Turner execs are touting all of the original skeins on TNT and TBS, and as usual they’ve raised the curtain on a slew of development projects as part of the cablers’ upfront announcements today.
This summer, TNT will have no less than seven original series running across four nights: “The Closer,” “Saving Grace,” “Dark Blue,” “Leverage,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Memphis Beat” and “Hawthorne,” and “Men of a Certain Age” will be back by year’s end. By 2011, it will add three more: “Franklin & Bash,” seaoon three of “Southland” and the Steven Spielberg event drama “Fallen Skies” starring Noah Wyle.
In the development stage at TNT:
• UNTITLED DON CHEADLE MEDICAL SHOW – Executive producers Don Cheadle
(Crash, Iron Man 2), Kay Liberman (Traitor) and Lenore Zerman
(Darfur Now) of Crescendo Productions; executive producer Brett King;
executive producer/writer Ed Horowitz (Exit Wounds); and producer/writer
Norm Solomon focus on 1971 Los Angeles, where a group of idealistic doctors open
an urgent-care clinic in hopes of upholding the values that inspired them to
become doctors in the first place. The project comes to TNT from Lionsgate
Television and Cheadle’s Crescendo Productions.
• GRAYSMITH –
Based on the life of cartoonist, writer and part-time private detective Robert
Graysmith (author of Zodiac and many other books), this series will
follow the renaissance man himself as he uses an unconventional approach and
unusual skills to solve crimes. GRAYSMITH comes to TNT from Scott Free
Productions and executive producers Ridley Scott (Robin Hood, The Good
Wife) and Tony Scott (The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The Good Wife) and
executive producer/writer Dan Gordon (The Hurricane).
GREEN DETECTIVE – Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue) and Jonathan Abrahams
follow a quirky environmentalist who seeks the truth as an insurance adjuster
for a big insurance company.
• BRAIN TRUST – Dean Devlin (TNT’s
Leverage) and Marco Schnabel (TNT’s The Librarian movie trilogy)
delve into the world of an old-fashioned (and recently demoted) detective as he
teams with four brilliant but socially awkward, sheltered academics to help him
solve crimes. BRAIN TRUST comes to TNT from Electric Entertainment.
MISS PHILLY – Executive producer/writer Jamie Foxx (The Soloist,
Ray), executive producer/writer Barbara Hall (Joan of Arcadia, Judging
Amy) and executive producers Marcus King (The Jamie Foxx Show) and
Jaime Rucker King (Ray) explore the pristine suburbs and urban war zones
of Philadelphia, where the mayor has hired the first African-American police
commissioner. She finds herself handling more than she ever
• DEAR GOD – Executive
producers Mark Gordon (Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy), Mark Burnett
(Survivor), Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and Deborah Spera
(Army Wives, Criminal Minds), along with writer/executive producer Joel
Fields (TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles), look into the dead letters bureau at
the U.S. Postal Service, where a team of humanitarians try to help those on the
verge of losing their faith by answering their letters to God. DEAR GOD comes
to TNT from ABC Studios.
TBS, meanwhile, has of course Conan O’Brien on tap for November and the new 1980s-set college comedy “Glory Daze.” And it just shelled out big bucks for off-net rights to “The Big Bang Theory” starting in fall 2011.
New fare in the development stage at TBS:
• THE WEDDING BAND – The writing team of Josh Lobis and Darin Moiselle
(South Park) and executive producer Mike Tollin (Wild Hogs,
Smallville) introduce a fresh comedy that centers on four friends. Some are
married and some are single, all with day jobs and responsibilities, but they
share one thing in common: They are in a wedding band. THE WEDDING BAND comes
to TBS from FremantleMedia.
• THE RABBIT FACTORY – From
executive producer/writer Alan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, New
Amsterdam), executive producer Steven Pearl (The Beast) and Lionsgate
Television, this series follows the detective team of Mike Lomax and Terry
Biggs, two characters from the book series by Marshall Karp. Recently widowed
Lomax and recently married Biggs work to protect and serve, navigating the daily
challenges of their jobs while tackling their personal lives.
THE CATCH – Executive producer/writer Vic Levin (Mad About You)
and executive producer Chris Albrecht focus on a widower who re-enters the world
of dating, only to learn that he is quite the catch.
TBS has these
animated series in development:
• GOOD AND EVEL – Olive
Productions (Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi and Wren Arthur), Gotham Group (Ellen
Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman), Lionsgate Television and executive
producer/writer Glenn Eichler (The Colbert Report, Beavis &
Butt-Head) introduce the ultimate dysfunctional family. Voiced by acclaimed
actors Tucci (Julie & Julia, The Lovely Bones) and Buscemi
(Fargo, Boardwalk Empire), the show centers on Jack Good, a moral,
upstanding family man, and his nefarious twin brother, Bo Evel, a rebel and
drunk who’s been in and out of prison.
• THE BLACK FAMILY –
Executive producer/writer Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris, TBS’s Are
We There Yet?); executive producer/artist Todd Goldman; executive producers
Keenen Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans (Scary Movie, White
Chicks, Little Man); and executive producer Rick Alvarez (Dance
Flick) introduce a blended interracial family, the Blacks.