Bob Cooper’s Landscape Entertainment has launched a new TV division and landed a pilot deal at NBC.
As part of the startup, former 20th Century Fox TV exec Scott Vila recently joined Landscape to run the TV department. Vila comes to Landscape from the Firm, where he ran the management company’s TV division.
“I’m exploring an arena that I haven’t done yet,” Cooper said of his decision to enter the primetime series fray. “The challenge and opportunity to apply whatever I’ve learned (in features and TV movies) to series is exciting.”
Under the “three-for-one” deal at the Peacock, Landscape will develop three projects, one of which will ultimately go to pilot. The shingle will develop both comedy and drama projects, which would then be produced by Landscape and NBC Studios.
“Bob is a creative dynamo who has shown over the years his ability to take off-center themes and create programming that is compelling and entertaining,” said NBC primetime development prexy Kevin Reilly.
Cooper said the NBC arrangement came out of his ongoing relationship with Reilly. Landscape developed and produced several telepics at FX back when Reilly ran the cabler’s entertainment division.
“I enjoyed the relationship with Kevin and the shorthand passion he had,” Cooper said. “This is still the honeymoon period, so we’re all in love with each other right now.”
Cooper said he and Vila hadn’t yet determined which projects Landscape would shop to NBC as a part of the deal.
“We’re working on it right now,” he said. “We started a little late (in the development season), but we’re moving quickly and hope to have ideas on what we want to develop and which writers we want to work with in the next few weeks.”
Vila climbed aboard Landscape just three weeks ago, which means he had to immediately start combing the town for projects.
Cooper said he found a kindred spirit in Vila, who echoed the Landscape topper’s mandate that any project coming out of the shingle explore several levels at once.
“(I’m looking for something that) illuminates what our priorities are, what our dilemmas are,” Cooper said. “It could be a procedural drama, a comedy, whatever. But it has to illuminate the human condition in some interesting way. Scott talked a lot about that.”
Vila had been at the Firm since August 2002, before leaving last spring; prior to that, he was senior VP of drama at 20th Century Fox TV. Vila helped develop skeins such as “24,” “Dark Angel” and “Judging Amy.”
“Scott Vila is a great judge of material, and the addition of him to Bob’s team adds a strong creative voice,” Reilly said.
Cooper, meanwhile, was most recently CEO of Artisan Pictures, before parting ways with the company earlier this year. His resume also includes serving as head of production at DreamWorks Features and as prexy of TriStar Pictures. Cooper spent eight years as president of HBO Pictures.
On the film side, Landscape has the feature “Sleepover” set up at MGM, and the Jim Carrey vehicle “I Know That You Know That I Know,” as well as “Lowest Common Denominator” and “Mr. Woodcock” at New Line.
Cooper and Landscape are repped by Jake Bloom and Leigh Brecheen.