The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman


Russell Crowe To Star As Roger Ailes In Limited Series Greenlighted By Showtime

Showtime has given an eight-episode order to a limited series about Roger Ailes, with Oscar winner Russell Crowe set to star as the controversial Fox News founder in his US television debut.

The as-yet untitled series (fka Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes), a Blumhouse Television and Showtime co-production, is based on Gabriel Sherman’s bestselling book The Loudest Voice in the Room and his extensive reporting for New York magazine about the sordid allegations of sexual harassment that prompted the late Ailes’ ouster at Fox News. Sherman co-wrote the initial episode with Spotlight writer Tom McCarthy, who will executive produce with Jason Blum.

Showtime landed the Roger Ailes limited series for development in April 2017, a month before Ailes’ death.

“In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today,” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks. “We’ve seen this phenomenon depicted on screen as far back as the story of Charles Foster Kane, and it finds contemporary embodiment in the rise and fall of Roger Ailes. With Russell Crowe in the lead role, this limited series promises to be a defining story for this era.”

The Roger Ailes limited series was one of the first homegrown projects for Blumhouse’s independent TV studio, which launched with an ITV Studios investment shortly after the company had acquired the rights to Sherman’s book last year. Blumhouse attached McCarthy, an old friend of company principal Jason Blum, before setting the project up at Showtime. The greenlight comes after a small writers room led by McCarthy shaped up the series and produced multiple scripts.

According to the producers, telling the story of Ailes, who molded Fox News into a force that irrevocably changed the conversation about the highest levels of of government, will help understand the events that led the rise of Donald Trump. The series focuses primarily on the past decade in which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party’s de facto leader, while flashing back to defining events in Ailes’ life, including an initial meeting with Richard Nixon on the set of The Mike Douglas Show that gave birth to Ailes’ political career and the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his Fox News reign to an end. Told through multiple points of view, the limited series aims to shed light on the psychology that drives the political process from the top down.

McCarthy, Blum and Alex Metcalf executive produce with Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold for Blumhouse Television.

McCarthy won the screenwriting Oscar for co-writing 2017’s best picture winner Spotlight, and earned a second Oscar nomination for directing the film.

Crowe won the best actor Oscar for his role in Gladiator and received two other best actor noms for A Beautiful Mind and The Insider. He most recently played Henry Jekyll in Universal’s The Mummy reboot and will next be seen in the Joel Edgerton-directed drama Boy Erased. Crowe is repped by WME and Bloom Hergott Diemer.

Blumhouse TV’s upcoming series slate also includes Sharp Objects on HBO, Into the Dark on Hulu and The Purge on USA/Syfy.

Showtime has been examining the intersection of politics and media with its docuseries The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth.


Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser


‘Fancy Nancy’ Renewed By Disney Junior Ahead Of Series Premiere

EXCLUSIVE: Five weeks before the Fancy Nancy series premiere, Disney Junior has ordered second season of the toon based on the children’s books by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser.

The family comedy, which debuts July 13, centers on Nancy (Mia Sinclair Jenness), a high-spirited 6-year-old whose zest and enthusiasm for all that is exquisite – including language, nature, art and color – transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. Excited to experience what the magnificent world has to offer, Nancy uses her ingenuity and resourcefulness to exemplify that even if life doesn’t always go as planned, it’s important to make the most of each day and encourage others to do the same.

Alyson Hannigan, Rob Riggle, Mia Sinclair Jenness and Spencer Moss also star, with Season 1 recurring voices including Christine Baranski, George Wendt, Kal Penn, Dana Heath, Tatyana Ali, Ian Chen, Chi McBride, Malachi Barton and Madison Pettis.

Geared toward kids ages 2-7, Fancy Nancy episodes include two 11-minute stories that showcase themes of self-expression, originality and love of family. Nearly every episode features new original songs whose styles range from pop and jazz to big band, classical and swing.

The series is executive produced and directed by Jamie Mitchell and developed and story edited by Krista Tucker.

I Feel Bad by Orli Auslander


‘Abby’s’ & “I Feel Bad’ Comedies Picked Up To Series By NBC

Twenty five years after Cheers ended its 11-season run on NBC, the network has greenlighted another multi-camera comedy series set in a bar. The network made its first pickups on the comedy side, giving series orders to buzzy half-hour pilots Abby’s, executive produced by Mike Schur, and I Feel Bad (fka Untitled Aseem Batra), executive produced by Amy Poehler.

