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July 31, 2014

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Veteran producer suing ABC, saying he created Lost over 30 years ago

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 14th 2009 12:26PM
Lost logoI think most hit TV shows are sued at one point or another by someone who claims to have actually created the show. Usually it's someone unknown, but once in a while you get a real producer or writer with several credits who claims to have created the show. This is one of those cases.

Anthony Spinner, who among other credits produced and/or wrote for The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Cannon, Search,The FBI, Return of the Saint, and Baretta, is suing both ABC and Touchstone Television, saying that he created (and was paid $30,000 for) a show that is very similar to Lost way back in 1977. He actually sued back in 2005 but the case was dismissed for procedural reasons.

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Smith star gets a new gig

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 1st 2006 2:03PM
Jonny Lee MillerFans of the late CBS drama Smith will be happy to hear this. Jonny Lee Miller, who played Tom on Smith, has just signed on to star in a new drama for ABC titled Eli Stone. It's from Greg Berlanti, the guy who created Everwood, and Marc Guggenheim, a former attorney.

The plot is about a lawyer who finds out that he might also be a prophet. Ahem.

So many lawyer jokes going though my head right now...can't concentrate...

I just hope he's not a prophet who talks to the dead while solving crimes.

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Amy Brenneman returning to network television

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 16th 2006 9:04PM
amy brennemanJudging Amy star Amy Brenneman could be back on network television as soon as next fall. She has signed a holding deal with ABC and Touchstone Television to star in a project next year. No word yet on what that project is or whether Brenneman has a large role in creating a series for herself. She was the creator and executive producer of Judging Amy, which was based on her mother, Frederica Brenneman, a single mother who was also a juvenile court judge.

Brenneman had three Emmy nominations for her work on CBS' Judging Amy from 1999-2005. Last summer, she left the cameras behind for the stage. And, next year she'll star opposite Al Pacino in the movie, 88 Minutes.

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Coppola's The Conversation becoming TV series

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 18th 2006 2:33PM

gene hackmanFrancis Ford Coppola's small scale masterpiece The Conversation may soon be an ABC series with Coppola himself serving as executive producer. The series will take place in the present day and center on surveillance expert Harry Caul, played in the original film by Gene Hackman. The series will reflect on advances in surveillance technology, including digital spying. Christopher McQuarrie, screenwriter of The Usual Suspects and director of The Way of the Gun is writing the pilot along with Band of Brothers writer Erik Jendresen. Tony Krantz (24) is on board as a producer. The plan is to have a specific story for each episode, with an over-arching storyline centering on the various government agencies tracking Caul. The men behind the new series are currently attempting to close a deal with Touchstone Pictures and Krantz's Flame Ventures to serve as studios for the new show. Given the talent behind this, I could see it really taking off. It'll be interesting to see who they get to play Caul.

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Harry Potter director inks TV deal with ABC

by Brett Love, posted Sep 12th 2006 10:26AM
Mike NewellMike Newell, director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, has signed a deal with ABC to develop three pilots for the network. Not much is known about the three dramas, other than that they will be done under the banner of Touchstone, another member of the Disney/ABC megacorp family.

Of course, saying 'Harry Potter director' sounds a little more flashy than 'Huff producer', but I think the latter may have a little more bearing on just where this is headed. While mostly known for his movie work (Potter, Mona Lisa Smile, Pushing Tin, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Newell is not new to TV. Along with his work on Huff, Newell also directed episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and a whole mess of television movies and series in the 70s.

[ via digital spy ]

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Scrubs could be next on iTunes

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 10th 2006 10:11AM
scrubs itunesVariety is reporting that a complicated deal between Disney and NBC is nearing completion, which would make Scrubs part of the growing iTunes family. Why Disney? Well, Disney owns Touchstone Television, which produces Scrubs. But NBC buys it. The two entities have reportedly agreed to a 50-50 split of profits off downloaded episodes of Scrubs.

If it does enter iTunes, which Variety says will happen later this month, it will be the first program available for download that is not produced by corporate cousins. For example, Disney-owned Touchstone produces Desperate Housewives and Lost for Disney-owned ABC, while NBC Universal produces The Office for NBC. That's why the networks were able to get those shows on iTunes quickly. Fewer cooks in the kitchen. This also explains why we haven't seen My Name is Earl on iTunes yet. It's actually produced by FOX. Hopefully the Scrubs deal with Touchstone and NBC will create a template for other, similar agreements to get more content on iTunes.

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