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Fire Country, East New York and So Help Me Todd - Dramas Ordered to Series by CBS; Passes on All Comedy Pilots

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CBS has given series orders to three of its five drama pilots, Max Thieriot’s Fire Country (fka Cal Fire); East New York, headlined by Amanda Warren, Jimmy Smits, and So Help Me Todd (fka Untitled Mother & Son Legal Drama), starring Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin. CBS is not commenting beyond that but I hear Fire Country, East New York and So Help Me Todd are for fall. True Lies, from 20th Television, ordered as an off-cycle pilot, remains undecided as of yet.

I hear CBS drama pilot, Early Edition, a reimagining of the Kyle Chandler series, as well as all of CBS’ comedy pilots/presentations, are not going forward. The network this year opted for all presentation orders to comedy projects to its own studio, CBS Studios (The Hug Machine, Somber Companion, Unplanned In Akron), while the one comedy from an outside studio, Warner Bros. TV’s Rust Bell News, was a full pilot.

I hear CBS brass were very happy with their crop of drama pilots this season, believed to be one of the strongest in years, while the group of comedy pilots didn’t feature any standouts.


Press Release
EPs/W: William Finkelstein, Mike Flynn
EP/D: Michael M. Robin (Skyemac Productions)
EPs: Christine Holder, Mark Holder (Wonder Street)
Co-EP: Andrew Maher (Skyemac)
STUDIO: Warner Bros. Television
LOGLINE: Regina Haywood is the newly promoted deputy inspector of East New York, a working-class neighborhood at the edge of Brooklyn. She leads a diverse group of officers and detectives, some of whom are reluctant to deploy her creative methods of serving and protecting in the midst of social upheaval and the early seeds of gentrification.
CAST: Amanda Warren, Kevin Rankin, Jimmy Smits, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Richard Kind, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lavel Schley and Olivia Luccardi

FIRE COUNTRY (formerly known as “Cal Fire”)
Bettina Strauss/CBS
EPs/Teleplay Written by/Story Co-Written by: Tony Phelan & Joan Rater
EP/Story Co-Written by: Max Thieriot
EP/D: James Strong (pilot only)
EP: David Grae
EPs: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed (Jerry Bruckheimer Television)
LOGLINE: Seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence, young convict Bode Donovan joins a firefighting program that returns him to his small Northern California hometown, where he and other inmates work alongside elite firefighters to extinguish massive blazes across the region. Inspired by Max Thieriot’s experiences growing up in northern California fire country.
CAST: Max Thieriot, Billy Burke, Kevin Alejandro, Diane Farr, Stephanie Arcila, Jordan Calloway, Jules Latimer

SO HELP ME TODD (formerly known as “Untitled Mother/Son Legal Drama”)
EP/Writer: Scott Prendergast
EPs/Showrunners: Liz Kruger, Craig Shapiro
EP/D: Amy York Rubin (pilot only)
EPs: Dr. Phil McGraw, Jay McGraw, Julia Eisenman (Stage 29 Productions)
LOGLINE: Despite their opposing personalities, a talented but directionless P.I. who is the black sheep of his family begrudgingly agrees to work as the in-house investigator for his overbearing mother, a successful attorney reeling from the recent dissolution of her marriage.
CAST: Marcia Gay Harden, Skylar Astin, Madeline Wise, Tristen J. Winger, Inga Schlingmann and Rosa Arredondo


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