Both projects come from NBC sibling Universal Television, as do all three new drama series picked up by NBC so far — New Amsterdam, The Village and The Enemy Within. What’s more, both Abby’s and I Feel Bad are female starring vehicles, with Natalie Morales and Sarayu Blue as the two leads, and both pilots were directed by female directors, Pamela Fryman and Julie Anne Robinson

Abby’s, from Uni TV, Fremulon and 3 Arts, was written by Josh Malmuth. He and Fryman executive produce with Schur and 3 Arts’ David Miner. In addition to Morales, the cast includes The Middle‘s Neil Flynn, who is segueing to the NBC series as the ABC comedy wraps its nine-season run. Nelson Franklin, Jessica Chaffin, Leonard Ouzts and Kimia Behpoornia.

Abby’s is set at the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. There are rules at Abby’s: no cell phones (not even to “look something up”), earning a seat at the bar takes time and losing a challenge means drinking a limey, sugary “not-beer” drink. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family. The show is shot outside in front of a live audience.

Written by Batra, the single-camera  I Feel Bad, from Uni TV, Paper Kite Prods, CannyLads Prods and 3 Arts , stars Blue as Emet, the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly.

The cast also includes Paul Adelstein, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton and James Buckley. Batra executive produces with Robinson, Poehler, Dave Becky and Josh Maurer also executive produce.

The Apprentice by Gabe Sherman


Reporter Gabe Sherman To Pen Donald Trump Movie ‘The Apprentice’

Gabe Sherman, the journalist who penned the definitive book on Roger Ailes and Fox News and often led coverage in the sexual harassment scandals that engulfed the cable news network, has been tapped to write The Apprentice. The original screenplay will explore how a young Donald Trump set himself on the unlikely path to become President of the United States.

Amy Baer is producing the feature film through her company Gidden Media. Sherman, currently a correspondent for Vanity Fair, will also be an executive producer.

The plan is to craft the story of Trump’s rise to power as seen from the perspective of his many early influences, including lawyer and mentor Roy Cohn.

“As a journalist, I’ve reported on Donald Trump for more than 15 years,” Sherman said. “I’ve long been fascinated by his origin story as a young builder coming up in the gritty world of 1970s and ’80s New York. This formative period tells us so much about the man who today occupies the Oval Office.”

Sherman is adapting his 2014 biography on Ailes and FNC, the bestselling The Loudest Voice in the Room, as a Showtime limited series. Blumhouse Television and Spotlight director Tom McCarthy are executive producing that project, titled Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes, which is in development.

Baer’s Gidden Media produced the Elle Fanning-starring Mary Shelley, which IFC Films bows May 25. It’s also in post on Brian Banks, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Aldis Hodge and Greg Kinnear.

“Gabe is an extraordinary storyteller as well as an impeccable journalist,” Baer said. “The timeliness of this subject, combined with Gabe’s professional pedigree and integrity, makes this a rare alignment of talent and subject.”

Sherman is repped by Ross Yoon Agency, M360 and Hotchkiss & Associates.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill


‘NOS4A2’ Horror Drama Based On Joe Hill’s Book Gets AMC Series Order

AMC has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to supernatural horror drama NOS4A2, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Joe Hill. The project, produced by AMC Studios in association with Michael Eisner’s Tornante Television, was created by Jami O’Brien (Fear The Walking Dead, Hell On Wheels) who will serve as showrunner.

NOS4A2, which will debut in 2019, was one of three drama projects AMC opened writers rooms for last summer under the network’s “scripts-to-series” development model, which involves the writing of multiple scripts for a series order consideration. NOS4A2 had long been considered the frontrunner while no final decision has been made on the fate of the other two, Pandora and Silent History. Current AMC series that have come out of the “scripts-to-series” model include The Son and the upcoming Dietland, and Lodge 49.

NOS4A2 introduces Vic McQueen, a young, working class artist who discovers she has a supernatural ability to track the seemingly immortal Charlie Manx. Manx feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland – a twisted Christmas Village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas day and unhappiness is against the law.  Vic must strive to defeat Manx and rescue his victims – without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.

