Nets move earlier to get jumpstart on staffing season
The NBC pickup situation came into focus Wednesday, with strong buzz that the net has greenlit several drama contenders.
Peacock’s medical mystery-drama and the theological thriller “Revelations” are both go projects for 2004-05, several industry insiders said. And over at ABC, Steven Bochco’s “Blind Justice” looks to be all but on the air, with execs weighing a plan to debut the show in March, once “NYPD Blue” wraps up its season.
Both NBC and ABC may be ready to greenlight a few projects earlier than usual in order to get a jumpstart on staffing season. A flurry of pickups is expected today and Friday as execs prepare to leave for New York. (Fox has already ordered several series for June bows.)
NBC execs declined comment late Wednesday, but insiders said the net is once again bullish on its drama development. Heather Locklear’s “Hub” and the net’s Hawaii-based drama are also said to be in the drama mix, while “Medium” has its fans as well.
“Revelations,” from Gavin Polone’s Pariah, is in line to get an eight-episode order from NBC, as well as approval for several more scripts. Limited skein will likely bow during a sweeps period. Polone and Vivian Cannon are exec producers of the drama, from scribe-exec producer David Seltzer.
Untitled medical hour — from Paramount, Bob Cooper’s Landscape and NBC Universal Television Studios — will likely have a more traditional fall launch. Michelle Ashford wrote and exec produced the pilot; the search has already begun for a showrunner.
Rene Echevarria — whose Fox drama pilot “Ricochet” is a strong contender for a pickup — has been mentioned as a top candidate for the gig.
Cooper and Landscape TV topper Scott Vila are also on board as exec producers for the medical show, which reps the first series that feature-HBO vet Cooper has had greenlit.
Fox has its own medical mystery-drama, the NUTS-produced “House,” that’s considered a very strong contender for a series order.
As for Par’s “Blind Justice,” ABC insiders insisted no formal greenlights have been issued. But multiple industry insiders said the Ron Eldard starrer — from exec producers Bochco, Matt Olmstead and Nicholas Wootton– is effectively on the air following boffo testing results.
No scheduling decisions have been made, but one plan in play would have “NYPD Blue” airing without repeats from September until March; “Justice” would then inherit “Blue’s” timeslot in the spring.
- J.J. Abrams’ much-anticipated desert island drama “Lost” is getting strong positive reaction from ABC screening rooms, with some cautious observers, however, wondering if the two-hour pilot can play out as a full-length series.
- Fox remains high on animated laffer “American Dad.”
- ABC’s John Stamos romantic laffer has lots of fans at the network, but the skein’s one-date-over-an-entire-season premise may be replaced by a more conventional plotline.