Sweet Magnolias by Sherryl Woods


‘Sweet Magnolias’: Monica Potter, Brooke Elliott & Heather Headley To Headline Netflix Series

EXCLUSIVE: Monica Potter (Parenthood), Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva) and Heather Headley (Chicago Med) are set as the leads of Netflix’s upcoming series Sweet Magnolias.

Netflix last fall made a push into the romance drama space, giving 10-episode series orders to Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias, both based on bestselling novels with female protagonists.

Sweet Magnolias, based on Sherryl Woods’ popular series of novels published by Harlequin imprint MIRA books, is set in the charming small town of Serenity, South Carolina. It centers on three women, best friends since childhood.

Potter will play Maddie Townsend, a low-key but resolute, warm and loving woman with a vocabulary like Southern poetry. She finds herself at a crossroads in her life and her best friends are trying desperately to convince her that now is the time for reinvention.

Elliott plays Dana Sue Sullivan. Everyone knows her as the strong-willed owner and head chef of Sullivan’s Restaurant, a cherished spot in the town of Serenity. A former wild child, she works constantly but is always willing to drop everything for her friends.

Headley plays Helen Decatur, a lawyer who has made it her goal to create an opportunity for the people of Serenity, her hometown. Whether professionally or as a friend, Helen is an ally — particularly to Maddie. Helen is selfless, and she has to be — her career means that she spends a lot of time focusing on other people’s problems.

Woods will executive produce with Sheryl J. Anderson, who also serves as showrunner. Dan Paulson, whose Daniel L. Paulson Productions is producing, also serves as executive producer.

Norman Buckley serves as co-executive producer and will direct six episodes.

Elliott, who stars in the “If I Had Wings” episode of Netflix’s upcoming anthology series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, is repped by Innovative Artists, Link Entertainment and Gochman Law. Potter is repped by Gersh and Pop Art management. Headley is with CAA.

North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud


Hulu Orders Horror Anthology Series Based On ‘North American Lake Monsters’ Stories From Annapurna TV

Hulu has given an eight-episode series order to a horror anthology series based on North American Lake Monsters: Stories, a collection of short stories by Nathan Ballingrud, from Preacher writer-producer Mary LawsUnder the Shadow and Wounds filmmakers Babak Anvari and Lucan Toh, and Annapurna Television.

Created by, written and executive produced by Laws, The Untitled Mary Laws Project (working title) is a contemporary horror anthology in which, through encounters with Gothic beasts, including fallen angels and werewolves, broken people are driven to desperate acts in an attempt to repair their lives, ultimately showing there is a thin line between man and beast.

Toh and Anvari executive produce with Laws. Anvari also is set to direct. Annapurna Television produces for Hulu.

North American Lake Monsters: Stories,released in 2013 by Small Beer Press, was Ballingrud’s first published book. His second, novella The Visible Filth, was adapted by Anvari and Toh into their 2019 movie Woulds, which is distributed by Annapurna Pictures.

Anvari and Toh came to prominence with the 2016 internationally co-produced Persian-language horror film Under the Shadow, written and directed by Iranian-born Anvari in his directorial debut and produced by Toh. The movie premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. It was acquired by Netflix and also was selected as the British Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film.

Anvari and Toh’s followup horror film, Wounds, also written and directed by Anvari and produced by Toh, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It stars Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson.

Anvari and Toh and their Two & Two Picturesrecently signed a first-look deal with AMC for television projects. Anvari also is developing projects with Black Bear and Film4.

Laws wrote on the first three seasons of AMC’s Preacher and co-wrote the screenplay for Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon.She’s also known for her plays Bird Fire Fly, Blueberry Toast (Yale School of Drama) and Wonderful , among others.

The Untitled Mary Laws Project joins Hulu’s existing horror series, J.J. Abrams and Stephen King’s Castle Rock and Jason Blum’s anthology Into the Dark.

Annapurna TV has HBO miniseries The Plot Against America, Netflix seriesMixtape and Amazon comedy pilot Half-Empty starring Cazzie David

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik


Miramax Acquires Rafting Survival Tale ‘The River At Night;’ Kevin Williamson, Eli Roth & Roger Birnbaum All Paddling

EXCLUSIVE: Miramax has acquired screen rights to the Erica Ferencik novel The River At Night. The project will be shaped by Kevin Williamson and Eli Roth, teaming for the first time after each had an illustrious genre past with the original Miramax. Williamson and Ben Fast will produce through their Outerbanks banner and Roth is producing with Roger Birnbaum. Roth is eyeing this as a potential directing project. Melanie Toast is in talks to write.

