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Development News - 6th to 12th September 2013

Fox has taken in an ABC Studios-produced comedy in a script deal with penalty. It hails from Courteney Cox and David Arquette‘s studio-based Coquette and writer Vijal Patel who also has an overall deal at ABC Studios. The single-camera comedy centers on tiger parents who realize raising smart confident kids is a horrible idea when they turn into smart confident teenagers who make your life hell. Patel is writing and will executive produce with Cox and Arquette, with Coquette’s Thea Mann co-executive producing.

Source: deadline

Fox has put in development Frayed, a thriller drama written by Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air), which has received a script commitment plus penalty. It is based on the Dutch miniseries Bellicher, which in turn was an adaptation of the novel The Power Of Mr. Miller by Dutch author Charles den Tex. Frayed hails from Sony TV, Turner and Jennifer Klein’s studio-based Vendetta and Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya’s Scripted World. It centers on an arrogant and entitled corporate consultant who gets embroiled in a grand conspiracy that forces him to go on the run. As his entire life unravels, he’ll come to realize that the only man who can help him is a perpetually paranoid and possibly delusional former NSA agent.

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Fox has handed a put pilot commitment to single-camera prison comedy Dead Boss, from Warner Bros TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. An adaptation of the BBC3 series created by Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh and starring Horgan, Dead Boss is being written by Patricia Breen, exec producer on WBTV’s ABC comedy series Suburgatory. It centers on a woman trying to prove her innocence after being falsely accused and convicted of killing her boss. Breen is executive producing with Horgan and Kaplan.

Source: deadline

Bates Motel executive producer/co-showrunner Kerry Ehrin is re-teaming with Jason Katims for an hourlong project, which has been set up at NBC. Written by Ehrin, the untitled project tells the darkly comedic story of two unlikely female partners in the Boston PD — one a fortysomething single mom with a ton of baggage, the other an ambitious Latina twentysomething wannabe-hotshot with a lot to learn. It’s a cat-and-mouse game of who-can-you-trust told through the lens of two high-spirited, slightly insane professionals. Universal TV, where Ehrin and Katims are based, is producing with Katims’ True Jack Prods. Ehrin, Katims and Michelle Lee executive produce.


Source: deadline

In the company’s first two official sales this development season, Mark Gordon‘s Mark Gordon Co. has set up two comedy projects from writer Scott King (The Neighbors) — one at ABC and one at Fox. Both are produced by ABC Studios where the Mark Gordon Co. is based, with the company’s Andrea Shay executive producing. The ABC project, The After Party, is an adult ensemble comedy about three recently single siblings who have two things in common: 1) insanely happily married parents and 2) failed marriages. The Fox project, Clothing Optional, is about a family who own and operate a wholesome all-inclusive resort but suddenly must put their morality and better judgment on hold when a scandal rocks their hotel and they decide to just go with it and turn the place into a Clothing Optional resort to keep the business afloat.

Source: deadline

An ensemble single-camera comedy pitch by up-and-coming writer Barry Schwartz, Sony TV and studio-based producers Greg Malins and Seth Gordon has sold to Fox. Written by Schwartz with Malins supervising/showrunning, The Worst Best Thing is described as an edgy, docu-style comedy about three couples — two with new babies and one who’s expecting — who have known each other since grade school and are very angry at all the people who lied to them about how “wonderful and beautiful” having babies is. It is almost never those things. But the few amazing moments that are make up for almost all of it. Malins is executive producing with Gordon through his Exhibit A where the project was shepherded by head of development Mary Rohlich.

Source: deadline

Dan Bucatinsky already acts on one Shonda Rhimes series (Scandal) and serves as a writer on another (Grey’s Anatomy). He now will try to expand Rhimes’ ABC portfolio with a new hourlong series. The network has bought Show & Tell, a dramedy from Bucatinsky and Rhimes’ Shondaland. Inspired by Bucatinsky’s book about parenthood, Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?, Show & Tell is described as a fast-paced dramedy about the lives, loves, and scandalous secrets of a group of parents whose kids attend the same school. Bucatinsky is writing and will executive produce with Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

Source: deadline

Brillstein Entertainment Partners has kicked off its selling season with three deals at ABC — for comedies from writers Ali Rushfield and Kristin Newman and a drama from Jordon Nardino. All three are executive produced by Robin Schwartz, who joined the company as TV president in June, and hail from ABC Studios where Brillstein is under a deal.

