Directors, cast set for ‘Fear Itself’

NBC horror series unveils lineup

NBC has put together its creative lineups for “Fear Itself,” the 13-episode horror anthology series set to debut this summer. Skein, produced by Lionsgate and Industry Entertainment, is a reincarnated version of the Showtime series “Masters of Horror” and was announced in September by Peacock programming chief Ben Silverman.

Onboard to direct are helmers with backgrounds in scare fare, including John Landis, Darren Bousman, Ronny Yu, Brad Anderson, Breck Eisner, Mary Harron, Stuart Gordon and Ernest Dickerson.

Episodes were written by Richard Chizmar & Johnathon Schaech; Mick Garris; Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan; Max Landis; and Matt Venne, all of whom wrote “Masters of Horror” episodes. Other writers include Joe Gangemi, Dan Knauf, Steve Niles, Lem Dobbs, Victor Salva and Kelly Kennemer.

Brandon Routh, Elisabeth Moss, Shiri Appleby, Cynthia Watros, Eric Roberts, John Billingsley, Russell Hornsby, Pablo Schreiber, Stephen Lee, Stephen R. Hart, Jack Noseworthy and Larry Gilliard Jr. are among the thesps involved in the project.

Series is being shot in Canada and is producing its second episode this week. Keith Addis and Andrew Deane are exec producers.

Silverman touts the series as a less-expensive way to air scripted programming. NBC bought the series based on Showtime’s model, without a pricey pilot episode. “It’s less expensive than the traditional license fees we pay,” Silverman told Daily Variety last fall. “That’s allowing us to open up original programming to work across the whole year. There are different ways to get scripted shows on the air all year round.”

Kevin Beggs, president of programming and production at Lionsgate, said, “The whole project came out of conversations with our theatrical and home entertainment side.” He called “Fear” a “scary, creepy and cool show that, when viewers are flipping through the channels, will stop and look. The money is on the screen.”

Lionsgate is coming off its first season of Golden Globe-winning AMC drama “Mad Men.” “Fear” marks the first time a Lionsgate-produced show has appeared on one of the Big Four networks. “Hidden Palms” made a short-lived appearance on CW last year.

“Fear Itself” is the first production to come out of Industry Entertainment’s independent TV division, with Adam Goldworm serving as executive VP. He is a producer on the project and was a co-producer on “Masters of Horror.”