For Roth and Birnbaum, this marks the first project for The Arts District, their new production label that has been staked to a first look deal by Miramax chief Bill Block. Michael Besman is the company’s head of development. Williamson and Fast already tethered Outerbanks to Miramax for movies.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings. What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare; a freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

“Kevin and I had long been a mutual admiration society, and when he told me this was Girls Trip meets Deliverance, I said, I’m in,” Roth told Deadline. “I’ve always been drawn to these clash of culture movies like Cabin Fever and Hostel, where they go for an adventure and everything turns against them and we see what they’re made of. The book is fun and it’s a smart thriller. As for working with Kevin Williamson, I was 22 and had written Cabin Fever and someone told me they read this new guy Kevin Williamson’s script Scary Movie. I took it home, read it on a bus going back to Newton, Mass., and thought, ‘Okay, this is what a real script looks like, it was so good. On my first meeting with him years ago I brought the Dawson’s Creek calendar I’d put in my apartment and he noticed that the only appointments were reminders to tape that show. He said it was the funniest, saddest thing he had ever seen, my empty life in Los Angeles.”

Said Williamson: “It was just sad and I remember suggesting he get a life. But we’ve been friends for years and always talked about working together. I stumbled upon the book, saw the reviews and just ordered it and found it a terrific story of courage and survival. Turns out Eli likes rafting.”

Roth said that the new company he formed with Birnbaum came out of their work on the Death Wish remake, and they sparked to Block’s pitch that he is looking to turn Miramax back into a haven for edgy crossover genre movies that have a chance to break out in the mainstream.

Deal was done by Hotchkiss Daily & Associates on behalf of Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management.

Faun by Joe Hill


Netflix, Sugar23 Win Film Rights Bidding Battle For Joe Hill Short Story ‘Faun’

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix won a three-studio bidding battle to acquire screen rights to Faun, an upcoming short story by bestselling author Joe Hill. Jeremy Slater will write the script and Michael Sugar will produce through his Sugar23 banner with Ashley Zalta. The story will be published in a new short story collection in the fall. A TV series based on his novel NOS4A2 was just unveiled by AMC at TCA, and Hill’s thriller bestsellers include Heart Shaped Box, The Fireman and Horns.

Price was not disclosed but I heard that Sony and Paramount were the other studios in the mix Friday. Here was the pitch presented to buyers:

Narnia. Hogwarts. Neverland. All magical places that mortals can travel to and marvel at the strange creatures and wonders not seen in our world.

What if a door to a magical land was discovered and instead of pure hearted adventures, a man saw an opportunity to charge a fortune for an exclusive private game reserve where you can “bag” a magical creature.

Multi-millionaire Tip Fallows is a recreational hunter looking for more interesting challenges. Another wealthy hunter, Stockton, has a secret to share and a journey to offer. All they need to do is pay a quarter of a million dollars to go through a little door in an old house in rural Maine.

We see a supernatural adventure film that bring a fresh magical take on The Most Dangerous Game.

Spotlight producer Sugar puts this through his first look deal at Netflix, where he is producing The Laundromat, the drama about the Panama Papers that Steven Soderbergh is directing with a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas and David Schwimmer.

Slater’s credits include Fantastic Four, The Lazarus Effect, Death Note and most recently the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy.

The deal was brokered by Hotchkiss Daily & Associates on behalf of The Choate Agency. Slater is repped by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.

As Long As We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney


Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories Lands JoAnn Chaney Thriller Novel ‘As Long As We Both Shall Live’

EXCLUSIVE: Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories has acquired film rights to As Long As We Both Shall Live, the upcoming JoAnn Chaney novel that Flatiron Books will publish January 15. Made Up Stories will develop the project for film in partnership with Endeavor Content.

It adds to a number of female-centric novels that Made Up Stories has percolating, including Signe Pike’s The Lost Queen, Holly Ringland’s The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart, and Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers.

The novel is about a complicated marriage gone very wrong. Matt Evans and his wife Marie are on a hike not far from their home in Denver, when Marie goes off a cliff to near certain death in the river below. Matt frantically seeks out park rangers to report the incident, claiming it was an accident. But detectives investigating uncover an incident over 20 years ago when his first wife was killed in a home invasion that he miraculously escaped. When a body is finally pulled from the raging river, all hell breaks loose. Is he twice unlucky or a cold blooded killer?

Papandrea will produce the film alongside Made Up Stories’ Steve Hutensky and Jeanne Snow, and Janice Park will also shepherd the project on behalf of the company. Papandrea has mined this territory before in films that include Gone Girl and All Good Things.

“JoAnn Chaney’s latest novel is exactly the kind of thriller I have been looking for, with a Hitchcockian mystery, jaw-dropping twists, and razor-sharp teeth,” Papandrea said. “We at Made Up Stories are thrilled to be shepherding this riveting story to the screen.”

