Greenlights go to Lizer laffer, 1840s-set Western, 2 others
The major nets are starting to home in on their 2012 pilot orders. NBC and ABC gave out a flurry of greenlights Friday evening, with more to come this week.
NBC ordered a multicamera comedy from scribe Kari Lizer and three dramas including oater “The Frontier.” ABC ordered laffer “Counter Culture” and a period drama, “Gilded Lillys,” from scribe KJ Steinberg and Shonda Rhimes.
Lizer, creator and exec producer of CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” penned and exec produced an untitled comedy about two femme friends whose lives change when one of them gets married. She fielded a pilot prospect for NBC last year and ranks among the biz’s most sought-after comedy showrunners.
“The Frontier” hails from Sony Pictures TV and Prospect Park. The Western adventure drama is penned by Shaun Cassidy with Thomas Schlamme on board to direct.
Cassidy and Schlamme are exec producing with Prospect’s Josh Barry. Project, set in the 1840s, is described as an intense tale of survival among a group of disparate travelers on a dangerous cross-country adventure through the West.
NBC’s “Do No Harm,” from Universal TV and Peter Traugott Prods., is a modern-day take on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” this time revolving around a neurosurgon wrestling with a dangerous alter-ego. Pilot is penned by David Schulner, who exec produces with Traugott and Rachel Kaplan.
“Midnight Sun,” also from Traugott’s shingle, is an Israeli series adaptation penned by Lisa Zwerling. It concerns an FBI investigation of a group of people living in an Alaskan commune who disappear without trace. Kaplan, Traugott and Alon Aranya exec produce with Zwerling.
On deck for ABC is “Counter Culture,” penned and exec produced by Stephnie Weir, about three aging sisters who run their family diner in west Texas. Claudia Lonow (“Accidentally on Purpose”) will exec produce the multi-cam laffer from Sony Pictures TV and ABC Studios.
“Gilded Lillys,” from ABC Studios and Rhimes’ ABC-based Shondaland banner, follows the opening of Gotham’s first luxury hotel. It appears to have a touch of “Downton Abbey,” as ABC bills the drama as an “epic love story” set against the backdrop of “vicious family rivalries, scandalous secrets, and conflict and commingling of classes.”
Steinberg has penned the pilot and will exec produce with “Grey’s Anatomy” boss Rhimes and Shondaland’s Betsy Beers.
Steinberg has fielded several pilot scripts in recent years and has also worked as a scribe on CW’s “Gossip Girl,” ABC’s “The Nine” and CBS’ “Judging Amy.”