Director nabs rights to Detective Emily Cruz novels

Could there be a new female detective coming to television screens?

Writer/director Emily Skopov has acquired film and television rights to the Detective Emilia Cruz novels by mystery writer Carmen Amato with a view to turning them into a new screen franchise.

Carmen Amato

Carmen Amato

The series follows Cruz, the first and only female police detective in Acapulco, as police investigations pit her against Mexico’s drug cartel violence, government corruption, and gender bias against a woman in a traditionally male occupation.
Skopov’s TV credits include Xena: Warrior Princess, and Farscape.

Syfy explores Brave New World

US cable channel Syfy is developing a new drama based on Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World.



Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is behind the project,  which is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. In this world, humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in “hatcheries”.

Those who won’t conform are forced onto “reservations” – until one of these “savages” challenges the system, threatening the entire social order.

Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will be executive producers with Les Bohem, who will write the screenplay. It is produced by Universal Cable Productions.

Bravo develops White Collar Wives

US cable channel Bravo has is developing two new dramas.



The first, called White Collar Wives, follows the New York City women married to the financial elite who will do anything to save themselves from ruin. A FBI investigation sets into motion a series of events that leads one woman to prison, a best friend to commit the ultimate betrayal and an unexpected death.

It is written by Vanessa Reisen for Adjacent Productions. Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner executive produce.

The second drama being developed at Bravo, All that Glitters, is set at the height of the magazine era in the 1980s, when fashion icon Anna Wintour and media mogul Tina Brown were ruthless in their competition to dominate the publishing world and forever changed the way fashion, news and entertainment were consumed.

Based on the book Newhouse: All The Glitter, Power and Glory of America’s Richest Media Empire and the Secretive Man Behind It by Thomas Maier, it is produced by Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment and Judith Verno’s Peace Out Productions for Universal Cable Productions and Sony Pictures Television.

PBS develops The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel The Signature of All Things is being adapted for television by US public broadcaster PBS.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

The network’s Masterpiece strand has optioned rights to the book, which is set in the 19th Century and follows a brilliant, determined, and thoroughly scientific woman who is struggling to express her intellectual curiosity in a society where women’s lives are confined to the domestic sphere.

Masterpiece, produced by WGBH Boston, is developing the project with UK production company Origin Pictures.

Emily Ballou is adapting the novel for television.

National Geographic introduces Saints & Strangers

National Geographic Channel is developing an original drama that explores the story behind the founding of America.

National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel

Saints & Strangers (wt) will follow the 101 men, woman and children who came to America aboard the Mayflower in search of a new life in an unexplored land.

Half were pilgrims, religious separatists who abandoned their previous lives for religious freedom and an opportunity to create a new social order built on their values. The other half were mostly single males looking for financial opportunities or the chance to escape their old identities or criminal pasts.

Their struggles will be portrayed alongside their relationship with the Native Americans.

The four-hour miniseries is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Little Engine Productions.

Grant Scharbo, Gina Matthews, Teri Weinberg and writer Eric Overmyer are the executive producers. Seth Fisher is also a writer on the project, which is based on a script by Chip Johannessen and Walon Green.

It will air this autumn.

NBC, RTL, TF1 partner for US procedurals

US-style procedurals are to be developed by a trio of international producers and broadcasters.

NBCUniversal International Television Production has partnered with RTL Deutschland and TF1 will coproduce the dramas – the first time a deal like this has been put together.

Their aim is to produce up to three new series, of between 12 and 14 episodes, every two years across multiple genres.

Production is scheduled to begin in spring 2016 for autumn/winter delivery.

A creative board led by JoAnn Alfano,  NBCUniversal International Television Production’s executive VP of scripted programming, will direct editorial and greenlight decisions. Other members will include RTL’s Joerg Graf, executive VP of productions and international acquisitions; Bernd Reichart, CEO of Vox Television; two executives from TF1; and Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Television Production.

RTL and TF1 will own the rights in their respective territories, while the dramas will be distributed by NBCUniversal International Television Distribution.

USA reveals latest development slate

It’s that time of year when USA Network unveils its development slate for the forthcoming year.

USA Network

USA Network

Here they are:

Paradise Pictures: Ambitious people strive to get to the top in 1940s Hollywood. From Universal Cable Productions, it is written by Rick Muirragui, who executive produces with Aaron Korsh.

