×

Raimi forms Ghost House Television

William Hamm to run small-screen shingle

Sam Raimi is making a major small-screen push, tapping former Tribune Entertainment and Universal exec William Hamm to run the newly formed Ghost House Television banner.

First scripted project for the unit is a miniseries adaptation of Dean Koontz bestseller “The Taking” that Raimi and Ghost House partner Rob Tapert will exec produce. Larry Block, who brought the idea to Ghost House, will be co-exec producer.

Like its sibling Ghost House Pictures, TV unit will have a singular focus: producing scary content.

“It’s a pretty big range in TV, from something as edgy as ‘Masters of Horror’ on Showtime to something as soft as ‘Ghost Whisperer’ on CBS,” Hamm said. “As Rob likes to say, if it goes bump in the night, it probably qualifies.”

Establishment of Ghost House Television marks a return to the medium for Raimi and Tapert. During the 1990s, duo collaborated on a number of tube projects, from syndie smashes “Hercules” and “Xena: Warrior Princess” to the network skeins “American Gothic” and “M.A.N.T.I.S.”

Raimi and Tapert originally hooked up with Hamm during their first foray into TV, when Hamm served as senior VP of drama at Universal Television.

“Rob and I enjoyed having such creatively rich experiences with him on ‘Hercules’ and ‘Xena,'” Raimi said. “We’re eager to see where this new partnership takes us.”

In recent years, Raimi and Tapert have focused largely on film. Duo formed Ghost House Pictures four years ago, partnering with Mandate Pictures and producing pics such as “The Grudge” and “Boogeyman.” Raimi also has his deal at Sony for Buckaroo Entertainment, not to mention a certain arachnid-themed superhero franchise he oversees.

Return to television will be methodical, with Ghost House Television initially eschewing agency representation or an overall deal with a studio.

“It’s not that we’re not interested in that, but right now, it’s sort of, ‘Let’s date around and see who we like,’ ” Hamm said. “When you have an overall deal, there’s a need to fill a pipeline. We want to take our time and build it brick by brick.”

Ghost House is still looking for a scribe to adapt Koontz’s “The Taking,” with an eye on pitching it to networks late next month or in early February.

Book revolves around an apocalyptic rain that promotes an otherworldly invasion. Small-town thriller has as its unlikely heroes a husband and wife whose traumatic childhood may be key to beating evil.

Hamm said “The Taking” plays on an end-of-the-world theme that seems to be resonating with TV auds right now via skeins such as “Jericho” and “Heroes.”

“It’s not just about aliens coming to Earth to invade us,” he said. “It plays on a spiritual level as well. And the end of the book you can interpret it as aliens or perhaps it’s a second Noah’s Ark because of the bad job we’ve done maintaining this world.”

Hamm is also working on what will now be Ghost House TV’s first unscripted project, a haunted house reality-horror hybrid skein in the works at the CW (Daily Variety, Oct. 13). Exec said the skein, which Gunnar Wetterberg is co-exec producing, could go into production by early spring.

In addition to spending nearly a decade at U, where he also helped develop “Law & Order: SVU” and “New York Undercover,” Hamm worked for two years at Granada Television.

Most recently, he was head of scripted programming for Tribune Entertainment, working on skeins such as “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” and “Mutant X.”

On the feature front, upcoming projects for Ghost House include David Slade’s “30 Days of Night”; the Pang brothers’ “The Messengers”; and “Rise,” starring Lucy Liu and Michael Chiklis.

More TV

  • David Schwimmer to Star in New

    David Schwimmer Starring in New Sky Comedy Series ‘Intelligence’

    David Schwimmer will play a power-hungry NSA agent relocated to the U.K. in “Intelligence,” a new six-part comedy series for Sky in the U.K. Schwimmer is best known to U.K. audiences for his role in “Friends,” but was recently in the news after British police posted a video of a suspect thief who bore a [...]

  • Fiona Campbell Named Controller of BBC

    BBC Names Fiona Campbell as New Head of Online Channel BBC Three

    The BBC has named Fiona Campbell the new boss of its youth-skewing online channel, BBC Three, replacing outgoing controller Damian Kavanagh, who is leaving in the new year to run Endemol Shine-owned producer Tiger Aspect. Campbell has been heading up the documentary unit at BBC Studios, the U.K. pubcaster’s production division. She also worked at BBC Three [...]

  • Rüdiger Böss, ProSiebenSat.1's Longtime Hollywood Buyer,

    Rüdiger Böss, ProSiebenSat.1's Longtime Buyer in Hollywood, to Leave the Company

    Rüdiger Böss, who as head buyer for ProSiebenSat.1 negotiated the German broadcast giant’s deals with U.S. studios for many years, is leaving after more than a quarter of a century at the company. Böss is a well-known figure in the international TV business and a familiar face at major events and markets. ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Conrad [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Romantic Comedy

    Rebel Wilson to Star in Australian Drama Series 'Les Norton'

    Rebel Wilson and David Wenham will star in Australian drama series “Les Norton.” Adapted from the novels of Robert G. Barrett, the show is presented by The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia. Set in 1985, the series will follow the exploits of a country bloke from outback Queensland, played by rising star Alexander Bertrand [...]

  • Korea's CJ ENM Acquires Scandinavian Sales

    South Korea's CJ ENM Acquires Scandinavian Sales Company Eccho Rights

    South Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ ENM has acquired a majority stake in Stockholm-based rights-management and sales company Eccho Rights. A leading entertainment and merchandising company in Asia, CJ ENM will give Eccho Rights the resources to expand its global footprint across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Eccho Rights has offices in Stockholm, Istanbul, [...]

  • Liz Heldens

    'The Passage' Writer Liz Heldens Inks New Overall Deal at 20th Century Fox TV

    Liz Heldens has signed a new multi-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television effective immediately. News of the deal comes ahead of the midseason launch of the Fox series “The Passage,” based on the book trilogy by Justin Cronin on which Heldens is the writer and executive producer. The series focuses on Project NOAH, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content