Two weeks before it announces its fall sked, the WB is close to picking up a pair of drama pilots from Warner Bros. Television: “The Mountain” and “Jack & Bobby.”
Nothing’s official yet, and the Frog could decide to wait until its official Gotham sked announcement May 18 before revealing a formal pickup.
But industry insiders said “The Mountain” production team was at the Frog Monday mapping out strategy for the first 12 episodes — a pretty good sign the pilot is going to get a greenlight.
And “Jack & Bobby,” in the works for two years, has long been considered a shoo-in for a series order.
“The Mountain” stars Oliver Hudson as a twentysomething who returns home to run his late grandfather’s mountain resort. Barbara Hershey also stars.
Skein comes from WBTV and McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision. Shaun Cassidy, McG, Stephanie Savage (“The OC”) and David Barrett are all part of the production team, with Barrett helming. Original pilot script was written by Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo, who are expected to remain as consultants.
As for “Jack & Bobby,” the hour revolves around two brothers, one of whom is set to be elected president of the United States in 2040. Christine Lahti stars as their single mother, a hard-nosed college professor who’s reluctant to let her oldest son take on the job of shaping his younger brother.
WBTV is producing along with former “West Wing” helmer Thomas Schlamme’s Shoe Money Prods. and “Everwood” creator Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti-Liddell shingle.
Schlamme and Berlanti are exec producers, as are Vanessa Taylor and Mickey Liddell. Brad Meltzer and Steve “Scoop” Cohen have been part of the project since its inception.
Frog execs are fond of starting the buzz for their dramas early, signaling to Madison Avenue and the consumer press that the network has strong faith in its frosh contenders.
Indeed, it was almost two years ago to the day that the network gave an early thumbs up to Berlanti’s “Everwood.” And six years ago, the WB let the world know it loved “Felicity” early on, sending out tapes and elaborate press kits for the skein two weeks before it was ordered to series.