“Writing for money is a totally unfulfilling waste of time. Writing for love, though, can often end up making you a ton of money.” (Anon.)
Leslie Levings, creator of The Beastlies monster figurines, reports that she’s signed on to develop her creations into an animation project for J.J. Abrams’ company BAD ROBOT. (Which we think is really cool because it proves you don’t even have to be a writer to create a TV series these days, and writing being as hard as it is, hey, this is really awesome!)
Jamie Paglia (EUREKA) is writing the pilot for an ABC drama called EVOLVE, based on the Toxic City trilogy by Tim Lebbon. (Which we think is doubly cool because not only has Jamie aced out the writer of the books, the title is totally different so that none of their readers will ever suspect something they love is about to be on the air. Oh, waitaminnint, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it?)
Lew Schneider (EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND) & Rick Marin are adapting Marin’s Kindle Single memoir, Keep Swinging, in a sitcom for ABC. (Which we think is triply cool because, hey, Kindle, self-published stuff, making good…something all of us dream of, right? Right?)
Jonathan Ames (BORED TO DEATH) is writing a BORED TO DEATH TV movie for HBO. (Which is quadrupaly cool because a) it was our favorite show all 3 years it was on the air b) we got the word personally from this dood named Ted Danson and we’re just all giddy cuz he even spoke to us. HBO’s official response to this, btw, is silence, but screw them. Ted’s the Man!)
They’re everywhere! With everybody! (Okay, almost everybody. We don’t see our names below…dammit.)
Ricky Gervais’s new series, DEREK, will be a Netflix production, and we think it’s safe to predict that it will be much better/more successful than Netflix’s opening salvo in its attempts to become a kind of faux network, LILLYHAMMER. (Unless it’s set in, you know, Iceland.)
Ron Moore (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) is adapting A KNIGHT’S TALE for ABC on the theory that jousting is cool. Well, maybe it is. (And maybe not.)
Esteemed feature director Alfonso Cuaron (HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN)will be directing a J.J. Abrams-Mark Friedman script for an unnamed spiritual world type pilot about a girl who is developing super powers and the tough guy who’s released from prison to protect her.Whatever.
Garry Marshall (HAPPY DAYS, LAVERNE & SHIRLEY, et al) is co-writing GOLDEN GUYS, a sitcom about a down on his luck rich guy with his son, Scott Marshall (um, son of the writer/producer of HAPPY DAYS, LAVERNE & SHIRLEY, et al). Does this mean ole Gar’s down on his (feature film) luck now too?
Ilene Chaiken (THE L WORD) is writing a crime drama pilot, SOLVE FOR X, for CBS, about a game developer who consults with the San Franciso PD. Cuz, you know, San Francisco is so hip the cops actually think gaming is, um, for smart people. Or something like that. Oh, the edginess of it all!
More writers to get to know…or be very, very nice to if you already know ’em:
Bill Lawrence, co-creator of COUGAR TOWN is adapting the book by Justin Halpern (of $#*! MY DAD SAYS fame), I Suck at Girls as a sitcom for Fox.
Jason Micallef, the relatively “unknown” writer of the feature film BUTTER, starring Hugh Jackman and Olivia Wilde, is writing the pilot of BASTARDS, another sitcom for Fox.
The far from unknown J.J.Abrams has extended his deal with Warner Brothers Television through 2015.
SONS OF ANARCHY creator Kurt Sutter has a deal at FX to write DIVA. CLOWN. KILLER,” a comedy to star his wife, Katey Sagal.
James Wong, an old TV hand from 21 JUMP STREET, THE X-FILES, and more, is set to write and produce OCCULT, a cop show that sounds a lot like X-FILES (but with Michael Bay producing so you know it won’t feel like X-FILES at all).
NUMB3RS co-creators Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci are writing and producing a pilot based on Elmore Leonard’s short story When the WOmen Come Out to Dance for USA.
Shaun Cassidy of INVASION and BLUE BLOODS is writing an unnamed spy pilot for Fox and will produce the show alongside HOMELAND’s Howard Gordon.
…Except that we foresee years of litigation on this particular idea because, exciting as it is (and we think it is) we know of at least one literary estate and one literary figure who’ve already done wonderful versions of the same thing:
Fringe‘s J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman Reunite for Robot Cop Drama – by Robyn Ross (TVGuide.Com)
The upcoming pilot is a futuristic cop drama set in a not-so-distant future when Los Angeles police officers are partnered up with human-like androids. Wyman will write the script and executive produce along with Abrams and Bryan Burk.
Abrams and Wyman are currently wrapping up their final season of Fringe, while Abrams is launching his newest series, NBC’s Revolution, this fall.
Our recollection – augmented by LB’s still strong memory – is that this is the basic premise of Isaac Asimov’s two best (in our opinion) novels, Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun, each set in the I, Robot universe and about a crime being solved by a human police detective and his robot partner. And LB recalls that Harlan Ellison had a similar project, either as a short story or a TV deal, way back in the century that came before this one. Attorneys, start your engines!