NBC GETS THE JUMP IN CREATIVE PROCESS BY ANNOUNCING PROMISING SERIES DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR 2005-06
BURBANK, Calif. -� January 21, 2005 -� NBC will provide a rare sneak preview of its advanced series development plans for 2005-06 that include such drama projects as "E-Ring" from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and "'70s New York Cop Project" (working title) -- as well as such comedies as "Four Kings" from producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick (NBC's "Will & Grace") and "Dante" from producer Steve Levitan ("Just Shoot Me").
The announcement was made by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, who said: "We are strongly encouraged by our early start in our development process for next year. It was our intention to get ahead of the curve in competing for the industry's creative talent and we are pleased and excited about the scope and depth of the promising new programs already taking shape on our horizon."
Here are NBC's drama and comedy series projects (as of January 20, 2005). All are cast-contingent pilot orders, unless otherwise specified.
E-RING -- Executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer brings the trademark action-paced storytelling of his big features to the small screen and into one building -- the Pentagon. Every decision could mean life or death somewhere in the world as conflicts between America's military heroes and the civilians to whom they report often escalate to explosive climaxes -- maneuvering through that building in a crisis requires the agility of walking a tightrope over landmines. Written by David McKenna ("American History X") and Ken Robinson, an ex-Pentagon chief .
'70S NEW YORK COP PROJECT (working title) -- This series is a stylized look, a la "Casino," at the tumultuous and exciting times of 1970s New York as seen through the eyes of two cops who were at the epicenter of all the action. In a time when "fun shows" on TV are "in," the program will be the antithesis to all the dark and moody cop shows that have been proliferating for years. The project from Rand Ravich ("The Astronaut's Wife," "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind") is based on the life of Sonny Grasso, the legendary cop who was also the focus of the Oscar-winning film "The French Connection." Bobby Cannavale ("The Station Agent," "Will & Grace") has been cast as Sonny. Clark Johnson (pilot of "The Shield") will direct.
FATHOM -- What do naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, a family in San Diego, the oceanographic institute in Monterey, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico all have in common? They're all about to be the first to meet a new form of sea life -- it's beautiful, the kids may even want to play with it, and it likes to make the water warm. But what they don't know yet is that they are on the verge of a world disaster. In fact, these sea creatures are space invaders from Venus, here to make life on earth sustainable for even more creatures to come. "Fathom" is a series full of continuously evolving twists that deliver across several long-term arcs. The project is written and to be directed by Jonas and Josh Pate.
BOOK OF DANIEL � "Book of Daniel" offers a provocative take on a family with a religious bent. An Episcopalian reverend and father finds himself speaking routinely with a hip, modern Jesus, who appears as a vision and offers valuable guidance to help him navigate through family issues, church politics (especially as they involve a rehabilitation clinic run by the church) -- and his own personal issues. Jack Kenny is the writer.
WORLD OF TROUBLE -- A squad of U.S.-based FBI agents solve crimes committed against Americans (and U.S. interests) overseas. The series would be a driving, single story crime drama set on an international stage that combines high-end, intelligent crime story (much like NBC's "Law & Order") with international intrigue (a la "The Bourne Identity" and "Supremacy"). Also showcased are more fully developed lead characters than in most contemporary procedural legal dramas. Peter Noah (NBC's "The West Wing") is the writer.
INCONCEIVABLE -� The drama is a soap and a franchise set at a high-end fertility clinic, where a team of doctors and other specialists assist clients who cannot conceive children through traditional methods. The storyline explores the moral and ethical gray areas where science pushes the boundaries of law and where doctors are put into positions that some might say involve "playing God." But to the young couple who couldn't before conceive a child and now hold their newborn baby in their arms, those same doctors are merely heroes. Oliver Goldstick & Marco Pennette are the writers.
FOUR KINGS -- Bobby, Jason, Barry, and Ben are childhood friends when Ben's grandmother tells the 9-year-olds to cherish their friendship -- for one day they will be the "Four Kings of New York." Seventeen years later, the guys still eat sandwiches for dinner and share one dryer in a laundromat. When Ben's grandmother dies, she leaves him her New York apartment, and as the four move in, they find that despite their newfound wealth and continued youthful attitudes, life will keep them knee-deep in adult situations that aren't always so easy. The project is from David Kohan & Max Mutchnick (NBC's "Will & Grace").
DANTE -- Steve Levitan ("Frasier," "Just Shoot Me") creates a "Frasier"-esque show focusing on an arrogant, self-absorbed NFL superstar (much like Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character in "Jerry Maguire"), who's secretly nervous that the end of his career is nearing. He somehow manages his entourage -- which includes his white, overweight neighborhood buddy who feels more at home with blacks than whites � and the billionaire owner of the team, his female agent, and the only guy who can really put him in his place, his three-foot tall uncle. Morris Chestnut is set to play the title role of Dante; Tony Cox (the diminutive actor from "Bad Santa") is set to play the uncle.
LIES & THE WIVES WE TELL THEM TO (tentative title) -- Ever tell a lie to your spouse? Four couples navigate their way through the "politics of marriage" with lies that range from tiny to big, revealing how fabrications -- when done right -- may in fact further a healthy relationship. On the other hand, when done wrong, they can also create plenty of drama. While the four guys, who are best friends, sometimes tell the bigger lies, their wives haven't been entirely innocent either. The project is from David Guarascio & Moses Port ("Just Shoot Me," "Happy Family").
EARL -- In this series written by Greg Garcia, Earl is a low-rent crook who wins the lottery and has an epiphany. He decides to use his limited yet oddly effective intelligence to right all the wrongs he's made in his life -- one by one.
I LOVE FARON HITCHMAN -� Actor-writer Carlos Jacott adds a fresh perspective as the writer of this series in which Faron and Sally Hitchman are a young couple who might have gotten married a little before they should. He is a cut-off, trust-fund playboy -- she's the daughter of an overbearing Italian family. When a couple is only 55 per cent in love, their families can either help them get to 100 or push them back to zero.
LOVED ONES (AND OTHER PEOPLE WE HATE) �- In this comedy, three adult siblings lead very separate and full adult lives -- yet their lives are always overlapping. For example, when they are together, they often find themselves inexplicably returning to behavior of the past. Restaurateur Mike is the oldest, an egomaniacal alpha-male who's constantly looking to upgrade his life -- and who recently found that his wife "upgraded" with his pastry chef. Nathan, the baby, is a bit of a Lothario who works as a youth karate instructor, and while seemingly aimless to his siblings, he may in fact be the "deepest" and has his own offbeat philosophy of life. Lastly, Julia is the middle child whose yearning for her family's attention makes her the glue that holds them all together --whether or not they should be. Bob Kushell ("3rd Rock from the Sun," "Dream On") & Jeff Greenstein ("Will & Grace," "Dream On") are the writers.