The CW’s drama development slate includes a sudser set in space, a modern spin on “Little Women” and a pair of projects from the exec producer behind “One Tree Hill.”
The C-Dub is coming off a fall in which it has some success to tout — the hot new “The Vampire Diaries” — as well as some disappointments — namely, the disappointing start for “Melrose Place” and the quickly canceled “The Beautiful Life.”
CW execs believe their real momentum will come in midseason, when the highly touted relationship drama “Life Unexpected” joins the sked.
As they turn their focus to next season’s crop, the CW’s execs are enlisting top-tier creatives who have given the network (and its predecessors WB and UPN) successes in the past.
“One Tree Hill” exec producer Mark Schwahn is behind “Spy School for Girls,” which revolves around female spy trainees at a CIA facility.
Schwahn is writing and exec producing the project from CBS TV Studios, where the scribe has an overall deal. “Spy School” is based on a book in the works by former spook Larry Kolb, who will also be an exec producer on the show.
Schwahn has also teamed with country music star Brad Paisley and scribes Neal Dodson and Matt Bomer (whose thesp credits include “White Collar” and “Chuck”) to create “Nashville,” a drama that revolves around a young female singer destined for stardom — and a male songwriter whose career isn’t as certain.
Project reps the first in the TV biz for Paisley, who would write songs for the show and appear as himself. Dodson and Bomer wrote the script on spec and will exec produce, along side Schwahn and Paisley, for CBS TV Studios.
Also on the CW docket is the space-themed “Plymouth Rock,” from Rob Thomas — the scribe behind UPN’s and CW’s “Veronica Mars,” and the original exec producer behind the C-Dub’s revived “90210.”
Thomas will exec produce “Plymouth” with Danielle Stokdyk and Jennifer Gwartz, as well as Dan Etheridge. That’s the foursome behind Starz’s cult fave “Party Down,” in addition to “Cupid” and “Veronica Mars.”
Soap centers on young people on a ship traveling to a distant planet in order to colonize and save the human race.
From “Gossip Girl” and “Vampire Diaries” producer Alloy Entertainment comes “Confessions of a Backup Dancer,” about a woman who scores a gig as a backup dancer for a major pop star.
Ilene Chaiken (“The L Word”) will write and exec produce for Warner Bros. TV; Alloy’s Les Morgenstein is also an exec producer.
Other projects include “The March Sisters,” described as “Little Women” meets “Sex and the City,” about working-class siblings who try to make it on Park Avenue. Jill Gordon is writing and exec producing, while Meryl Poster is also an exec producer.
And an untitled drama from Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Entertainment and scribe Julie Martin is set in Manhattan’s Early Case Assessment Bureau.
Martin is exec producing with De Niro and Jane Rosenthal for CBS TV Studios.
Winner for best title of the new crop: “Bitches in Britches,” a family soap set in the equestrian world of Millbrook, N.Y. Lionsgate is producing with Ish Entertainment.
Bob Brush and Mel Harris are writers and exec producers, while Zac Posen (who will design the look and feel of the show), Michael Hirschorn and Stella Stolper are exec producers as well.