swoop, and the network is betting heavily on IP this year. It greenlighted four pilots tonight — all based on well known titles — two spinoffs of existing CW series, Riverdale and Jane the Virgin, a Nancy Drew drama and The Lost Boys reboot. The join the recently greenlighted Batwoman pilot starring Ruby Rose.
The Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, which follows four Archie Comics characters, and telenovela anthology series Jane the Novela both hail from the creative auspices behind the original series: Jane creator/executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman, star Gina Rodriguez, exec producers Ben Silverman and director Brad Silberling. and studio CBS TV Studios, and Riverdale creator/executive producer Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. TV.
The untitled Nancy Drew drama, inspired by the classic mysteries, comes from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire (Gossip Girl, Dynasty) and CBS TV Studios, while The Lost Boys is from Rob Thomas’s Spondoodle, Gulfstream TV and Warner Bros TV.
I hear the CW is not done picking up pilots, with The LA Complex reboot among the scripts that have been heating up. As usual, the network split its pickups down the middle between its sister studios tonight, with two orders to WBTV and two to CBS TV Studios.
The CW originally developed a series adaptation of the iconic 1987 Warner Bros horror comedy movie The Lost Boys with Thomas writing during the 2016-17 development season. While the project didn’t go to pilot, the network brass remained very high on the title and had been looking to redevelop it. While Thomas has been busy with his Veronica Mars reboot for Hulu, a take by writer Heather Mitchell (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy) got everyone excited, and the new incarnation picked up steam this development season.
Katy Keene, centered around the budding fashionista in New York City, is the second Riverdale spinoff. The First, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, started at the CW before moving to Netflix where it has been a breakout hit. Aguirre-Sacasa, who co-wrote Katy Keene with Riverdale co-executive producer Michael Grassi, said last summer that the new offshoot is “very different from Riverdale.”
Today’s orders give Berlanti Pords. two pilots at the CW, Katy Keene and Batwoman.
Written by Jane scribe Valentina Garza and directed by Silberling, Jane the Novela is envisioned as a soapy, telenovela-inspired anthology series in the tradition of Jane the Virgin, where each season is based on a different fictional novel “written by” Jane Villanueva and narrated by the author herself. The first installment takes place at a Napa Valley Vineyard.
The spinoff already had gotten a blinking green light, with the mothership’s casting directors Alyson Silverberg and Jonathan Clay Harris tapped to cast it.
Written by Noga Landau (The Magicians), the untitled Nancy Drew project is centered on 18-year-old Nancy Drew in the summer after her high school graduation.
Launching a Nancy Drew TV series has been a priority for CBS TV Studios, which has the rights to the the classic YA mystery books originally published by Stratemeyer Syndicate and later Simon & Schuster. The studio developed two Nancy Drew series over the past three years, Drew at CBS during the 2015-16 development season, which went to pilot starring Sarah Shahi and got close to a series order, and Nancy Drew at NBC this past season. Both incarnations, from writers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater and producer Dan Jinks, were conceived as sequels to the books, with an adult Nancy Drew at the center.
Here are details about the newly picked up CW pilots:
THE LOST BOYS
Logline: Welcome to sunny seaside Santa Carla, home to a beautiful boardwalk, all the cotton candy you can eat…and a secret underworld of vampires. After the sudden death of their father, two brothers move to Santa Carla with their mother, who hopes to start anew in the town where she grew up. But the brothers find themselves drawn deeper and deeper into the seductive world of Santa Carla’s eternally beautiful and youthful undead.
- Executive Producer/Writer: Heather Mitchell
Executive Producers: Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge (Spondoolie); Mike Karz, Bill Bindley (Gulfstream)
Producer: Rebecca Franko (Spondoolie)
- Based on the feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures
- Auspices: Spondoolie Productions and Gulfstream Television in association with Warner Bros. Television
Logline: A Riverdale spinoff, KATY KEENE follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters — including fashion legend-to-be Katy Keene — as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City. This musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio.
- Based on the Archie Comics characters
- Executive Producers/Writers: Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, Michael Grassi
- Executive Producers: Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater
- Auspices: Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television
JANE THE NOVELA
Logline: A telenovela anthology series in the tradition of JANE THE VIRGIN, where each season is based on a different fictional novel “written by” Jane Villanueva and narrated by the author herself. The first installment takes place at a Napa Valley Vineyard, where family secrets (and family members) don’t stay buried for long.
- Executive Producer/Writer: Valentina Garza
Executive Producers: Gina Rodriguez, Jennie Snyder Urman, Ben Silverman, Joanna Klein, Emily Gipson, Jorge Granier and Gary Pearl
Executive Producer/Director: Brad Silberling
- Auspices: CBS Television Studios/Sutton Street Prods. /I Can and I Will Prods/ Propagate
UNTITLED NANCY DREW PROJECT
- Logline: Set in the summer after her high school graduation,18-year-old Nancy Drew thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation — and along the way, uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined.
- Writers / Executive Producers: Noga Landau, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage
Co-Executive Producer: Lis Rowinski
- Auspices: CBS Television Studios / Fake Empire