×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Katie Couric Pitching Morning-News Comedy Series with Michelle Pfeiffer (EXCLUSIVE)

'Murphy Brown' creator Diane English attached as well to write, produce

Cable channels and streaming services may not be in the morning TV news business, but they’re considering entry in the form of a fictional comedy series set in that world.

That’s the premise of a hot pitch making the rounds this week at HBO, Showtime, AMC, Netflix and Amazon that would star Michelle Pfeiffer as an anchor not unlike the one once played in real life by Katie Couric, the “Today” veteran who is attached to the project as an executive producer.

The series would be a comedic look behind-the-scenes of a morning news show. Though storylines aren’t drawn directly from Couric’s experiences, she is expected to ensure the series strikes realistic notes.

A source familiar with the pitch said both Pfeiffer and Couric are pitching along with the show’s creator, Diane English, who is no stranger to fictionalized versions of TV news operations having created the CBS series “Murphy Brown,” which starred Candice Bergen as a news anchor from 1988-1998.

Also attached as executive producers are Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, who are coming off “Two and a Half Men.” Though they are under an overall deal at CBS TV Prods., they’ve been given permission to produce this series without the studio.

The project would mark the first starring role in a TV series for Pfeiffer, an Oscar-nominated actress who has as impressive a film role resume as there is but hasn’t worked on screen much in recent years.

Guymon Casady and Suzan Bymel of Television 360, the TV arm of Management 360 (which reps Pfeiffer), would also be executive producers on the show.

English has also been pretty low profile since “Murphy Brown” left the air, save for a screenplay credit on the 2008 film “The Women.” She is attached as writer, producer and showrunner.

While Couric hasn’t been a mainstay of morning news since her 15-year run on “Today,” she is currently serving as global news anchor for Yahoo.

“Murphy Brown” is hardly the last primetime series inspired by the TV news business. HBO recently completed a three-season run of Aaron Sorkin’s “Newsroom.” Lifetime is developing a TV movie based on “Top of the Morning,” a book about the real-life battles between broadcast morning shows written by CNN’s Brian Stelter.

 

More TV

  • Himesh Patel, Ewen Leslie Join BBC

    Himesh Patel, Ewen Leslie Join BBC Adaptation of Man Booker Prize Winner ‘The Luminaries’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Himesh Patel and Ewen Leslie have joined “The Luminaries,” with production now underway on the highly anticipated series adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel. The pair join Eve Hewson (“The Knick”), Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”) and Marton Csokas (“Into the Badlands”) in the period piece. The high-end drama is being produced by Working [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    ‘CBS This Morning’ Executive Producer in Potential Exit Talks

    Ryan Kadro, the executive producer of “CBS This Morning” and one of the architects of the A.M. program, is currently in contract discussions that could lead to his exit from the show, according to three people familiar with the matter. Kadro’s contract is slated to run out at the end of the year, and he [...]

  • NBC's California O&Os to Launch 'California

    NBC's California O&Os to Launch 'California Live' Daily Daytime Series

    NBC’s three California O&Os are set to launch a live daily lifestyle series dubbed “California Live.” The series will air at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday across KNBC-TV Los Angeles, KNTV-TV San Francisco and KNSD San Diego. The show will have some modular segments that will be customized for each market, with an emphasis on [...]

  • TV Roundup: Netflix Sets 'Tidying Up

    TV News Roundup: Steven Yeun Joins 'Twilight Zone' at CBS All Access

    In Wednesday’s roundup, Netflix reveals the premiere date for “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and Steven Yeun joins Jordan Peele’s “Twilight Zone” reboot. FIRST LOOKS  Variety has an exclusive behind-the-scenes first look at Season 2 of Showtime’s “SMILF,” featuring creator and star, Frankie Shaw. The new season, which premieres Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, finds Bridgette trying to move [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    CBS News Settles Suit Alleging Harassment by Charlie Rose

    CBS News settled a lawsuit filed by three women who alleged they were harassed by former “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose, and claimed CBS did not act despite being aware of the situation. The amount awarded to the women was not disclosed at their request, according to a CBS News spokesperson. “The matter has [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • Netflix - Marvel's The Defenders

    Don't Expect 'The Defenders' on Disney Streaming Service Any Time Soon (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of the Marvel Television series recently canceled by Netflix who hope to see the shows revived on Disney+ may be out of luck. Sources tell Variety that the deal for the original four Marvel shows includes a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content