“NOS4A2 continues in AMC’s rich tradition of immersive dramas that combine otherworldly stories with relatable relationships and big emotional themes,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “Jami O’Brien and the writing team have vibrantly brought Joe Hill’s incredible story to life for the small screen and we are pleased to be making this diabolically unique new show under the AMC Studios shingle, in association with Tornante.”

Hill and O’Brien executive produce NOS4A2 along with Lauren Corrao, Co-President of Tornante Television.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming adaptation of NOS4A2. I know it’s in good hands with showrunner Jami O’Brien: her beautifully composed scripts show a writer at the height of her powers, one who has an exquisite touch with character and a relentless instinct for suspense,” said Hill. “AMC’s record speaks for itself: who wouldn’t want to be in business with the ‘Mad Men’ who ‘Broke Bad’ and made ‘The Dead Walk?’ And Tornante’s dedication to bringing singular visions to TV has freed everyone involved to do their best and truest work. I can’t wait to see Vic McQueen turn the throttle and go after Charlie Manx in 2019. Let’s ride.”

Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn


CBS Films Wins Auction For ‘Russian Roulette,’ Bestseller On Trump/Putin Election Hack Saga

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films just won an auction for movie rights to Russian Roulette: The Inside Story Of Putin’s War On America And The Election Of Donald Trump, the Michael Isikoff and David Corn bestselling book that tells the formative story that led up to the current Russian and U.S. controversy that dominates the headlines. Nick Wechsler is producing.

The book has sat atop The New York Times Best Seller list for three consecutive weeks so far. Russian Roulette traces the relationship between Trump and Putin –which began well before the election hacking saga — back to 2013 when the future president of the United States brought the Miss Universe Contest to Russia for the first time and invited the Russian president up to last July’s G20 summit when Trump finally sat down with Putin in person. The tale involves the spies, foreign governments and hackers conspiring to destroy the free world, pitted against the investigators, counterintelligence officers and journalists working to bring them to justice.

The deal was made on behalf of the Ross Yoon Agency by Hotchkiss And Associates. Wechsler, who last produced American Assassin, is repped by attorney Carlos Goodman. Mark Ross will oversee for CBS Films.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw



Netflix Wins Auction For ‘The Wicked Deep’; YA Supernatural Love Story Just Hit Bestseller Lists

EXCLUSIVE: In an unusually vigorous auction for a holiday week, Netflix just won the screen rights to The Wicked Deep, a first novel by Shea Ernshaw. The YA book was published by Simon Pulse and just debuted #7 on The New York Times Bestseller List last Sunday. Several suitors chased the book but Netflix just closed a deal that is six figures against high six figures if the movie gets made. Chernin Entertainment will produce.

Bidders sparked to the book for its potential to unfold like a Twilight Saga romance. The sleepy town of Sparrow, Oregon is considered cursed for good reason. Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to die for being witches. Drowned in 1822, the trio comes up for air each summer long enough to inhabit the bodies of three weak willed girls with the intention of luring boys to the swimming hole for a fatal plunge. When a 17-year old named Penny Talbot falls for a newcomer named Bo Carter, she becomes determined to see he does not become one of the drowning victims.

The deal was brokered for Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media by Hotchkiss and Associates. Chernin’s Kori Adelson was key in getting the book to Sarah Bremner at Netflix, and the deal closed quickly with Netflix and Paramount Players chasing it.

The Wife by Alafair Burke


Amazon Studios Lands Alafair Burke Novel ‘The Wife,’ A Thriller In #MeToo Moment

EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure deal, Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to the Alafair Burke novel The Wife, with the author set to write the feature script. Published in January by Harper, the novel seems a perfect fit for this #MeToo moment. Book deal is high six figures and scripting fees put it into seven-figures.

Angela, a woman who suffered extreme trauma in her teen years, learns that her celebrity husband may be a sexual predator. Jason Powell is a handsome NYU prof whose book on socially conscious investing called Equalonomics is a raging bestseller. He runs a successful consulting firm and hosts a top-rated podcast that has enabled Angela and her husband to live an idyllic life with their son in Greenwich Village. Then, his intern files a complaint at the NYPD Special Victims Unit claiming he made inappropriate sexual suggestions at the office. A second alleged victim surfaces and soon there is a murder and Angela has to confront past personal trauma she thought was far in the rear view mirror.

