Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 8/14/14

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Jim and Steve Armogida (CRASH & BERNSTEIN) are developing a TV version of SCHOOL OF ROCK for Nickelodeon. (And Yer Friendly Neighborhood Muncher can’t wait to see how that works without Jack Black in the lead. Mebbe we’ll get the once and for all answer to the question: “Is it the writing or the star that makes a big hit?” I think I know which way this’ll go. What about you, fellow, ahem, writers?)
  • Max Landis (CHRONICLE) is adapting the sainted Douglas AdamsDirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels for TV (network to be, you know, named). (This is a U.S. first, but in point of fact there already has been a BBC series version, which to mine adoring eyes was terrific. Kind of like BORED TO DEATH except with a totally amoral and devious conman hero. That version was heavily criticized for its departures from the books, so it’ll be interesting to see how close Max stays to St. Douglas’ original.)
  • Andrew Bluestone (newbie) is developing his spec screenplay, PILLS, into a web series through a deal that is, in effect, a prize for kicking ass in a contest held by The Black List website and WIGS, a prodco specializing in sophisticated web stuff. (Congrats, Andrew! And, nope, the munchman has absolutely nothing sarcastic to say. Not yet anyway.)
  • Jake Thornton & Ben Lustig (WINTER’S KNIGHT) are adapting John Scalzi‘s s-f novel, Old Man’s War into a series for Syfy. (And with producer-director Wolfgang Peterson supervising, I’m thinking this could be kinda cool. If the show can survive Syfy’s paltry budgets and eternal quest for “the cute,” that is. Good luck, dudes!)

Big Writer Deals! Big Writer Deals! Big…Oh, You know!

Today’s dose of other people’s successes: (…sigh…)

  • Max Landis (CHRONICLE) will write the pilot for VIGILANT, a superhero show featuring a “a smart 20-year-old woman who happens to be a social outcast” for Fox. (Hmm, does Fox really want to glorify the kind of person its executives would never set up a meeting with?)
  • Jason Dean Hall (PARANOIA) is writing an unnamed pilot about a Steve Jobs-like tech billionaire who funds a hospital so its Best-of-Everything staff can heal him – and others as well – for CBS. (Hmm, hmm – this is the second announcement in a row about a writer whose credits we’re unfamiliar with…wonder what that means.)
  • Chad Hodge (THE PLAYBOY CLUB) is adapting Alice in Wonderland into a series called WUNDERLAND, for the CW. It’s about a female detective in modern-day L.A. who discovers an underground world. (Because a literal interpretation of Alice is all the CW thinks its viewers will understand? Or because that’s all the CW understands. Now there’s something to worry about.)
  • Richard Price (NYC 22, THE WANDERERS, etc.) is writing the pilot for CRIMINAL JUSTICE for HBO. The show is based on the BBC of the same name about a lawyer who defends people accused of murder and will star James Gandolfini, who also produces. (What? You heard us yawn? Sorry. We’ll be quieter next time.)
  • Matt Reeves (FELICITY, CLOVERFIELD) has signed a deal with 20th Century-Fox TV to create, write, direct and supervise new drama shows. (So we won’t be reading about him doing a U.S. version of any BBC shows, right? Whew.)
  • Screenwriting god John August is writing the pilot for CHOSEN for ABC and says, “We’re keeping the logline under wraps, but it centers around a family facing unusual circumstances.” John’s partner on this deal is Josh Friedman of THE (late, lamented) SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES.

Wait, that’s it. It’s all about the partners. Well not all, but the answer to the burning question of how did Max Landis and Jason Dean Hall set up their deals, considering their credits, is that they both have Big Producer Partners. Working with Max is Howard Gordon of HOMELAND. Working with Jason is Peter Lenkov of HAWAII FIVE-0. Don’t you love it when a mystery is solved?