Both single-camera comedy juxtapose women in their 30s and their 20s. The Ali Rushfield half-hour centers on a 36-year-old woman/child who finally begins to grow up when she moves in with two 21-year-old girls. Rushfield serves as an executive producer, with Leslie Grossman, who was involved in the project’s inception, serving as consultant. It has been a busy development season for Parks & Recreation co-executive producer Rushfield. The Kristin Newman comedy, titled Women & Girls, centers on a woman from the Sex And The City age and her half-sister from the Girls era who navigate life together at home and work. UTA-repped Newman is a co-executive producer on ABC’s The Neighbors.

Drama Princess centers on a regular girl who falls in love with the heir of a political dynasty, becoming a modern-day princess. But what seems like a fairytale quickly unravels. The plot echoes the real-life story of Britain’s Princess Diana.

Source: deadline

Thriller seems to be the drama genre du jeur so far this development season, with the broadcast networks stocking up on conspiracy/mystery serialized drama projects. The latest is Far From The Tree, from Switched At Birth executive producer Becky Hartman Edwards and Ruben Fleischer, which has sold to Fox through 20th Century Fox Television where Fleischer has a deal. Written by Edwards, it is a character-based thriller focusing on the members of an all-American family whose lives are turned upside down when their eldest son is involved in a large scale eco-terrorist attack. The show centers on the parents and siblings of the eco-terrorist as they deal with the FBI, media and community at large, all while unraveling the complex mystery as to how and why one of their own became so radicalized.

Source: deadline

Endemol Studios has closed a deal to develop and produce an English-language adaptation of the hit French crime thriller series Engrenages. The original series follows a murder investigation and reveals the cooperation, conflict, transgression and corruption within the French legal system from the perspective of the lead characters: a police captain and her two lieutenants, a judge, a prosecutor, and a defense lawyer. (trailer with English subtitles below) “Engrenages offers a hyper-realistic take on the French judicial system”, said Endemol Studios CEO Philippe Maigret. “The show’s masterfully complex storylines and layered characters give us the right blueprint to further explore society’s ever-changing codes of justice and develop a distinctive, un-apologetic, gripping television drama set against the backdrop of today’s U.S. legal system.”

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June Diane Raphael, Casey Wilson and Jonathan Groff have sold half-hour pilot pitch DINKS (Double Income, No Kids) to ABC through ABC Studios with a pilot production commitment. The project, which stems from the premium blind script deal Raphael and Wilson inked with ABC Studios last month, centers on a thirty-something couple (double-income, no kids) that straddles the line between life with kids and single life without them. Happy Endings showrunner Groff will executive produce through his overall deal at ABC Studios, reuniting with series co-star Wilson. Raphael is attached to star as part of the holding deal she signed with ABC Studios in conjunction with the script pact.

Source: deadline

A mental institution will live up to its funny farm nickname as the setting of a half-hour NBC comedy project written and executive produced by playwright-screenwriter Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things) and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Harmony House centers on a young psychiatric resident who finds the woman of his dreams in the most unlikely of places: as a patient in the psychiatric facility where he recently has taken a job. The single-camera project is a romantic comedy that reminds us that love can drive you a little crazy. 20th Century Fox TV is producing.

Source: deadline


Top TV comedy director Jason Winer (Modern Family) has teamed with hot comedy writer Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect) for The Runt, a half-hour project that has landed at CBS with a pilot production commitment. Written by Cannon and to be directed by Winer, The Runt is a single camera comedy about a group of five adult siblings from the point of view of The Runt. Always the scrawniest and the butt of the joke, she’s now the most successful. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to break the family dynamics established when she was a kid. 20th Century Fox TV, where both Winer and Cannon are under overall deals, is producing. This marks the first sale for Winer’s Small Dog Picture Co., launched in June when he brought in NBC executive Renate Radford to run it. Winer, Cannon and Radford executive produce.

Source: deadline



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