Bull’s Eye Entertainment is charging through its first full season of small-screen development, setting up more than a dozen projects — including a half-hour comedy at CBS starring Jenny McCarthy.
Thesp has inked a talent holding/development deal with the Eye with the intent of starring in “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” a comedy from scribe Melissa Carter (“Little Black Book”) and Bull’s Eye.
Company is headed by former UPN prexy Tom Nunan, ex-APGer Cathy Schulman and producer-financier Bob Yari.
Other projects from Bull’s Eye are an eclectic mix of laffers and dramas set up at nine different broadcast and cable nets, including all of the Big Four webs. Scribes working on Bull’s Eye projects include Dan McDermott, Court Crandall (“Old School”) and Frank Hannah (“The Cooler.”)
Nunan said the fact that Bull’s Eye isn’t one of the many pods set up at a studio has some advantages.
“The receptivity from the networks and studios has been terrific,” Nunan said. “Because we’re a stand-alone, we walk and talk differently than our competition. We want to be able to deal with the buyers directly. Being two, three degrees removed from the process is a more expedient way of getting things done.”
Bucking the trend
Bull’s Eye is among just a handful of small production houses that have opted to remain independent rather than go the pod route like colleagues such as Eric Tannenbaum (who’s set up at Warner Bros.) or Ted Harbert (20th Century Fox). Other small operations that have opted to play the primetime game alone include Greenblatt-Janollari Studio and Industry Entertainment.
“The theory is we should be able to do business everywhere fairly effectively without one of the (vertically integrated studios) looking over our shoulder,” Nunan said. “We all know the stories out there — that certain studios don’t want to be in business with certain networks — and I don’t want to do business that way.”
Instead, Bull’s Eye will partner with studios on a project-by-project basis, with Nunan onboard as exec producer for all projects. But it doesn’t rule out handling the deficits on certain smaller projects, such as reality shows.
On the comedy side, the McCarthy project heads up the Bull’s Eye slate, though more projects are expected to be set up in the next few weeks. In “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” McCarthy will play a mom for the first time, starring as a real estate agent trying to balance work and family.
“If you look across our slate, one of the leading aspects in our company is breaking people into areas they haven’t developed in the past,” Nunan said.
McCarthy’s repped by ICM, Troy Walford and attorney Leigh Bricheen; scribe Carter by Gersh.
‘Line’ lined up at Eye
Also at CBS, Bull’s Eye and Viacom have set up “The Bottom Line,” a half-hour ensemble laffer set at an all-business news net. Michael Davidoff will write the pilot, which he co-created and will exec produce with Nunan.
Jill Franklyn (“My First Mister”) is penning “Not Again!” for NBC. Project revolves around three divorced siblings who move back in with one another.
And in ABC’s “The Suttons of Valencia,” which is being produced by Touchstone Television, “Old School” scribe Crandall will explore what happens when a dad has to move his family to a planned suburban community. Diane Warshay is attached as a producer.
Bull’s Eye has teamed with journo-scribe Steve Garbarino for HBO’s “Freak Beat,” based on the former New York Post editor’s experiences covering Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the fashion scene. Garbarino, who now writes for pubs such as Vanity Fair and the New York Times, will write and exec produce; Jim Thompson is onboard as a producer.
Showtime flying ‘High’
For Showtime, shingle is developing “The Mile High Club,” an ensemble laffer about flight attendants in first class. Adam Belanoff will write and exec produce the half-hour, with Warshay producing.
Drama-wise, Hannah has created “Angeles Crest,” which will explore various crimes that take place in the national forest. Sean and Brian Furst, who worked with Hannah on “The Cooler,” are onboard as producers.
McDermott will exec produce and write “Surveillance,” a 20th Century Fox TV script set up at Fox that revolves around the son of a fallen FBI agent who ends up running the agency’s elite surveillance unit.
Nunan is also resurrecting “One L,” an ensemble legal drama based on Scott Turow’s bestseller about his years at Harvard Law School. Nearly a decade ago, exec had set up the project at NBC Studios; now, it’s been revived at ABC, with Mike Robe as helmer and exec producer.
Cable dramas in the works include “Bramel & Steps,” a female private eye skein in development at Lifetime from scribe-exec producer David Burke and producer Warshay; “The Suck,” a military drama set up last year with Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo’s Roundtable that’s now being reworked by Ken Solarz; and “New York,” a family drama about a post-9/11 Gotham clan that Nunan is writing and exec producing himself.
Bull’s Eye has also teamed with Universal for “The Core of Zachary Haimes,” a two-hour backdoor pilot about a young scientist whose brain tumor causes him to develop ESP. Joel Fields (“Thieves”) will write and exec produce.