Amazon Studios won the book in a bidding battle that involved five suitors.

It is the 13th novel for Burke, the bestselling Edgar Award-nominated author who is a Stanford Law grad and former prosecutor. She’s also a professor of criminal law and procedure at Hofstra University.

Harper Collins president/publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to see Alafair Burke’s new novel take her renown and sales to a new level: it is a narrative that couldn’t be more timely, and a brilliantly twisty tale that shows Burke at her very best.”

The deal was made on behalf of the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency by Hotchkiss & Associates.

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott


Cheryl Dunye To Adapt & Direct Jason Mott Novel ‘The Wonder Of All Things’ For Lionsgate

EXCLUSIVE: Cheryl Dunye is set to write and direct The Wonder of All Things for Lionsgate and producers David Heyman and Jeff Clifford at Heyday. Lionsgate snapped up screen rights to the Jason Mott novel four years ago as reported by Deadline.

The Wonder of All Things is a supernatural story that follows 13-year old Ava, who discovers her healing powers after saving the life of her friend Wash following a plane disaster at an air show.

Dunye has been writing and directing indie films since the late 1990s. Her debut feature, The Watermelon Woman, won the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlinale in 1996, and she was nominated for Best Director at the Spirit Awards for HBO’s The Stranger Inside in 2001. Dunye has been teaching cinema for the last few years at San Francisco State in between features, and she has directed episodes of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar as well as The Fosters and Claws.

Dunye is also developing a feature version of her short film Black Is Blue with Laverne Cox attached to star. Her producing partner Marc Smolowitz is now raising funds and packaging that project.

Dunye is repped by APA, Echo Lake and attorney Cheryl Snow at Gang Tyre.

I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything by Orli Auslander


Amy Poehler Comedy Nabs NBC Pilot Pickup

'Scrubs' and 'The Cleveland Show' writer Aseem Batra will pen the script for the single-camera entry.

NBC picked up its sixth comedy pilot of the season.

Getting a green light Thursday is the untitled Aseem Batra project, which counts Amy Poehler as an exec producer.

The single-camera comedy shows one woman's hilarious unfiltered take on the side effects of trying to have it all. It is inspired by the book I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything., by Orli Auslander.

Batra (Scrubs, The Cleveland Show, Marlon) will pen the script and exec produce the comedy alongside Poehler and her Universal Television-based Paper Kite banner. 3 Arts' Dave Becky will exec produce alongside Josh Maurer and Julie Anne Robinson, who will direct. Kelly Pancho and Kim Lessing will produce. Auslander will serve as a consulting producer.

After an active development season, with multiple sales to broadcast, cable and streaming, this is Poehler's first pilot pickup of the season at the Big Four. The pilot pickup brings Poehler back to the network for whom she starred on Parks and Recreation. Since that show wrapped, Poehler has been a prolific producer for Universal Television. She most recently scored a straight-to-series order for an untitled comedy starring Natasha Lyonne at Netflix. Her Paper Kite banner continues to expand its TV footprint. The shingle also has a comedy set up at HBO with Bob's Burgers favorite John Roberts. Last season, she had Carol Burnett starrer Household Name at ABC, which narrowly missed a series pickup.

This is NBC's sixth comedy order of the season and second single-camera entry. It joins multicams Abby's, Friends-in-Law, Like Family, So Close and Norman Lear's single-cam Guess Who Died.

Illusion of Justice by Jerome F. Buting


‘Illusion Of Justice’: Legal Drama Based On Book In Works At ABC

ABC has put in development legal drama Illusion of Justice based on Jerome F. Buting’s book, from Primary Wave Entertainment and Sony TV.

Written by ER alum David Zabel, Illusion of Justice is a fictional show reflecting the life of Jerry Buting, one of the lawyers for Steven Avery, who was profiled in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. The series is described as equal parts legal procedural and family drama, focusing on a husband and wife who balance raising their children with running a criminal defense firm specializing in underdog clients who face ostensibly insurmountable odds in the judicial system.

Zabel executive produces under his overall deal with Sony TV, along with Primary Wave’s Jeff Gaspin and Tony Sabistina. Buting and his wife/law partner Kathy Stilling are consulting producers.

In a preemptive bid, Primary Wave Entertainment struck a deal to option the television rights to the Buting book. The project was sold to Sony, who brought on Zabel as showrunner and writer and sold the series to ABC.

