Today in TV Deals: Lee Daniels to Adapt 'Valley of the Dolls,' Kevin Williamson Takes on Serial Killers
NBC has invested in Lee Daniels' take on the classic '60s novel 'Valley of the Dolls,' Deadline reports, in what will be the 'Precious' helmer's small-screen debut. He'll write and direct the period drama, based on Jaqueline Susann's novel about the showbiz lives of three friends. The book's already been turned into a cult-classic movie (1967), a mini-series (1981) and a late-night soap (1994).
The network announced today that it will debut 10 new shows in the 2011-2012 season, including a series about models living together in an apartment from Ryan Murphy, a miniseries called 'Coma' from Ridley and Tony Scott, and a spinoff of 'Storage Wars' set in Dallas.
Also on the slate are self-explanatory new series 'InLaws' and 'Boar Hunters,' as well as 'Family Bonding,' which handcuffs two family members together for 48 hours. Returning shows include A&E hits 'Hoarders,' 'The First 48,' 'Dog the Bounty Hunter,' 'Intervention' and more.
Read descriptions of the new shows after the jump.
Judging from the 'Vampire Diaries' mastermind's frequent middle-of-the-night tweets, probably not, but his lack of zzzz's is our gain: According to Deadline Hollywood, Williamson is creating a companion series to his hit CW show.
It's not a spinoff or a sequel, just a supernatural-themed drama about a group of (probably gorgeous) people who investigate paranormal happenings. Deadline reports that an insider describes the show as "'The X-Files' meets 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'" Did you hear that? It was the sound of millions of smart sci-fi fans squealing with joy, followed by the sound of millions of 'Vampire Diaries' fans swooning at the casting possibilities.
Marriage troubles can't hold the 'Desperate Housewives' actress back -- Longoria and her production company, Unbelievable Entertainment, are working on three new shows. According to Deadline Hollywood, the Texas border town soap 'Sendera' (with 'Cold Case' actress Kathryn Morris) and 'Parenting by Committee' are for ABC, while 'Aztec' is being described as a potential miniseries for Starz.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin has signed a deal with CBS to write, produce, and star in a new show. The Hollywood Reporter and TV Squad both confirmed there will be no season 3 of 'Important Things.'
It's a blind script deal, which means the show could be anything. And given Martin's vast imagination, it would be pointless to speculate on the details. The Reporter does point out that Martin fits with CBS's desires to court a young audience, in line with recent actions like developing new shows based on Twitter feeds.
Now ABC is developing a dramedy about the Veep, according to Variety. The series will be written by Sheldon Turner ('Up in the Air') and Shaun Cassidy ('Invasion'), and will focus on a fictional vice president and his staff.
The show will focus on the underdog nature of the vice president's office and explore the interpersonal relationships therein, including a romance between the female chief of staff and the vice president's son.
The deal came with the opportunity to do a feature film with a mainstream release and if the movie struck gold, the network would consider moving him into something more permanent on their network. Of course, when you're dealing with major broadcast networks, there's always a third option that never seems to come up during the negotiation stage: getting the rug pulled out from underneath you.
Yankovic posted a message on his Wordpress blog announcing that the deal is officially in the can -- the garbage can, that is. It seems that Cartoon Network decided not to get into the feature film business, a decision that shut down a number of projects in development including the Weird one's, um, one.
With the success of these cartoon comedies on Sunday night, FOX programmers seem to think Sunday is their only night for comedy, and they keep trying to establish new live-action hits there. Shows like 'Brothers,' ''Til Death' and the recent 'Sons of Tucson' have all failed to gain traction with the Sunday night FOX audience.
It's time for the network to consider expanding their comedy presence to another night. Leave the successful "Animation Domination" block alone, and let it do what you built it to do. Comedy is on the rise, and ABC proved you can launch a new night of it successfully, if the shows are good enough. But where should FOX go?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network is getting ready to launch seven new shows, and for them, it's all about quality programming. "These new projects all combine strong characters and superior storytelling, offering viewers the kind of exceptionally written, aspirational originals they won't find anywhere else," said President of Original Programming Jeff Wachtel in a statement.
So what does it have in the hopper? First up is 'Robyn,' a modern-day Robin Hood with a bit of a twist: This time, it'll be a woman stealing from the rich to give to the poor in this update from Becky Hartman Edwards ('Parenthood').
But the word "funny" has never come to mind when I've seen her work. Which is why I'm scratching my head at the news that NBC is developing a sitcom for Lakshmi. You heard me. As in most cases in the world of TV, the premise can be boiled down into one oh-so-confidence-infusing sentence, according to Variety: "Building on her Top Chef credentials, the show will star Lakshmi as a woman working in the culinary world." One possible title? Single Serving.
Oofah. The show's got "two week mid-season stinker" written all over it, doesn't it?
[via TV Week]
AMC already has one critically acclaimed and Golden Globe nominated drama under its belt with the brilliant Mad Men. A second new series, Breaking Bad, hopes to follow that success, beginning in January. Malcolm in the Middle's Bryan Cranston stars as a high school chemistry teacher who turns to a life of crime in order to support his family after he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. If it's half as good as Mad Men it'll be twice as good as most of what's on TV.
But not content to wait around to see how Breaking Bad does critically and commercially, Variety reports that AMC has no less than four more shows in various stages of development, including two westerns. Westerns haven't been able to find success on the broadcast networks in years. Now by "Western" I'm talking the John Wayne/Clint Eastwood brand of Westerns with gunfights and saloon whores, not the likes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which did find an audience but was a very different kind of show.
Here's what USA has in development for 2008:
Halo will center on a man who wakes up one morning to find a halo over his head. Brilliant! I mean, the halo will be "brilliant," as in: "luminous" -- the show itself doesn't sound brilliant at all. The man tries to get rid of the halo but finds himself doing good deeds in the meantime. Actually, I'm being a smartass, and if it weren't a USA series I'd probably be rolling my eyes at the idea, but something tells me there might be something more substantive here than what the synopsis implies.
MTV has development deals in place for a few flicks which would air first on the network before hitting DVD and then, based on public response, the cinema. These projects, one of which is being developed by Jay Kogen, a writer for The Simpsons and Fraiser, have not been officially greenlit by the studio.
This is not an entirely new idea for MTV. Recently, MTV announced a DVD movie based on its popular My Super Sweet 16 series.
First, Journeyman director Alex Graves signed a deal with 20th Century Fox TV, and now Tom Szentgyorgyi, who recently joined the NBC series as a writer (coming off the short-lived Drive) has also inked a deal with the studio to develop new projects.
Szentgyorgyi apparently came highly recommend from such TV bigshots as Stephen Bochco, whom Szentgyorgyi worked with on NYPD Blue. Szentgyorgyi also wrote for Law and Order and The Nine, and began his television career as a writer on Sports Night.
Dana Gould, one of my favorite stand-up comedians, is creating a series about zombies for Comedy Central?
I am so there.
The series, which has the working title of The Last Larry, focuses on a world destroyed by zombies, and the humans leftover who are trying to get on with their lives. Gould describes the series as a traditional sitcom that just happens to take place in the aftermath of a zombie holocaust, saying it's really about how people get on with their lives after something terrible happens.