The new fall pilots haven't even premiered yet, but already the networks are looking forward to their next big task: finding the right pilots and scripts to order for the 2013-2014 season. Development season is well underway and has been for the past few weeks — although this season is marked by a declaration from some networks (namely ABC and NBC) that the typically order-happy suits would not be as quick to bulk up their pilot orders this year. In other words, less is more.
Most of the majors have already made their first-round choices for specific projects, and the trends that have emerged seem to be all about big-name attachments (e.g. Vince Vaughn, Jodie Foster, Ryan Reynolds), period dramas (e.g. Aztec empire, Cold War America, 1890s Europe), international transplants (from Israel, England and Scandinavia) and — in an interestingly-revived yet well-worn trend — book adaptations (including Dracula and two Sleepy Hollow reboots).
Here's what ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC and more have coming down the '13-'14 pipeline so far:
— Dumb F*ck: Single-camera comedy about an average Joe and his brilliant wife who move in with her intelligent yet emotionally stunted family of geniuses; written by Hank Nelken (Saving Silverman), executive produced by Vin Di Bona, Bruce Gersh, Susan Levison and Shaleen Desai.
— Burns & Cooley: Medical procedural about two New York neurosurgeons who compete as they strive to be the top in all aspects of their lives; written by Meredith Philpott (Awkward), exec produced by Matt Gross (Body Of Proof).
— Founding Fathers: Drama about a war veteran whose Texas hometown is in the hands of a militia group led by his older brother; written by Rich D'Ovidio (Thir13en Ghosts), produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott.
— Untitled McG Project: Retelling of Romeo and Juliet, revolving around two rival families fighting for control over Venice, California; written by Byron Balasco (Detroit 1-8-7), produced by McG (The OC, Supernatural, Nikita).
— Untitled Kurtzman/Orci Project: Drama about a mysterious game; written by Noah Hawley (The Unusuals), produced by Heather Kadin, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci.
— Dracula: 1890s-set period piece about the iconic vampire; written by Cole Haddon, produced by Tony Krantz and Colin Callender; starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors).
— The Blacklist: Drama about an international criminal who surrenders himself and helps the government hunt down his former cohorts; written by Jon Bokenkamp, exec produced by John Davis, John Fox and John Eisendrath.
— Hench: Based on the comic about a man who becomes a temp for super villains; written by Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives), exec produced by Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey (Prime Suspect).
— Cleopatra: Period drama about the Egyptian queen Cleopatra; written by Michael Seitzman (Americana), exec produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott.
— Pariah: Drama inspired by Freakonomics about a rogue academic who uses economic theory to police San Diego; written by Kevin Fox (The Negotiator), exec produced by Kelsey Grammer, Stella Stolper and Brian Sher.
— After Hours/The Last Stand: Medical drama about Army doctors who work the night shift at a San Antonio hospital; revisited from last season; written by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah.
— Untitled Parkes/MacDonald Project: Drama about an interpreter at the United Nations who works with diplomats and politicians from around the world; written by Tom Brady (Hell on Wheels), produced by Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ted Gold.
— Untitled Charmelo/Snyder Project: New Orleans-set drama, described as a "sexy Southern Gothic thriller"; created by Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder (Ringer), exec produced by Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan.
— Untitled Rand Ravich Project: Drama-thriller following a secret service agent at the center of an international crisis in Washington, DC; created by Rand Ravich (Life), produced by Far Shariat.
— Island Practice: Based on the book Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures Of A Nantucket Doctor, about an eccentric doctor with a controversial medical practice on an island off the coast of Washington; written by Amy Holden Jones (Mystic Pizza, Beethoven), produced by Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Oly Obst.
— The Brady Bunch: Reboot of the series, about a divorced Bobby Brady who re-marries a woman with children of her own; written by Mike Mariano (Raising Hope), co-developed and exec produced by Vince Vaughn (Sullivan & Son).
— A Welcome Grave: Based on the book series about a private investigator who comes under suspicion when a rival turns up dead.
— Backstrom: Based on the book series about a House-like detective who tries to change his self-destructive nature; written by Hart Hanson (Bones), produced by Leif G.W. Persson (novel) and Niclas Salomonsson.