Illusion of Justice is Buting’s first book and is published by HarperCollins’ Harper imprint. Buting became known to fans of Netflix’s series Making a Murderer as one-half of Steven Avery’s defense team, joined by co-counsel Dean Strang.

This is the second broadcast TV sale for Jeff Gaspin and Primary Wave Entertainment. The company also is producing the Bad Boys spinoff with Gabrielle Union alongside Sony Pictures TV Studios and 2.0 Entertainment.

Harold Brook of The Point Media negotiated the deal on behalf of Primary Wave Entertainment. The book deal for Illusion of Justice was made with Steve Sheppard at CDAS LLP, Sterling Lord Literistic and Hotchkiss & Associates.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes


Facebook Orders Drama Series ‘Sacred Lies’ From Blumhouse & ‘True Blood’ Duo

Former True Blood executive producer Raelle Tucker and director Scott Winant have teamed with Blumhouse Television for Sacred Lies (working title) a half-hour drama, which has been given a 10-episode series order by Facebook Watch. Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s Director of Development, just announced the project at NATPE.

Based on the classic Grimm Brothers tale The Handless Maiden, and Stephanie Oakes’ novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, and adapted and updated by Tucker, Sacred Lies (working ttitle) is about a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention, suspected of knowing who killed her cult leader. Casting is currently underway.

Tucker serves as showrunner and executive produces with Winant who will direct the first two episodes. Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold executive produce for Blumhouse TV.

“This a young female protagonist we’ve never seen on screen before,” said Tucker. “She’s complex, brave, funny…and sometimes dangerous. And she has no hands. But she refuses to let that, or her bizarre, brutal past define her or limit her. That’s the message of our series: no matter what life throws at you – ultimately only you have the power to decide what you believe and what you become. I’m beyond excited and honored to bring this unique, inspiring, badass character to life. “

“Raelle and Scott are known for pushing the envelope with complex characters, mixing genres and diving into dramatically dark subjects, which is also a hallmark of Blumhouse storytelling,” said Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, co-presidents, Blumhouse Television. “Sacred Lies is an inventive twist on a time honored fairytale which we believe will surprise and stir the Facebook Watch audience and we’re excited to be the studio producing this provocative series.”

The project reunites Tucker and Winant who previously worked together on True Blood. Winant, who won two best directing Emmys for Thirtysomething along with earning seven Emmy nominations, served as director on all seven seasons of True Blood, while Tucker served as a writer-executive producer on the first six.

Winant’s other directing credits include Shut Eye, Good Girls Revolt, Preacher and Better Call Saul, and Breaking Bad. Tucker currently serves as executive producer on Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Her previous credits also include Supernatural and The Returned.

Blumhouse TV is producing Secure and Hold, a limited series for Showtime based on journalist Gabriel Sherman’s reporting on former Fox News chief, Roger Ailes, with Tom McCarthy writing and executive producing; Sharp Objects, a limited series from Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn for HBO based on Flynn’s best-selling novel, starring Amy Adams and directed by Jean-Marc Valle; The Purge, from writer/director/producer James DeMonaco based on the film franchise for USA/Syfy; as well Run For Your Life, a supernatural race on the final night of Dia de los Muertos; and Tremors reboot, headlined by original star Kevin Bacon, both of which have a pilot order from USA/Syfy.

Tucker and Winant are repped by UTA. Oakes is repped by Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Final Girls by Riley Sager


Universal Books Rights To Riley Sager Thriller Novel ‘Final Girls’ For Anonymous Content & Sugar23

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has won the bidding battle to option rights to Final Girls, the bestselling novel from Riley Sager that hit shelves this summer. The movie adaptation will be produced by Anonymous Content’s Nicole Clemens along with Sugar23’s Ashley Zalta and Michael Sugar as that stand-alone company continues to ramp up.

Published by Dutton in July, Final Girls centers on Quincy Carpenter, who 10 years ago as a college student went on vacation to Pine Cottage with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, the press dubbed her a “Final Girl,” coined for the group of similar survivors.

Universal’s director of development Chloe Yellin will oversee production for the studio.

Universal, Anonymous Content, and Sager’s reps Aevitas Creative Management are also teamed on the adaptation of From the Corner of the Oval, a book proposal by former White House stenographer Beck Dorey-Stein.

