Fox just made its first new series pickups, ordering four of its six drama pilots to series. That includes cop/serial killer drama Prodigal Son, starring Tom Payne and Michael Sheen; John Slattery’s AI drama neXt; police drama Deputy, headlined by Stephen Dorff; and the Annie Weisman/Jason Katims sister drama; based on an Australian format.
The drama competition at Fox had been fierce virtually from the start with five of the six pilots emerging as solid contenders. The fifth in the group — soapy family drama Filthy Rich, headlined by Kim Cattrall, which is considered a suitable companion to Empire — remains in contention and is looking food for a pickup, with deals still being worked out.
The mass pickup of new drama series at Fox, which only ordered two new hourlong shows last year, is not good news for the network’s bubble dramas, Lethal Weapon, The Passage and Star. (The Gifted already has been canceled, while midseason drama Proven Innocent has been presumed dead for a while.) UPDATE May 10: A day after picking up four new dramas, Fox canceled all three of its bubble drama series, Star, Lethal Weapon and The passage.
I hear Fox’s sixth drama pilot, Tom Kapinos’ Lovestruck, is not going forward at the network. But the show, whose first season takes place over the course of single night at a wedding, reportedly had tested well and has been well received within 20th Century Fox TV, which is expected to shop it elsewhere, similarly to its 2018 Fox pilot Mixtape, which was picked up to series by Netflix.
Of the newly picked-up Fox dramas, one, neXt (plus Filthy Rich), comes from Fox’s former corporate sibling 20th Century Fox TV. The others come from other studios, Warner Bros. TV (Prodigal Son), Universal TV (Weisman/Katims) and eOne (Deputy), underlining the now-independent network’s commitment to work with all suppliers. All are co-productions with Fox Entertainment. The Fox drama lineup also includes top acting talent with Sheen, Slattery and Dorff.
The pickup of Prodigal Son makes it 3-for-3 for Berlanti Prods., with all three of the company’s broadcast pilots this season going to series, including the CW’s Batwoman and Katy Keene.
Prodigal Son passed one of the biggest tests for a pilot – recasting its lead, with Payne replacing originally cast Finn Jones after the pilot read. Payne and Sheen, who plays his father, proved a formidable duo, drawing praise for their acting — especially Sheen who has a showcase role as a notorious serial killer.
Police drama Deputy has been praised for Dorff’s acting and the directing work of Bright helmer David Ayer. eOne secured Dorff in what might be the biggest talent deal so far this broadcast pilot season. Dorff will reportedly be paid north of $200,000 an episode. If the show goes to a second season, Dorff would become an executive producer. In conjunction with his casting in Deputy, Dorff made a feature script development deal with eOne to develop and star in a movie, which would be produced by Ayer and Chris Long’s Cedar Park Entertainment.
The four dramas join two comedies picked up to series today by Fox, Outmatched (fka Geniuses) and animated half-hour The Great North. and previously ordered straight-to-series animated comedies Bless the Harts and Duncanville.
Here are detailed descriptions and credits for Fox’s newly picked up drama series:
Studio: eOne, FOX Entertainment
Format: One-hour drama
W/EP: Will Beall
D/EP: David Ayer
EP: Chris Long, Barry Schindel
P: Cedar Park
Logline: A modern cop drama that blends the spirit of a classic Western with a modern-day attitude and gritty authenticity. When the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff dies, an arcane rule forged back in the Wild West thrusts the most unlikely man into the job: a fifth-generation lawman, more comfortable taking down bad guys than navigating a sea of politics. He leads a skilled team of ambitious and complicated human beings who won’t rest until justice is served.
Stephen Dorff – “Bill Hollister”
Yara Martinez – “Dr. Paula Reyes”
Brian Van Holt – “Cade Walker”
Siena Goines – “Rachel Delgado”
Bex Taylor-Klaus – “Breanna Bishop”
Shane Paul McGhie – “Joseph Blair”
Mark Moses – “Jerry London”
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television/Zaftig Films, FOX Entertainment
Format: One-hour drama
W/EP: Manny Coto
D/EP: John Requa
D/EP: Glenn Ficarra
NW/EP: Charlie Gogolak
Logline: A propulsive, fact-based thriller about the emergence of a deadly, rogue artificial intelligence that combines pulse-pounding action with a layered examination of how technology is invading our lives and transforming us in ways we don’t yet understand. A Silicon Valley pioneer discovers that one of his own creations – a powerful A.I. – might spell global catastrophe, and teams up with a cybercrime agent to fight a villain unlike anything we’ve ever seen – one whose greatest weapon against us is ourselves.
John Slattery – “Paul LeBlanc”
Fernanda Andrade – “Shea Salazar”
Michael Mosley – “CM”
Jason Butler Harner – “Ted LeBlanc”
Eve Harlowe – “Gina”
Aaron Moten – “Ben”
Gerardo Celasco – “Ty Salazar”
Elizabeth Cappucino – “Abby”
Evan Whitten – “Owen Salazar”
Studio: Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti Productions, FOX Entertainment
Format: One-hour drama
W/EP: Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver
D/EP: Lee Toland Krieger
EP/NW: Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter
Logline: A fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and a darkly comedic tone. Malcolm Bright knows how killers think. Why? His father was one of the best, a notorious serial killer called “The Surgeon.” That’s why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes, while dealing with a somewhat manipulative mother, an annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son and his own constantly evolving neuroses.
Tom Payne – “Malcolm Bright”
Michael Sheen – “Dr. Martin Whitly”
Bellamy Young – “Jessica Whitly”
Lou Diamond Phillips – “Gil Arroyo”
Halston Sage – “Ainsley Whitly”
Aurora Perrineau – “Dani Powell”
Frank Harts – “JT Tarmel”
Keiko Agena – “Edrisa Tanaka”
UNTITLED ANNIE WEISMAN AND JASON KATIMS DRAMA
Studio: Universal Television in association with Endemol Shine North America, FOX Entertainment
Format: One-hour drama
EP/W: Annie Weisman
EP/NW: Jason Katims, Jeni Mulein, Imogen Banks, Sharon Levy
EP/D (pilot): Leslye Headland
Logline: A story of an unusual family formed through extreme odds, exploring such hot-button issues as identity, human connection and what it truly means to be a family. An only child finds her life turned upside down when her father reveals that, over the course of his prize-winning career as a pioneering fertility doctor, he used his own sperm to conceive upwards of a hundred children, including two new sisters. As these three young women slowly embrace their new reality, they will attempt to form an untraditional bond as sisters, even as they must welcome a tidal wave of new siblings into their rapidly expanding family. Based on the original Endemol Shine Australia series, “Sisters,” from Jonathan Gavin and Imogen Banks.
Brittany Snow – “Julia Bechley”
Megalyn Echikunwoke – “Edie Palmer”
Emily Osment – “Roxy Doyle”
Mustafa Elzein – “Dr. Isaac Abadi”
Mo McRae – “Tim Moore”
Victoria Cartagena – “Amanda”
Timothy Hutton – “Dr. Leon Bechley”