The author said Papandrea’s track record made her the choice to turn the tale into a film. “Her past projects, like Big Little Lies, are nothing short of amazing, and I’m so excited to see the vision Made Up Stories has for As Long As We Both Shall Live.“

Chaney writes from Colorado and this is her second novel behind What You Don’t Know, which Flatiron published in 2017. Her deal was made by Hotchkiss Daily & Associates on behalf of Stephanie Cabot at The Gernert Company.

Sweet Magnolias by Sherryl Woods


Netflix Orders Romance Drama Series ‘Virgin River’ & ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Based On Novels

Netflix is making a push into the romance drama space, giving 10-episode series orders to two scripted dramas, Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias, based on the best-selling novels by Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods.

The Virgin River series, produced by Reel World Management and Roma Roth, is a contemporary romance based on Carr’s Harlequin book series. It centers around Melinda Monroe, who answers an ad to work as a nurse practitioner in the remote California town of Virgin River thinking it will be the perfect place to start fresh and leave her painful memories behind. But she soon discovers that small-town living isn’t quite as simple as she expected and that she must learn to heal herself before she can truly make Virgin River her home.

Sue Tenney (Good Witch, Cedar Cove) will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Roth and Chris Perry will executive produce. Production is slated to begin next year.

The Virgin River book series consists of 20 books which have sold more than 13 million copies. Virgin River was named to The HarperCollins 200 list, which celebrates 200 iconic books of the past 200 years.

Sweet Magnolias, based on Woods’ popular series of novels published by Harlequin imprint MIRA books, centers on three South Carolina women, best friends since high school, as they shepherd each other through the complexities of romance, career, and family.

Woods will executive produce with Sheryl J. Anderson, who also serves as showrunner. Dan Paulson, whose Daniel L. Paulson Productions is producing, also serves as executive producer.

Defending Jacob by William Landay


Chris Evans To Star In ‘Defending Jacob’ Apple Limited Series From Mark Bomback & Morten Tyldum

Apple has given an eight-episode straight-to-series order to drama Defending Jacob, headlined and executive produced by Captain America and The Avengers star Chris Evans.

Created and written by Mark Bomback (Planet of the Apes trilogy) based on William Landay’s bestselling novel, the limited series comes from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Oscar-nominated Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, Counterpart, Jack Ryan) is attached to direct the series and executive produce.

Defending Jacob is described as a a gripping, character-driven thriller based on Landay’s 2012 novel published by Random House. The book tells the story of a father dealing with the accusation that his son is a 14-year-old murderer.

Bomback,,who also will serve as showrunner, Evans and Tyldum executive produce with Rosalie Swedlin and Adam Shulman for Anonymous Content.

At Apple, Anonymous and Paramount TV also have a series order for the untitled Hilde Lysiak detective project.

Evans will next be seen in his final turn as Captain America in the fourth Avengers film. He recently starred on Broadway to critical praise in Lobby Hero and is about to begin production on The Devil All the Time.

Bomback’s screenwriting credits include the Planet of the Apes trilogy, The Wolverine and Live Free or Die Hard.

Tyldum received an Oscar nomination for the Benedict Cumberbatch starrer The Imitation Game. He also helmed the Jo Nesbo adaptation Headhunters and most recently the Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt sci-fi saga Passengers. In TV, Tyldum serves as executive producer on Amazon’s Jack Ryan and Starz’s Counterpart and directed the pilot episodes of both.

Evans is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Jason Sloane. Tyldum is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and Bloom, Hergott, Diemer. Bomback is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and David Colden. The novel was represented on behalf of the Alice Martell Agency by Hotchkiss Daily and Associates.


Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin


Pascal Pictures Acquires Uzma Jalaluddin Novel ‘Ayesha At Last’

EXCLUSIVE: Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures has acquired Ayesha at Last, a Muslim romantic dramedy novel by Uzma Jalaluddin. Eric Fineman and Isabel Siskin will be the execs shepherding it. The novel, which was published in Canada and will debut in the U.S. next year, is a present day retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Muslim community in Toronto.

The novel was shopped as interest swelled in Crazy Rich Asians, and it was helped by an appetite to tell a fun story focused on historically underrepresented characters.

The protagonist Ayesha has dreams of being a poet but has set them aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. But Khalid is also wrestling with what he believes and what he wants. And he just can’t get this beautiful, outspoken woman out of his mind.

Deal was done by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss Daily & Associates on behalf of Ann Collette at Rees Literary Agency.