Sugar23 launched in October with a multi-year first-look deal at Anonymous Content, where Sugar is a longtime manager-producer.

Publisher’s Marketplace

Film rights to Riley Sager's novel FINAL GIRLS, about three separate massacre survivors who, despite being bound by their similar trauma, never meet until years later when one of them succumbs to a new danger and the two remaining girls are forced to join together, to Universal Pictures with Anonymous Content (THE REVEVANT, SPOTLIGHT) and Sugar23 producing, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates, on behalf of Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management.

Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur


Echo Bridge Scores Timely Evan Peters Movie ‘The Pirates Of Somalia’ For December Bow

EXCLUSIVE: Echo Bridge has acquired U.S. rights to director Bryan Buckley’s The Pirates of Somalia (formerly known as Dabka). The film, which bowed this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival, examines what led up to the hostage saga depicted in Captain Phillips.

The film stars American Horror Story’s Evan Peters along with Oscar nominees Barkhad Abdi, Melanie Griffith and Al Pacino. The plan is release it in 10 markets nationwide day-and-date December 8. Rights include theatrical, TVOD and SVOD.

Based on the New York Times bestseller The Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur, the story follows rookie journalist Bahadur (Evan Peters), who, after having a chance encounter with an experienced war correspondent (Pacino), uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Abdi), Bahadur attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, getting in way over his head.

This is Buckley’s second feature film following the 2015 Sundance Film Festival pic The Bronze, which was released by Sony Pictures Classics in 2016. The deal comes as Somalia finds itself one of the countries on President Donald Trump’s current travel-ban list; if enacted, the Somali people featured in the film would not be able to travel to the U.S. to support the film.

“I am so pleased to be partnering with Echo Bridge, who share the same level of commitment to this film that we do,” said Buckley. “This is an important and powerful story that demonstrates the courage of those journalists who have risked their lives to tell us the truth. It’s piece of work that needs to be shared with all audiences; therefore, we could not be more thrilled to have found the right partner to provide this film with the proper platform.”

Echo Bridge chairman and CEO Steven Paul, whose previous credits include Marvel’s Ghost Rider and Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, said the film “is one of those stranger-than-fiction stories that demands being told. It has all the elements of a first-rate adventure. It’s thrilling and funny but most of all an important story that few people hear about beyond the headlines.”

The film is produced by Buckley, Mino Jarjoura and Matt Lefebvre of Hungry Man Films, as well as Claude Dal Farra of BCDF Pictures and Irfaan Fredericks. The executive producers include Paul of Echo Bridge; Compton Ross, Phil Hunt, Stephen Kelliher, and Hilary Davis of Bankside Films; as well as Peter Pastorelli, Michael S. Murphy, Hank Perlman, Kevin Byrne and Robin Shenfield.

The deal for the film was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group and Echo Bridge Acquisition Corp. The film was financed by Hungry Man Films and Head Gear Films and repped by Bankside Films for international sales.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

DEADLINE: N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Book To Be Developed As TV Series At TNT

N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning sci-fi fantasy novel The Fifth Season is getting the drama series treatment at TNT. The project is in early development at the cable network with Leigh Dana Jackson (24: Legacy, Sleepy Hollow) set to pen the adaptation and Imperative Entertainment’s (All the Money in the World) Dan Friedkin, Tim Kring and Justin Levy serving as executive producers.

Jackson brought the novel, the first in a three-book series, to Imperative, which secured the rights before the The Fifth Season‘s Hugo nomination. Jemisin went on to become the first black writer to win the Hugo Award for best novel. She followed that up last week by winning the prestigious science fiction award for the second consecutive year for the second book in the series, The Obelisk Gate. The third book was published Tuesday.

The Fifth Season is described as an epic drama set in a world where civilization-destroying earthquakes occur with deadly regularity. A small minority of inhabitants has the ability to quiet these earthquakes, but they also can cause them. The series follows three women, each of whom possesses these special, Earth-controlling abilities: Damaya, a young girl training to serve the Empire; Syenite, an ambitious young woman ordered to breed with her bitter and frighteningly powerful mentor; and Essun, a mother searching for the husband who murdered her young son and kidnapped her daughter mere hours after a Season tore a fiery rift across the land.

