Company expanding into cable, series

NEW ORLEANS — The nation’s first Public Enemy No. 1, “The Saint” and nuclear disaster are among subjects Craig Anderson Prods. is tackling on its latest small-screen development slate.

In the hopper are projects for ABC, NBC, Court TV, FX, Lifetime and USA Network.

Company — which supplied such movies as CBS’ “The Christmas Shoes” and minis like the Eye’s “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal” to the broadcast networks — is expanding into cable and has begun dabbling in the series biz.

Shift comes in response to changes in the TV marketplace, Craig Anderson told Daily Variety.

Diversification key

“You used to be able to make a living in this town doing one thing well; now you need to do three things well,” Anderson said. “The business has changed so much in the last couple of years, with the advent of reality programming, gameshows and non scripted material, so my bread-and-butter business is changing.”

Highlights of CAP’s slate include the following:

  • A miniseries based on the life of the United States’ first Public Enemy No. 1, the notorious Depression-era gangster John Dillinger, is in early development at USA Network. “Dillinger: The Untold Story” is based on new information and recently uncovered sources.

    Scribe is writer-director Cyrus Nowrasteh (“The Day Reagan Was Shot”). Anderson is exec producing.

    Atomic disaster

  • The tentatively titled “American Meltdown” is in early development at FX. Potential telepic, written by Paul and Larry Barber (“The Director”), chronicles the events of a contemporary nuclear plant disaster and its aftermath. CAP producer Beth Grossbard is exec producing with Anderson.

  • At Court TV, CAP is in the early stages of developing “Only a Matter of Time,” which aims to uncover the truth behind the 1996 crash of Valujet Flight 592. Story follows a local investigator as she unravels clues that point to a possible federal oversight as the cause of the crash. Brian Ross (“Pretty Poison”) is writing the two-hour teleplay. Producer Jeff Taylor brought the project to CAP. Anderson is exec producing.

  • CAP and Sony Pictures TV have been developing a multipart adaptation of Pat Conroy’s novel “The Prince of Tides” for ABC. Sony unit Columbia Pictures released the feature adaptation with Barbra Streisand in 1991.

  • The adaptation of Chris Bohjalian’s novel “The Buffalo Soldier” remains in development at Lifetime (Daily Variety, March 21). CAP produced another Bohjalian adaptation, 2001’s Sissy Spacek starrer “Midwives.”

  • Among the projects in the series mix, CAP and NBC Studios got a script commitment for a Peacock drama pilot called “NASA,” written by Peter Noah (“War Stories”).

  • Also in the works is an updated version of classic mystery-adventure series “The Saint,” which aired on the Peacock in the 1960s with Roger Moore in the starring role and was made into a 1997 film starring Val Kilmer. Anderson has partnered with Fremantle Intl. Distribution and international co-production maven Marla Ginsburg, who recently pacted with Fremantle, to pitch a series revival to networks and possibly cable.

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