You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pilots fly high

Imagine taps into big names for ABC

Imagine Television — riding high on its grand slam last season with the WB’s “Felicity,” Fox’s “The Pjs” and ABC’s “Sports Night” — has two hot development prospects set up at ABC with pilot commitments for the 2000-01 season.

Helmer Mimi Leder and scribe Kario Salem are tackling a drama set at a 24-hour TV news network, while showbiz vet Larry Gelbart is returning to the weekly series arena to develop a family-oriented comedy with helmer Thomas Schlamme.

“Brian, Ron and I are thrilled to be in business with these extraordinary projects,” said Tony Krantz, Imagine TV co-chairman and CEO, referring to Imagine partners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. “They involve fresh voices for television, and hopefully they will be shows of the highest quality.”

Leder and Salem, both of whom are repped by Creative Artists Agency, will serve as exec producers on the ensemble drama set in the hard-driving world of a CNN-esque network.

The project marks Leder’s first stab at developing an original TV series. She made her mark as a helmer-producer of NBC’s “ER” before seguing to directing the action-adventure pics “The Peacemaker” and “Deep Impact.”

Salem won an Emmy last year for penning the HBO telepic “Don King: Only in America,” and she earned another writing nomination this year for HBO’s “The Rat Pack.”

The Gelbart/Schlamme project is described as a multi-generation family comedy revolving around a strong-willed patriarch. It’s planned as a single-camera vehicle much in the vein of “Sports Night,” for which Schlamme just picked up the Emmy honor for comedy series directing.

Gelbart’s TV credits range from the enduring 1972-1983 series “MASH” to the more recent HBO telepics “Barbarians at the Gate” and “Weapons of Mass Destraction.” Gelbart is repped by CAA, while Schlamme is repped by Endeavor.

More TV

  • jesse-tyler-ferguson

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson Will Host HGTV's 'Extreme Makeover' Revival (EXCLUSIVE)

    You don’t need a home-improvement expert to restart “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the actor best known for his turn as Mitchell Pritchett in the popular sitcom “Modern Family,’ will host HGTV’s ten-episode remodel of the popular home-improvement series, in which families and communities in need of help are given a massive reworking [...]

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco and

    Patricia Arquette's 'Escape at Dannemora' Wins at Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora” won the Crystal Nymph in the limited series and TV movie section of the 59th edition of the Monte Carlo Television Festival on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by Michael Douglas, who received a lifetime achievement award from Prince Albert of Monaco. “Escape at Dannemora’s” Patricia Arquette, playing a female prison [...]

  • Don Lemon Power of Pride

    Don Lemon, CNN’s ‘Unicorn,’ on Facing Racism and Homophobia

    “Am I tired?” Don Lemon asks himself. “Sometimes, but it’s a day to day thing. Am I weary? Yes. I am. I have to be honest with you. It’s a lot.” Lemon, a CNN anchor on the air nightly at ten, would seem from some angles like someone who should be celebrating. For one thing, [...]

  • Asia Kate Dillon

    From 'Billions' to 'John Wick 3,' Asia Kate Dillon Makes Hollywood Theirs

    Who would have guessed that “Billions,” a cutthroat and hedonistic look at Wall Street hedge fund magnates and the politicians gunning for them, would deliver a groundbreaking representation of gender non-binary identities? Certainly not Asia Kate Dillon, who portrays non-binary investment wunderkind Taylor Mason on the Showtime series and also identifies as non-binary off-screen. The [...]

  • Janet Mock photographed for Variety on

    Janet Mock Signs Landmark Overall Netflix Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Janet Mock is making history. The “Pose” director, producer and writer has signed a sweeping deal at Netflix, making her the first out transgender woman empowered to call the creative shots at a major content company. The three-year multimillion-dollar pact gives the streaming giant exclusive rights to her TV series and a first-look option on [...]

  • Jim Parsons Variety Power of Pride

    Jim Parsons on Coming Out and Life After 'The Big Bang Theory'

    Jim Parsons just stepped away from a 12-year commitment — and is preparing to step into a new yet familiar role. After four Emmys and untold numbers of physics-inflected jokes on “The Big Bang Theory,” Parsons is reprising a part he played on Broadway in 2018. A Netflix adaptation of the drama “The Boys in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content