You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TNT orders Burnett pilot, drama scripts

Forest Whitaker-produced 'H.I.KE.' among new projects

TNT is expanding its drama development slate with five more script orders, as well as ordering a pilot from Mark Burnett on the reality front.

The additions build on ambitious plans the Time Warner-owned cabler laid out at its upfront presentation in May. TNT programming chief Michael Wright said the concepts share a tone he refers to as “smart popcorn.”

“That means accessible, entertaining programming with an underlying sense of fun and intelligence,” he said.

Among the drama projects in development are:

• “H.I.K.E.,” co-written and exec produced by Forest Whitaker and Amanda Green. Storyline takes place in Phoenix — the kidnapping capital of the U.S. — where a female cop runs the Home Invasion Kidnapping Enforcement team.

• From DreamWorks TV is “The Order,” written by Joel Fields. Pilot is about an archeologist professor who ends up working in Israel engaging in various digs that explore life’s real questions of faith and meaning. Executive producers are Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Zafir Kochanovsky.

• Pitched as a present-day “Hart to Hart” where a quirky brother and sister solve crimes, Lionsgate TV is delivering “Perfect Set.” Pilot is written by Nina Coleman and executive produced by Alan Loeb.

Jamie Tarses, along with Kevin Falls and writer Allan McDonald, will exec produce “Rush,” a Rashomon-style hospital drama about life in the ER. Project is from Sony Pictures TV.

• “Island Time,” from writers Joel Field and Josh Brand, where a woman chucks her corporate life when she wins a bar on a Pacific island and decides to reinvent herself among the island’s eccentric residents. Jonathan Barch and Rob Wolken are executive producers.

• Untitled Ghost Hunters Project, in which a motley crew of young friends find their calling as investigators of paranormal disturbances and join forces to fight crime against the mysterious ghosts that haunt their city. Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Brian Henson are executive producers of this script from DreamWorks TV.

Also, unscripted vet Burnett is exec producing “Fortune Hunters,” where contestants seek treasure.

Wright is adamant that rounding out the TNT sked is vitally important if the net is to continue as one of the cable’s top earners.

Previously announced unscripted projects include “The Great Escape” from Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and “The Amazing Race” exec producer Bertram Van Munster, and “Search and Rescue,” from reality uberproducer Thom Beers (“Ice Road Truckers”) and his Original Prods. unit.

“We’re not putting a toe in, but diving into the water,” Wright said of the ambitious reality slate.

Wright said it’s likely a pair of reality shows will be on the air in 2012 and the dramas will populate the lineup when they’re ready and up to the net’s standards.

In addition to these projects in development, TNT has already given a series order to “Dallas” and a pilot order for Western “Gateway.”

Among the other drama scripts already announced but still active in development are “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker’s “Enigma,” about a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Project comes from writer Ed Whitmore and CBS Television Studios.

If ordered to pilot, “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua will direct and act as exec producer on “The Command,” where a team of the “best of the best” law enforcement officers from different agencies team to put away the hardened criminal offenders. Tony Spiridakis, who will write the pilot, will also exec produce with Todd Komarnicki.

More TV

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins Big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]


    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content