Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 5/18/13

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are

  • Tom Fontana (HOMICIDE) is developing a limited series about everybody’s favorite gunslinger, BILLY THE KID, for Fox. (Which means it might actually be about more than the shootin’ but the shootin’ definitely will be there.)
  • Robert Rodriguez (SPY KIDS) is turning his and Quentin Tarantino’s 1996 feature film FROM DUSK TO DAWN into a series for the new El Ray Network, co-founded by Rodriguez with Univision. (Yes, the station will be English-language, which is too bad in the case of the its other commissioned series, which will be written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (STAR TREK et al), AKA the two luckiest writers on the face of the earth.)
  • Tad Quill (SCRUBS, SPIN CITY) has a new overall deal with CBS to write, produce and generally raise creative havoc. (His first assignment is on a new series called WE ARE MEN, about friends living in Oakwood Gardens…where some genuine creativity definitely is needed.)
  • Aron Eli Coleite (HEROES) is rewriting the CW’s attempt to get a new Wonder Woman series off the ground. (This one’s called AMAZON and considering how badly all attempts to re-boot WW have gone, it’s pretty likely that none of us will ever see it on the air.)
  • Josh Friedman (THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES) will be a writer-producer on NBC’s upcoming pirate “drama,” CROSSBONES as part of a new overall deal at Universal Television. (Where they love to apply big holding deal salaries to shows already bulging with capable staffs. Hey, it’s the way they do business, you know?)


The Good:

  • Well written, well directed, with real-sounding (if mannered) dialog, just as you would expect from a series run by HOMICIDE and OZ’s Tom Fontana)
  • Strongly evokes the time and place
  • Earnest and filled with a concern for justice, social as well as legal

The Not-So-Good:

  • I don’t believe the existence of the ex-slave/forensic genius character for a minute for all sorts of historical/socio/criminological reasons
  • Seems to betray its concern for justice with its overwrought yet titillating portrayal of evil
  • Wears its earnestness as though nothing else should matter (which means don’t look for any laughs here, folks, even though real people do often demonstrate sense of humor

The Worst:

  • My wife, who is well-versed in matters related to child abuse, refused to watch after a certain scene on the subject
  • Much as I respect the attempt and those making it (HOMICIDE was in my opinion one of the Top 5 cop shows ever), this show makes me feel the same way OZ did: No way do I want to spend one second of the time alotted for my life in this unrelievedly dark, ugly universe

Nothing Shines Like Good COPPER

There’s something about this upcoming BBC America series. Oh, yeah – Tom Fontana & Barry Levinson. To us, that means it’s going to both sound and look GOOD.

(Note to BBC America: We know you have the official billing as Barry Levinson & Tom Fontana, but this site is writercentric…which we think you should be too.)

The melting pot is boiling over.

In 1864, Kevin Corcoran returns from fighting in the Civil War. Appointed as a New York City police detective, he finds the city full of corruption, class conflict, racial tension and violence.

From Academy Award®-winner Barry Levinson and Emmy® Award-winner Tom Fontana, “Copper” is a gripping crime drama series set in 1860s New York City. Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones, “MI-5?), an Irish-American former boxer turned cop, returns from the Civil War to find his wife missing and his daughter dead. As he patrols the streets of New York’s notorious Five Points neighborhood, he seeks the truth about what happened to his family with the help of two wartime friends: the wayward son of a wealthy industrialist, and a talented African-American doctor. The three men share a secret from their experience in battle that links their lives forever.

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