Syfy explores Brave New World

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

Syfy

Syfy

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.

USA crowns Queen of the South

USA Network has picked up its pilot Queen of the South to series, ordering a 13-part run.

USA Network

USA Network

The show, based on the novel La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, tells the story of Teresa Mendoza (Alex Braga). When her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, Teresa is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America, where she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the very drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. In the process, she learns the tools of the trade and strategically positions herself to become the leader of the Cartel.

The novel was previously adapted by US hispanic network Telemundo, under the title La Reina Del Sur.

It is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, and Universal Cable Productions. The executive producers are MA Fortin, Joshua John Miller, David Friendly, and Pancho Mansfield.

Fortin and Miller wrote the pilot.

Queen of the South is due to air on the US cable network in 2016.

The drama is the third pilot to be ordered to series from USA’s 2014/15 development slate. Others previously announced include Complications, and Mr Robot.

 

Syfy hires The Magicians

The Magicians has been greenlit to series by US cable channel Syfy.

Syfy

Syfy

Ordered to pilot in July last year, it is based on Lev Grossman’s books of the same name.

The series stars Jason Ralph as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specialising in magic.

He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity.

The cast also includes Stella Maeve, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, and Summer Bishil.

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams will executive produce with writers John McNamara and Sera Gamble. It is produced by Universal Cable Productions.

The 12-part season will begin shooting in Vancouver in July.

Bravo develops White Collar Wives

US cable channel Bravo has is developing two new dramas.

Bravo

Bravo

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.

E! makes an Arrangement

E! is looking to build its drama content after ordering a new drama pilot.

E!

E!

The Arrangement, written by Jonathan Abrahams, is described as a Cinderella story for modern times. It follows Megan Morrison, a beautiful young actress who auditions for the female lead in a summer blockbuster playing opposite Kyle West, the hottest actor of the moment.

After an amazing audition segues into a dream-like first date, Megan’s Cinderella story takes a turn to the bizarre when she is presented with a contract that details an entire relationship with Kyle. Megan must weigh her options and the benefits and consequences to her career and her life overall… and decide whether or not she will accept ‘the arrangement’.

Abrahams executive produces with Jimmy Fox, Stephen Lambert, and Eli Holzman.

It is produced by Universal Cable Productions, and Objective Productions USA.

The Arrangement comes on the heels of E!’s first scripted series, The Royals, which has been ordered for a second season.

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.

Syfy pilots Incorporated

Syfy is piloting a futuristic espionage thriller from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Syfy

Syfy

Set in a future where companies have unlimited power, Incorporated follows executive Ben Larson, who is forced to change his identity to infiltrate a cut-throat corporate world and save the woman he loves.

It is created by David and Alex Pastor, who will write and direct the pilot. Showrunner Ted Humphrey will executive produce with Damon, Affleck, and Jennifer Todd. Margaret Chernin is an associate producer.

Incorporated is produced by Damon and Affleck’s Pearl Street Productions, CBS Television Studios, and Universal Cable Productions.

12 Monkeys steal second season on Syfy

US cable network Syfy has ordered a second season of its time-travelling adventure thriller 12 Monkeys.

12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys

The series is based on the film of the same name, and tells the story of time-traveller Cole, who journeys from a decimated future in 2043 to present day on a mission to save the human race from an imminent deadly plague.

12 Monkeys stars Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, and Kirk Acevedo.

It is produced by Universal Cable Productions in association with Atlas Entertainment, who produced the original film.

Season one showrunner Natalie Chaidez is stepping down from the series to concentrate on her next Syfy series Hunters, produced by Universal Cable Productions and Valhalla Productions.

Natalie Chaidez

Natalie Chaidez

Richard Suckle and Charles Roven will also executive produce, with Jake Kurily producing.

Co-creators and co-executive producers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett will now step up as showrunners and executive producers.

Season two of 12 Monkeys is due to air in 2016.

The Royals conquer E! UK

E! UK will debut its first original scripted series following the acquisition of new drama The Royals.

The Royals

The Royals

The series, which hails from US sister network E!, follows the lives of a fictional British monarchy where power is everything, limits do no exist, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford.

Elizabeth Hurley and Vincent Regan lead the cast, alongside William Moseley, Alexandra Park, Merritt Patterson, Jake Maskall, Ukweli Roach, Tom Austen, Sophie Colquhoun, and Oliver Milburn.

It is coproduced by Lionsgate and Universal Cable Productions. Writer and director Mark Schwahn executive produces with Brian Robbins, Joe Davola, and Shauna Phelan.

Lionsgate also distributes the series, which was renewed for a second season before its debut in the US. E! UK has acquired both seasons.

The Royals debuts on E! UK on March 25.

USA’s trip to Stanistan cancelled

USA Network is not moving forward with its pilot Stanistan.

USA Network

USA Network

From Universal Cable Productions, it followed the staff at the American compound in the Middle Eastern country of Stanistan, where state department workers, covert CIA officers and journalists operate in a delicate balance of danger and silliness using every coping mechanism available.

It is written by Andy Parker, who is also a supervising producer. Richard Scarth, Mary Louise Vitelli and Maureen A Ryan are co-executive producers. Steve Scheffer is the executive producer.

Jennifer Carpenter and Jonathan Cake starred in the pilot.