NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt opened his Television Critics Assn. exec session by talking up the Peacock’s “year of improvement” and unveiling four high-profile longform projects in the works.
Greenblatt said the Peacock is working on a miniseries about Hillary Clinton to star Diane Lane; a reboot of “Rosemary’s Baby”; a new version of Stephen King’s “Tommyknockers”; and a historical project with Mark Burnett about the pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock.
Greenblatt emphasized that networks “need to be in the event business…. All of (the new projects) have their own event nature.”
The role of Bill Clinton has not yet been cast, nor is there a completed script yet, Greenblatt said. He said the mini would likely air before Hillary Clinton formally declares herself to be a presidential candidate in 2016.
“HIllary” will follow Clinton from the 1998 period of the Monica Lewinsky scandal through the present day. Script, which has not been written, will be penned by Courtney Hunt (“Frozen River”).
The “Rosemary’s Baby” redo will change the setting to Paris. Lionsgate is producing the four-hour mini penned by Scott Abbott (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”) Joshua Maurer, David Stern, Perri Kipperman and Alix Witlin also exec produce.
“Stephen King’s Tommyknockers,” based on the prolific author’s 1987 novel, will be exec produced by Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky. Yves Simoneau (“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”) is attached to direct.
“Plymouth” will be written by Walon Green, with Mark Burnett and Anne Thomopolous of Mark Burnett Prods., and Gina Matthews and Grant Sharbo. NBC already has another event-mini project in the works with Burnett — a follow up to the success he had with “The Bible” for History this spring.
NBC has more special event projects that will be unveiled in the coming weeks, Greenblatt said. The network will mount a big push in the two weeks leading up to the start of the season in September with the gameshow “Million Second Quiz,” which will have contestants playing round the clock in order to allow NBC shows to “drop in” to the competition at any time.
“It’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They’ ” Greenblatt joked, referencing the 1969 Jane Fonda pic about a marathon dance competition in the early 1930s.