It’s development season, which is kind of like the prequel to pilot season, where lots of folks pitch their ideas to the networks, and then develop them for potential pilots, which may or may not get made, when in turn, may or may not be greenlit to series, which may or may not make it past their first six episodes. In other words, despite the big names attached, many of the shows below may never make it into next month. Still, when names like Tina Fey and David Milch are in the mix, they deserve to be mentioned.
Let’s take a look at these six recognizable names and the shows they are working on.
Tina Fey — Tina Fey is producing, along with her 30 Rock co-showrunner, Robert Carlock, a workplace comedy from 30 Rock writer-producer Colleen McGuinness for NBC. Said to be in the vein of Cheers, the half-hour sitcom “is a character-driven workplace comedy where a young woman in search of reconnecting with her father finds a new home and family on Fire Island.” (Deadline)
Greg Berlanti — Paradise, which comes from Berlanti — who is behind Arrow, Political Animals, and No Ordinary Family and Seth Grahame-Smith (the writer of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) — has actually been given a pilot commitment by NBC. It’s a sci-fi drama set in the distant future where Los Angeles has been turned into a prison. “Matthew Turner, M.D., is its newest inmate, convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. Desperate to get back to his family and prove his innocence, Matthew will have to find a strength he never knew he had, and stay alive long enough to do the one thing no inmate has ever done: escape.” (Deadline)
David Milch — David Milch (Lucky, Deadwood) has also been given a pilot greenlight with his new drama, Money, which will star Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges). The HBO pilot is “about wealth and corruption among the super elite, focusing on American mogul and patriarch James Castman, who wields power and influence to expand his media empire and control his family.” The fact that it’s Milch, and that HBO doesn’t order that many pilots, suggests that Money has very good odds of being picked up for series. (Deadline)
Bryan Fuller — Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) has a pilot deal over on SyFy that’s already in the casting phase, as he’s picked up Chris Diamantopoulos (the douchebag behind the camera who put moves on Pam in The Office) and Easy A‘s Jake Sandvig. High Moon centers on a “future when the countries of the Earth establish colonies to mine the Moon’s resources, only to see chaos erupt when new forms of life are discovered.” It’s based on John Christopher’s novel The Lotus Caves. (Deadline)
Casey Wilson — I love the incestuousness of the Los Angeles comedy world. Casey Wilson (Happy Endings, SNL) has long been writing partners and best friends with June Diane Raphael. In fact, in the early stages of their career, Paul Scheer came in to help them work on their two-woman comedy group, and Raphael ended up marrying Scheer, and now you can see her on things like NTSF:SD:SUV with her husband, along with their fabulous podcast, How Did This Get Made with Scheer’s co-star in The League, Jason Mantzoukas (who plays Rafi). We could probably continue with the connections for about 6,000 words, but we’ll stick with Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael’s blind script deal with ABC Studios. We know nothing about the premise or the cast (or even if the blind script has been written), but it’s good to know that Casey Wilson is still in the mix. (Deadline)
Shonda Rhimes — Finally, Rhimes — the force behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy (which yesterday announced that Sandra Oh was leaving the show at the end of the upcoming season) is developing a comedy with two writers from Cougar Town, Christine Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein. The premise at this time could not be anymore generic: “It revolves around a group of friends who are brought together after an unexpected turn of events.” That could describe pretty much anything. (THR)