Jackson worked as a supervising producer a on 24:Legacy and as a producer on Sleepy Hollow. Other series credits include Helix, The Tomorrow People and 666 Park Avenue. He’s repped by WME, Gotham Group and Bloom Hergott.

In addition to winning two Hugo Awards for The Fifth Season series, Jemisin also won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. Jemisin is repped by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss & Associates.

Bloodlines by Melissa Del Bosque

DEADLINE: Universal, Channing Tatum, Michael De Luca Tap ‘Bloodlines’

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has optioned the upcoming Melissa Del Bosque book Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty. Channing Tatum is attached to star, and Oscar-nominated Straight Outta Compton scribe Jonathan Herman will adapt. A rookie FBI agent named Scott Lawson is assigned to the border town of Laredo, Texas, where he writes reports about the drug war but doesn’t get to do much else. Until he’s asked to check out an anonymous tip that a horse sold for a record price at an Oklahoma auction house. The buyer: Miguel Trevino, one of the leaders of the Zetas, a brutal Mexican drug cartel. Teaming up with a more experienced agent named Alma Perez, the FBI agent discovers an opportunity to infiltrate a cartel that has taken to launder its drug money through American quarter horse racing. The book will be published September 12.

Michael De Luca will produce through Michael De Luca Productions alongside Tatum and his Free Association banner. Free Association’s Michael Parets will also produce.

Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers will oversee development for Universal. Elishia Holmes at De Luca Productions brought in and helped package the project, and will shepherd for De Luca. Tatum, who stars in the Steven Soderbergh-directed Logan Lucky and the upcoming Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson. Herman is represented by UTA, Industry Entertainment and Lichter, Grossman. The author, a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, is repped by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Farley Chase at Chase Literary Agency.

Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green

DEADLINE: ‘Devil’s Bargain’: Blumhouse TV Acquires Book About Steve Bannon & Donald Trump For Limited Series Adaptation

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television, which has a high-profile Roger Ailes limited series in the works at Showtime, is taking on another controversial media titan, former Breitbart News topper Steve Bannon who is now President Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist.

Blumhouse TV, run by co-presidents Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, has acquired the rights to Joshua Green’s newly released Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency for TV development as a limited/event series. Green, currently the senior national correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek, will be involved in the development of the project, which will tell the inside story of the partnership between Bannon and Trump which led to the greatest political upset in U.S. history.

Published last week, the book has earned strong reviews and has landed at the top spot of the The New York Times bestseller list.

Based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years, Green traces Bannon’s surprising trajectory from working class Irish-Catholic Democratic roots to Breitbart News and his hard-edged ethno-nationalism, including hostility toward Muslims and all immigrants. He also masterminded a years-in-the-making plot to undermine Hillary Clinton largely by highlighting her financial ties to foreign donors through the Clinton Foundation, which helped to pave the way for Trump.

Bannon became a bomb-throwing pugilist who was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike. Although he’d never run a campaign in his life, on August 17, 2016 with the blessing of Robert Mercer (the ultra-secretive right-wing billionaire backer of Breitbart News), Bannon took over Trump’s foundering presidential campaign and steered it to a shocking triumph, for which he was rewarded with the job of White House chief strategist, a position he still holds today. It’s way too early to discuss castings on the project but it will be interesting to see who will get to play the firebrand duo at the center of it.

Devil’s Bargain joins Blumhouse TV’s Showtime limited series Secure and Hold, about the rise and fall of former Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Tom McCarthy, based on journalist Gabriel Sherman’s book, The Loudest Voice In the Room and his coverage of Ailes for New York Magazine.

Additionally, Blumhouse, which recently launched an independent television studio with ITV Studios acquiring a 45 per cent stake, has the upcoming HBO limited series Sharp Objects from Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn, starring Amy Adams, with Jean-Marc Valle directing all episodes; and The Purge, for USA/SyFy from writer/director/producer James DeMonaco based on the wildly popular Blumhouse film franchise – all written and directed by DeMonaco; as well as a Tremors pilot for SyFy starring Kevin Bacon (reprising his role from the 1990 cult favorite film).

Devil’s Bargain marks a return to the 2016 for Blumhouse TV. The studio recently produced Election Day: Lens Across America, a documentary film centering on the 2016 Presidential Election Day from the point of view of seven photographers in key battleground states across the nation, which premiered on Epix earlier this year.

