There’s a new spin at DreamWorks TV.
The boutique operation, which shed its indie skin last August to sign a two-year development pact at NBC, is behind several upcoming skeins.
That includes the Peacock’s fall drama “Las Vegas” (a co-production with NBC Studios), as well as the midseason ABC politico drama “Line of Fire” (along with Touchstone TV).
Then there’s “Father of the Pride,” the CGI-animated skein that NBC is touting as a centerpiece of its post-“Friends” and post-“Frasier” fall 2004 lineup.
“Pride” revolves around a family of white lions who perform as part of Siegfried & Roy’s Las Vegas show. John Goodman, Cheryl Hines and Carl Reiner lend their voices to the skein, which is a passion project of DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg.
DreamWorks also continues to produce returning sophomore skeins “Oliver Beene” (with 20th Century Fox TV) for Fox and critical darling “Boomtown” (with NBC Studios) for the Peacock.
DreamWorks TV co-heads Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey hope that proves once and for all that there’s life after “Spin City.”
The ABC laffer, which departed the airwaves in spring 2002, remains DreamWorks’ biggest hit to date.
Losing that staple series, coupled with the changing world of primetime production, convinced DreamWorks to get out of the deficit-financing biz and find a way to defray mounting overhead costs.
It didn’t help that DreamWorks had failed to find another hit through the years on a par with “Spin.”
Enter NBC. Under the deal, Peacock gets first crack at any new series developed by DreamWorks. NBC then finances and owns a majority stake in those projects.
In exchange, NBC pays DreamWorks an annual six-figure fee to help cover the division’s overhead. DreamWorks continues to cover its own development, and is able to shop projects elsewhere if NBC passes.
“The world has changed,” Katzenberg said last year, after striking the production arrangement with NBC. “The networks have a much, much stronger hand and are a much stronger force in the development and production of shows on the air.
“You can stick your head in the sand and ignore that at your own peril,” he said at the time. “This is a new way to be in the TV business and still have some real upside potential.”