Newmarks develop hour-long show for net
The CW is checking into “The Wilton,” developing an hourlong script penned by newcomers Ben and Dan Newmark.The Newmarks are writing the comedy/drama and have been teamed with scribe Peter Lefcourt, who will showrun and exec produce. Also on board is music impresario Tommy Mottola, whose Mottola Co. shingle will also produce. Warner Bros. TV is behind the project (as is CBS Par Network TV, as part of the CW arrangement in which both studios co-produce everything together). Pilot revolves around a group of twentysomethings pursuing their dreams and living together in an old Hollywood apartment building (nicknamed the “Wilton Hilton”). The Newmark brothers managed to land “The Wilton” at the CW after first funding, shooting and screening an early version of the script themselves. “It all started by me saying I need to do everything that I possibly can to create my own opportunities,” Ben Newmark said. “I called up Dan, who was studying in London at the time… and we wrote the script over the phone.” “The Wilton” was based on Ben Newmark’s own experience living in a house off Wilton Place in Hollywood. “They always say write what you know,” he said. “We came up with great characters and it all spawned from there.” Once completed, the Newmarks recruited friends to star in their do-it-yourself pilot. After editing the finished product, they tapped friends in the P.R. world to start a buzz campaign. The duo recruited talent agency assistants and junior agents to attend a screening of the pilot at the Pacific Theatre in Hollywood; CAA signed the Newmarks soon after and brought Mottola (and partner Jeb Brien) on board. “The gameplan worked,” Ben Newmark said. “We went into the CW to pitch this first, and they took us in.” Should “The Wilton” make it to air, it would actually rep the second broadcast network skein to be named after the Hollywood street — a popular shortcut between Sunset and Wilshire boulevards. Fox’s disastrously short-lived latenight talker “The Wilton North Report” took its name from a building facing Wilton on the old Metromedia/Fox Television Center lot (now the site of a new high school under construction).