Network greenlights four hourlong projects
The CW has caught zombie fever in its four pilot pickups, giving the network of “The Vampire Diaries” another potential undead compliment.In addition, NBC greenlit two comedy pilots, one with Lorne Michaels exec producing, and also has plans to develop a primetime gameshow with ITV. Reveille and Warner Bros. TV are behind the CW’s “Awakening,” which tells the story of two sisters who come of age and battle each other amid a zombie uprising. William Laurin and Glenn Davis wrote the pilot and will exec produce with Howard T. Owens, Carolyn Bernstein and Todd Cohen. The supernatural also figures in “Heavenly,” written by Richard Hatem, who exec produces with Ross Fineman. A female lawyer and an angel-turned-human work to save the futures and the souls of their subjects, with comedic moments part of the storytelling. CBS TV Studios is co-producing. Less spiritual but potentially more eccentric is dramedy “Hart of Dixie,” exec produced by Fake Empire’s Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Len Goldstein. Reminiscent of 1990s film “Doc Hollywood,” a young (but in this case, female) big-city doctor inherits a medical practice in an oddball Southern town. Leila Gerstein wrote and is also exec producing. The fourth CW pickup Tuesday was “Cooper and Stone,” from exec producer Laurie Arent (“Life”), about two Chicago female detectives who specialize in pop culture knowledge and solving homicides. CBS TV Studios is behind “Cooper.” At NBC, Michaels is helping to shepherd an untitled project from “Saturday Night Live” vet Emily Spivey about a working mother and her stay-at-home husband and opinionated parents. Meanwhile, “Bent” is a single-cam romantic comedy from Tad Quill (“Scrubs”) about a type-A, divorced mother who meets a laid-back home contractor. Both projects are from Universal Media Studios. ITV Studios America and NBC are teaming up to develop a primetime gameshow, “High Stakes,” that will air in both the U.S. and U.K. ” ‘High Stakes’ is a thrilling, big-money game, laced with temptation and reward,” said creator-exec producer Jamie Roberts, who has an overall deal at ITV Studios America. “Brains, bravery and luck can bring life-changing riches to one risk-taking contestant.” ITV Studios America has pilot orders in hand for the project from NBC and ITV1. “The unique structure of this deal allows ITV Studios America to pool its global resources and produce pilots for the two territories simultaneously,” ITV Studios America prexy Paul Buccieri said. NBC did announce Tuesday that latenight personality Carson Daly has been named the host of NBC’s upcoming reality series, “The Voice,” exec produced by John de Mol and Mark Burnett. Warner Horizon TV is adapting the skein, which will premiere on the Peacock in the spring, from a top-rated series in Holland. “Carson is the perfect choice to host this exciting new series owing to his credibility, popularity and relevance in both the music world and social media,” NBC alternative programming topper Paul Telegdy said. “As he has demonstrated on his late-night show, Carson has the knack of recognizing new talent, which is a key component in ‘The Voice.’ “
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