— Ex-Men: Single-camera comedy about a young guy who moves into a short-term rental complex and befriends the other men who live there after being kicked out by their wives; written and directed by Rob Greenberg; starring Chris Smith and Kal Penn.
— Sleepy Hollow: Contemporary reinterpretation of the Sleepy Hollow short story; written by Patrick Macmanus and Grant Scharbo, produced by Scharbo and Gina Matthews.
— Gun Machine: Based on an upcoming novel (of the same name) about a New York detective whose chance discovery of a stash of guns leads back to a variety of unsolved murders; written by Dario Scardapane (Trauma), produced by Warren Ellis (book author), Scardapane, Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
— Sleepy Hollow: Modern-day thriller based on the Sleepy Hollow short story, following Ichabod Crane and a female sheriff who solve supernatural mysteries; written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Fringe, Hawaii Five-0) and Phillip Iscove, produced by Heather Kadin and Len Wiseman.
— The Beach: Based on the 1996 novel and 2000 movie about a group of youths who try to start society over on a remote paradise; written by Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle).
— Hard Up: Single-camera comedy based on Israeli series about four twentysomething guys who are strapped for cash; written by Etan Frankel (Shameless), produced by John Wells.
— Lowe Rollers: Animated comedy about a struggling Titanic-themed casino in Las Vegas; written by Mark Torgove and Paul Kaplan (Outsourced) and Ash Brannon, produced by Ryan Reynolds, Jonathon Komack Martin, Steven Pearl and Allan Loeb.
— Untitled Chris Levinson Project: Cop drama about a detective who puts his life under surveillance when he begins to lose his memory; written by Chris Levinson (Touch), produced by Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
— Untitled Friend/Lerner Project: Drama set on an aircraft carrier following young naval officers and a female fighter pilot who tries to solve an onboard murder; written and produced by Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner (House).
— Untitled Ryan Reynolds Project: Half-hour comedy about a disgraced hotelier forced to manage a rundown airport hotel; written by Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay (Clash of the Titans), produced by Ryan Reynolds, Allan Loeb, Jonathon Komack Martin and Steven Pearl.
— Untitled Jason Katims Project: Romantic comedy about a single female attorney; written by Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and Sarah Watson.
— Getting On: U.S. adaptation of a British comedy about a group of nurses and doctors working in a women's geriatric wing of a run-down hospital; Big Love creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer to exec produce with Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner and Geoff Atkinson.
— Buda Bridge: Belgian-set crime drama about a woman who is found dead on a famous bridge in Brussels; written and directed by Michael R. Roskam (Bullhead), produced by Michael Mann (Luck) and Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad).
— Hello Ladies: Comedy about an oddball Englishman who chases women in Los Angeles; written, directed by and starring Stephen Merchant (The Office), produced by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office).
— Angie's Body: Drama about a powerful woman at the head of a crime family; written by Rob Fresco (Heroes, Jericho), directed and executive produced by Jodie Foster, Fresco and Russ Krasnoff.
— Conquest: Period drama about Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, who clashes with the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II; written by Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries), produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo.
— Low Winter Sun: Based on 2006 British miniseries about the aftermath that follows the murder of a cop by a fellow detective; written by Chris Mundy; James Ransone, Ruben Santiago Hudson and Athena Karkanis to star.
— Those Who Kill: Based on Danish series about a detective and forensics scientist who track down serial killers; written by Glen Morgan, produced by Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Peter Bose and Jonas Allen, directed by Joe Carnahan.
— Untitled LaGravenese/Goldwyn Project: Legal thriller about an attorney who discovers new evidence that re-opens a sensational murder case; written by Richard LaGravenese, directed by Tony Goldwyn, exec produced by David Manson; Marin Ireland to star as female lead.
— The Americans: Period drama about two KGB spies posing as Americans in Washington, DC; created by Joe Weisberg, exec produced by Weisberg, Graham Yost, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey; directed by Gavin O'Connor; Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich to star.
— The Bridge: Based on the Scandinavian series, about a murder investigation opened up after a dead body is discovered on a bridge connecting the United States and Mexico; written by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid (Cold Case), produced by Carolyn Bernstein, Lars Blomgren and Jane Featherstone.