Starchitects: A workplace drama set in the world of architecture and design, following a young architect taking on the cutthroat competition at a top firm in Los Angeles. Produced by Endemol Shine Studios and Universal Cable Productions, writer Mark Steilen executive produces with Christina Wayne, Catherine Hardwicke, and co-executive producer Miura Kite.

Amped: A neurotic family man buys an online ‘smart pill’ to increase his focus – but gets more than he bargained for. Based on a new DC Entertainment comic book by writer Eric Kripke, who executive produces for Kripke Enterprises in association with Warner Horizon Television.

The Tap: Set at Yale University in 1969, a student is recruited into the country’s two most secretive and powerful organisations – the CIA, and Skull and Bones. From Universal Cable Productions, writers Andrew Lenchewski and Aaron Tracy executive produce with Rob Reiner, Alan Greisman, and Charlie Ebersol.

Mythos: A man is caught in the middle of two opposing groups when his wife mysteriously disappears. Produced by Universal Cable Productions and Denver & Delilah Productions, it is written by Spenser Cohen and executive produced by Charlize Theron, Laverne McKinnon, and Anna Halberg.

AWOL: An ex-military operative experiences trouble re-entering the real world and providing for his family, leading him into Los Angeles’ criminal underworld. Writers Carey and Shane Van Dyke executive produce with Len Wiseman, Mike Connolly, and Andrew Plotkin for Fox 21 Television Studios.

Swamplandia: Based on Karen Russell’s book, this is an offbeat drama about the owners of Florida’s top alligator-wrestling theme park. Writer Liz Tigelaar executive produces with Barry Sonnenfeld for Tigelaar’s Best Day Ever, in association with Warner Horizon Television.

Cooley & The Tank: The series goes behind the secnes of the fictional 1981 detective drama of the same name to explore the lives of its two feuding stars. From Universal Cable Productions and Rain Management, writers Daniel Arkin and Anton Cropper executive produce with Jonathan Baruch and Rob Wolken.

Mile High: Two best friends – a Wall Street broker and a struggling entrepreneur – team up to capitalise on the newly legalised cannabis enterprise in Colorado. Produced by Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions, writer Josh Parkinson executive produces with Lorenzo di Boneventura and Dan McDermott.

The Recessionistas: A limited series based on Alexandra Lebenthal’s book, a group of elite Manhattan women and their ruthless Wall Street husbands must adjust to a new world order after the 2008 financial collapse. From Universal Cable Productions, Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen executive produce, with writer Melissa London Hilfers as the co-executive producer.

USA has previously announced the pilot for Shooter, based on the Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter and the 2007 film of the same name. The series follows a highly decorated Marine sniper who is on the run after falsely accused of trying to kill the president. Written by John Hlavin, it is coproduced by Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions, with executive producers Mark Wahlberg of Closest to the Hole Productions, Stephen Levinson of Leverage Entertainment, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

USA has also ordered to pilot Falling Water, while Queen of the South remains in contention for a series order.

Knightfall dawns for History

History in the US is developing a new drama that chronicles the downfall of the Knights Templar.



Knightfall is set during the event leading up to the persecution and burning at the stake of the Knights on October 13, 1307 – the event that gave the date of Friday the 13th its cursed reputation.

The series was created by Don Handfield and Richard Rayner, who executive produce with Jeremy Renner, Jeff Pinkner, Andre Nemec, Josh Applebaum, and Scott Rosenberg.

It will be produced by A+E Studios in association with Renner’s The Combine, and Handfield’s Midnight Radio.


History looks back on The Boys of ’67

Soldiers in the Vietnam War will be the subject of a new drama now in development at US cable channel History.



The Boys of ’67 is about the First Platoon of Charlie Company, 9th Infantry Division – the only division raised, trained, and deployed en mass to service in Vietnam.

It will be produced by A+E Studios in association with Head First Productions and Muse Entertainment.

The executive producers are Jim Head and Michael Prupas, alongside writer Jeb Stuart.

The series is based on the book of the same name by Andrew Wiest.

Snoop Dogg pitches HBO drama

Rapper and actor Snoop Dogg has partnered with HBO for a new drama set in the 1980s.



The as-yet untitled series tells the story of a Los Angeles family whose seemingly idyllic life is turned upside down by the collision of their community and American politics.

Stampede Management’s Ted Chung will executive produce with Snoop Dogg, director Allen Hughes, and Rodney Barnes, who will write the series.