The Blumhouse deal for Devil’s Bargain was handled by the Ross Yoon Agency and Hotchkiss & Associates on behalf of Green.

Trials of Nina McCall by Scott W Stern

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: 'Trials of Nina McCall' in the Works With Producer Cathy Schulman (Exclusive)

The adaptation of Scott W. Stern's upcoming book centers on the true story of the incarceration of thousands of American women accused of carrying and spreading STIs.

Scott W. Stern's The Trials of Nina McCall, the true story of one of the largest mass quarantines in U.S. history and the women who fought against it, is being adapted into a film.

Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment has acquired the film rights to Stern's upcoming nonfiction book, which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2018 by Beacon Press.

The story is based on the American Plan, a program that empowered local law enforcement and health officials to incarcerate and “treat” tens of thousands of girls and young women suspected of carrying STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and spreading them among American soldiers throughout both World Wars, all without due process. The film will follow one heroic young woman who was arrested and imprisoned under the plan but who refused to stay silent and decided to fight back.

Stern has been researching and writing The Trials of Nina McCall for six years. The idea began as an undergraduate research paper at Yale and eventually became his senior thesis, which won Yale’s Norman Holmes Pearson Prize. He will attend Yale Law School in the fall. Schulman is also an alum of Yale.

Schulman, who won an Oscar for 2004's Crash, has often backed female-driven stories, including recent hits Bad Moms and Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld. The producer, who launched Welle Entertainement in February, also serves as president of Women in Film. Welle Entertainment, which will both develop and produce films, is a co-venture with Primary Wave Entertainment.

The deal was made on behalf of Riverside Literary Agency by Hotchkiss and Associates.


The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas

DEADLINE: Fox Animation Lands ‘The Care And Feeding Of A Pet Black Hole’ For Matt Reeves To Produce

EXCLUSIVEFox Animation has acquired the Michelle Cuevas  middle grade book The Care and Feeding Of A Pet Black Hole. The studio is finalizing a deal for its War For The Planet of the Apes helmer Matt Reeves to produce through his 6th and Idaho  banner. Cuevas authored Confessions of An Imaginary Friend, which Fox Animation is also developing. This one involves an 11-year old named Stella Rodriguez, who shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record. A black hole follows her home, intending on being her new pet. She names it Larry. It swallows everything it touches, which takes care of the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her, the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. When the family dog gets lost inside Larry, Stella ties a bed sheet around her claw foot tub and dives in to retrieve the pooch. But the tub gets sucked in too, along with her brother who happened to be taking a bath at the time. Adventure in the black hole follows as the young girl realizes she has been letting her own grief over her father’s death consume her. The book will be published in September by Dial Books for Young Readers. Adam Kassan and Rafi Crohn brought it in for 6th and Idaho and Elizabeth Reddy will oversee for Fox Animation. The deal was done by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Emily Van Beek at Folio Literary Management. CAA reps Reeves.

The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman

VARIETY: Showtime Lands Miniseries on Fox News Founder Roger Ailes

Showtime is wading into the world of Fox News as scandal continues to buffet the cable channel.

The premium cabler has landed the rights to “Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes,” a look at the Fox News founder’s rise and fall. The limited series will draw on reporting from New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who had several major scoops related to the sexual harassment scandal that led to Ailes’ ouster last summer. Ailes was accused by hosts, such as Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, of overseeing a culture of harassment and of trying to use his position to exact sexual favors from employees.

The deal comes as Fox News is facing another crisis. Last weekend, the New York Times published an in-depth look at Bill O’Reilly’s tangled history of harassment claims. The article found that O’Reilly and Fox News had reached some $13 million in settlements after five women accused the cable news host of inappropriate behavior. Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have pulled their ads after the report hit.

The Ailes project will be co-produced by Showtime and Blumhouse Television. It could make it to the air within the next two years.

Tom McCarthy, the director and writer of “Win Win” and the Oscar-winning “Spotlight,” will write and executive produce the series. Sherman will also serve as an executive producer and writer.

The project is also being written and co-executive produced by John Harrington Bland and Jennifer Stahl. Blumhouse announced Tuesday that it had brought in ITV Studios as an investor on a new independent TV studio. The company is also planning a series based on its horror franchise, “The Purge.”