— Untitled Dr. Dre Project: One-hour drama about music and crime in Los Angeles; written by Sidney Quashie, exec produced by Dr. Dre.
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[Photo Credit: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, The CW]
Top Story: Singer Brown Faces Battery Charges
Bobby Brown was charged with battery Wednesday, after allegedly hitting his wife Whitney Houston on Sunday, The Associated Press reports. A police spokesman told AP Brown, 34, turned himself in after the couple and their attorneys met with police. Houston called police Sunday to report that Brown had struck her on the left side of her face with his open right hand at the couple's home near Alpharetta, Ga., AP reports. Houston, 40, declined comment, but her lawyer, Mark Trigg, said, "She is trying to resolve the matter privately." Brown was in jail in August for violating his probation on a drunken driving charge, and in 2000 he spent 26 days in a Florida jail for violating probation on different charges. Authorities are now investigating whether Brown broke probation in Sunday's incident. Brown is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Jan. 7.
Slater's Wife Not Charged
In related news, Christian Slater's wife Ryan Haddon will not face criminal charges for throwing a glass at the actor's head in a Las Vegas hotel room Nov. 10, AP reports. A Nevada court said there's no proof Haddon meant to hurt Slater, who received stitches for a cut behind the ear. "We did not feel we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she committed intentional battery," Clark County District Attorney David Roger told AP. "Both the victim and the defendant maintained that it was an accident." Police in Nevada investigate domestic violence cases even if the alleged victim doesn't want to press charges, AP reports.
Seacrest Takes Over Top 40
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will become the new host for the weekly pop radio countdown show American Top 40, replacing veteran broadcaster Casey Kasem, AP reports. Seacrest, 28, will start Jan. 10. Kasem, who has hosted Top 40 since 1970, signed his own long-term agreement with Premiere Radio Networks, where he will continue hosting American Top 20 for adult contemporary stations across the country, AP reports.
Edwards To Get Honorary Oscar
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected acclaimed director/writer/producer Blake Edwards to receive an Honorary Award at this year's Oscar ceremony. Best known for the Pink Panther movies starring Peter Sellers as well as comedies 10 and Victor/Victoria, Edwards also helmed the Audrey Hepburn classic Breakfast at Tiffany's. "For more than 50 years, Edwards has had an extraordinary career writing, directing and producing mainly his own material," Academy President Frank Pierson said in a press release. "And that puts him in a select and very small group of outstanding film makers."
Snoop Dogg's Mom Goes After Rapper Knight
Rapper Snoop Dogg's mother Beverly Green and rapper Delmar "Daz" Dillinger Arnaud's wife Maria Watkins have joined together in filing a slander suit against rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, AP reports. The defendants claim the song "Tha Row" from the soundtrack of the film Dysfunktional Family contains graphic lyrics saying Knight was sleeping with the plaintiffs. "These plaintiffs are totally innocent victims being tormented as a means to force Daz Dillinger and Snoop Dogg to suffer personal anguish and to take retaliatory action," AP reports the lawsuit reads. "This is the same type of feud that led to the Tupac Shakur and Christopher 'Biggie Small' Wallace's death."
Pirates Rakes in Hefty Rental Booty
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has broken the one-week record for combined DVD and VHS sales, topping 11 million units sold through to consumers and rental chains, as well as earning $19.5 million during its first five days on rental shelves, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bruce Almighty came in a close second with an estimated $17.1 million in rentals for the past week.
LAPD Veteran Caught Pirating
MPAA's Jack Valenti should be feeling a little better. Los Angeles Police Department captain Julie D. Nelson was arrested Tuesday for allegedly selling pirated and counterfeit DVDs, Variety reports. After more than 100 pirated and counterfeit DVDs were found in her home and car, authorities told Variety, Nelson was arrested on two felonies: failure to disclose the origin of a recording or audiovisual work and possession and sale of a counterfeit trademark or registered mark.
Role Call: Congeniality 2 Gets Director
Director John Pasquin (Joe Somebody) is in negotiations to direct Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality 2. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bullock will reprise her role as Special Agent Gracie Hart, but no other talent is attached to the Warner Bros. sequel. The 2000 original also starred Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt and Candice Bergen and cleared $100 million at the domestic box office from a budget in the $45 million range.