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Gordon thinking small for cablers

HBO may place bet on 'Kachinga' casino laffer

Producer Mark Gordon continues his push onto the small screen, setting up a pair of high-profile projects at Showtime and HBO.

Showtime is developing the Viagra tell-all “Hard Science” as a telepic, while HBO is looking to explore the world of American Indian gaming with the potential half-hour laffer “Kachinga.”

Deals come as the Mark Gordon Co. prepares for this Sunday’s premiere of the high-profile ABC/Touchstone medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” which is getting a multiweek run in the coveted timeslot following “Desperate Housewives.” Next month brings the premiere of the Gordon-produced HBO pic “Warm Springs,” in which Kenneth Branagh and Cynthia Nixon play Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Gordon is also spending time in Vancouver working on “Quantico,” the CBS drama pilot he’s producing via his recently inked overall deal with Touchstone Television. Mandy Patinkin stars, with Richard Shepard (Gordon-produced pic “The Matador”) helming.

As for “Hard Science,” Gordon said the telepic will tell the true story of how Viagra became a mainstream product and pop-culture phenomenon.

Also for Showtime, Gordon is perusing scripts for “Infidelity,” a limited-run series project at Showtime that he is developing with Peter Horton (Daily Variety, Dec. 9, 2003).

“Kachinga,” meanwhile, reps Gordon’s first foray into the half-hour business. Chuck Sklar is writing the single-camera comedy, which revolves around a Native American family living on a reservation that strikes it rich in the casino biz.

Television focus marks a return to Gordon’s roots: Producer of pics such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Saving Private Ryan” began his career producing after-school specials for ABC and CBS, including the Emmy-winning “The War Between the Classes.”

His company has landed three pilots and two series orders in its first two years in TV, including the short-lived NBC drama “LAX.” It also produced the Emmy-winning HBO pic “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.”

Still, Gordon says the increased TV activity doesn’t indicate a plan to start a tube factory, even with the new overall deal and last year’s hiring of former Showtime exec Deborah Spera to run his TV operations.

“We want to focus on a few things and work with writers on those things we really believe in, as opposed to developing lots of projects and hoping for the best,” he said.

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