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Michael Douglas, Ava DuVernay, David Simon Board New Shows for Atrium TV

Atrium TV, the drama-commissioning club for pay-TV platforms and telcos, has set out a new slate that includes shows from Michael Douglas, Ava DuVernay, David Simon, and the producers of “Sherlock.” “Quasimodo,” which was shown to Atrium members last October, will also move forward, joining the already-announced moon-landing project “One Giant Leap” from veteran producer Mike Medavoy.

Atrium TV was created by former Sony boss Howard Stringer and Jeremy Fox and is owned by MTG’s London-based distributor DRG. It has members from different regions who are presented with projects that they can co-fund and market locally as originals. The members, including Televisa, Viaplay, BT TV, and Deutsche Telekom, gathered in L.A. on Sunday to get a first look at a new slate of projects.

The streets of San Francisco will look very different in Michael Douglas-produced “Silo,” one of the new shows in Atrium’s lineup. A high-concept drama, it will be set in a futuristic version of the city, where the haves live in gated communities and the have-nots live on the other side of the wall. Douglas will produce with Peter Horton (“Grey’s Anatomy”), who writes alongside Raelle Tucker (“Jessica Jones”).

Variety was the first to report that David Simon (“The Wire,” “The Deuce”) is working on a series about a battalion of Americans in the Spanish Civil War; it has now emerged that the show, titled “A Dry Run: The Lincolns in Spain,” is for Atrium. Mark Johnson (“Rain Man”) is attached as a producer, and Spain’s Mediapro (“The Young Pope”) will make the series.

“Sherlock” producer Hartswood Films and “Riviera’s” Foz Allan are adapting Boris Pasternak’s classic novel “Doctor Zhivago.” “Vikings” scribe Michael Hirst will pen the series, which the producers said would stick more closely to the original novel than the 1965 David Lean picture.

Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle in Time”) will helm “The Last Amazons,” a drama about the great mythical Amazon queens, their lives, loves and their major battles, notably against the Ancient Greeks. “Narcos” producer Gaumont will make the series, which Rafe Judkins (“Chuck”) will produce.

Moon-landing drama “One Giant Leap” from Medavoy has already been green-lit, and “Quasimido,” an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” is set to be the second Atrium show to go into production. Ashley Pharoah (“Life on Mars”) is writing “Quasimodo,” and Tracey Scoffield, David Tanner (“The Frankenstein Chronicles”) and Frank Doelger (“Game of Thrones”) will produce. Peter Dinklage and Charles Dance, both of whom are also connected with “Game of Thrones,” will executive produce, but whether either will star in “Quasimodo” remains to be seen.

“From day one, Atrium TV made a commitment to its members to only bring great ideas to the table, delivered by the very best creative talent in the industry,” said Atrium’s Stringer. “With these exciting new projects and the incredible international teams of talented writers and producers we have assembled, we are certainly keeping that promise.”

The new projects on the slate have completed scripts, with the exception of the David Simon series. Medavoy, Kronish, Doelger, Horton, and Johnson were all in L.A. to present their projects to buyers in person. There were video presentations from Dinklage, Hirst, and DuVernay. Fox, Atrium’s CEO, said that the meeting of Atrium members was invaluable, allowing each company “to fully engage with each project in development and decide which are most relevant for their audiences. The fact that we could bring everybody together in Los Angeles, the birthplace of so many great drama series, made this second full club meeting extra special.”

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