EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development Eden, a mystery drama written/executive produced by The Brave creator Dean Georgaris, a Latinx family drama written/exec produced by Valentina Garza and a chef comedy written by Jimmy O. Yang & Jeremy Yadegari, with Aseem Batra supervising.
The three projects hail from Julie Anne Robinson’s CannyLads Productions, which also recently sold drama Level to NBC, penned by Sean Finegan. Universal TV, where CannyLads is under a deal, is the studio. Robinson executive produces all projects with CannyLads’ head of development Kelly Pancho. Robinson is also attached to direct the Valentina Garza project, Level and the Yang/Yadegari comedy.
In Georgaris’ Eden, a small team of military and scientists journey above the Arctic Circle to the site of a terrible nuclear accident more than 10 years ago. Their mission: find out how and why the reactor is mysteriously coming back online.
Georgaris executive produces alongside Michael Aguilar. The two previously co-created/executive produced NBC/Uni TV’s Bluff City Law. Georgaris, who has been under an overall deal at Uni TV, part of Universal Studio Group, also developed and executive produced the studio’s ABC series Baker and the Beauty.
In the untitled Valentina Garza project, an explosive incident brings a woman’s mentally ill mother crashing back into her life. She’s now forced to revisit her family’s painful past and blur carefully constructed boundaries between her mother and the family she’s chosen.
The project explores themes of race, mental health, housing instability, immigration, and generational trauma.
“Growing up with a neurodiverse parent, I understand how complex and challenging it is for families with loved ones who are suffering from mental illness,” Garza said. “Unfortunately, mental illness is still stigmatized in our society, and I hope that this show is able to contribute towards creating empathy for an issue that many Americans are grappling with every day.”
Garza, who is in an overall deal with Uni TV, recently served as co-executive producer on the studio’s Baker and the Beauty. She previously was co-executive producer on the CW’s Jane the Virgin and wrote and executive produced spinoff pilot Jane the Novela. Garza, whose writing career was launched on The Simpsons, is repped by Industry Entertainment and Morris-Yorn.
In the untitled Yang/Yadegari project, a washed-up chef must deal with his old school Persian parents and eccentric friends from his past when he takes over his parents’ dumpy Chinese food restaurant. Writers Yang and Yadegari co-executive produce. Batra, who is supervising the writing, executive produces.
This marks a reunion for Batra and Robinson who worked together on the NBC/Uni TV comedy series I Feel Bad, created/executive produced by Batra and directed/executive produced by Robinson.
“We love working with both the UTV and NBC teams and are thrilled to be developing with them again this year. We’re also putting together several exciting packages that we look forward to bringing to streamers in 2021,” said Robinson whose CannyLads sold five network projects last year.
BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated director Robinson developed and executive produced The Catch with Shonda Rhimes. Her directing credits include Nurse Jackie and Orange Is The New Black. She most recently directed and executive produced two episodes of new Netflix Shondaland series Bridgerton, including the pilot. Additionally, Robinson and Arden Myrin have created a podcast, Lady of the Road, which focuses on women in the entertainment industry. It will begin airing in 2021.
In addition to CannyLads, Robinson co-founded UK-based Longboat Pictures with Victoria Fea. Longboat Pictures has projects in active development with ITV, BBC and Sky. Robinson is repped by Independent Talent Group, WME, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.