Sean Daily Gets Name On Door Of Hotchkiss Daily & Associates


EXCLUSIVE: Gotham-based book-to-film/TV lit agency Hotchkiss and Associates is changing its name to Hotchkiss Daily & Associates, as prolific dealmaker Sean Daily moves upward alongside founder Jody Hotchkiss.

Daily joined Hotchkiss and Associates in 2004 and has developed specialties in elevated sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and high-concept YA and children’s books. His sales have included 13 Reasons Why, A Futile and Stupid Gesture and most recently the greenlighted supernatural drama Locke and Key to Netflix, Resurrection to ABC, The Book of Negroes on CBC/BET, Sacred Lies on Facebook Watch, NOS4A2 to AMC and the recently wrapped untitled Babak Anvari thriller from Annapurna starring Armie Hammer and Zazie Beetz.

Daily said he was “extraordinarily grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had over the years at Hotchkiss and the flexibility and freedom we have to serve authors and help their books find their way to the screen. I’m very lucky to work with a great group of writers telling compelling, diverse, fun, frightening, and eye-opening stories.”

Hotchkiss left Sterling Lord Literistic to form his agency in SoHo four months after 9/11. Recent agency deals include the Amy Poehler-produced upcoming NBC sitcom I Feel Bad; the upcoming Showtime pic The Loudest Voice in the Room: Roger Ailes, which stars Russell Crowe; and Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores. Features have included The Wizard of Lies, War Dogs, Secretariat, American Gangster, The Kite Runner and Hotel for Dogs.

“I like to say that agenting is about ‘chopping the wood and hauling the water each day’—doing the work,” Hotchkiss said. “Sean has certainly done the work since the day he started here, and he has also brought great insights while at the same time developing into an effective and respected agent.”

On Her Own Ground by A'Lelia Bundles


The New York Times

Octavia Spencer to Star in ‘Madam C.J. Walker’ on Netflix

Octavia Spencer’s next project is a literal rags-to-riches story. The Oscar winner will executive produce and star in “Madam C.J. Walker,” a limited series on Netflix that tells the true story of the woman who went from washing clothes to becoming one of the very few African-American female millionaires of the early 20th century.

Ms. Walker was born in Louisiana in 1867 to two former slaves. She was orphaned at 7 and married at 14. She washed clothes for $1.50 a day, until the birth of a daughter motivated her to seek a better life.

“As I bent over the washboard and looked at my arms buried in soapsuds, I said to myself: ‘What are you going to do when you grow old and your back gets stiff? Who is going to take care of your little girl?’” she said in an interview with The New York Times in 1917.

Ms. Walker decided to enter the hair-care industry at a time when few products were geared toward black women. Around 1906 she started her own business and soon created lines of hair straighteners, hair-growth elixirs, shampoos and pomades. As she earned riches and respect in the business world — extremely rare achievements for a black woman at the time — she gave back thousands to the N.A.A.C.P., the Tuskegee Institute, churches and Y.M.C.A.s; she also delivered lectures and helped organize protests against inequality and violence toward African-Americans.

The Netflix series is based on a 2001 biography of Ms. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles, her great-great granddaughter.

The project is being spearheaded by Ms. Spencer, who won an Oscar for her role in “The Help” and has since starred in “Hidden Figures” and “The Shape of Water.” “Since making ‘Hidden Figures,’ I don’t have a problem saying to a room of male executives: ‘I need a female writer or a female director,’ or ‘I need a black voice or a Latin voice,’” she said in a Times interview in 2016.

The news was announced at a Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. Kasi Lemmons (“Talk to Me”) will direct the first episode, and LeBron James will serve as one of the executive producers. The eight-episode series does not yet have a release date.

Locke & Key by Joe Hill


‘Locke & Key’ Drama From Carlton Cuse & Joe Hill Gets Series Order At Netflix, Aron Eli Coleite & Meredith Averill Join As EPs

It’s official: Four months after Hulu opted not to go forward with its Locke & Key pilot, the project — an adaptation of Joe Hill’s comic Locke & Key, from Carlton Cuse and IDW Entertainment — has closed a deal for a 10-episode series order at rival Netflix. Talks between Netflix and the Locke & Key producers started shortly after Hulu surprisingly passed on the pilot in March.

As we previously reported, Netflix is not picking up the existing Hulu pilot, written by Joe Hill, to series but will be redeveloping the scripts and re-casting the new series.

Joining Hill and Cuse on the creative team of the new version are Aron Eli Coleite and Meredith Averill.

The Netflix series was created by Hill and developed by Cuse, Coleite and Averill; the new first episode will be written by Hill and Coleite; Cuse and Averill will serve as showrunners.

It director Andy Muschietti, who helmed the Hulu pilot, is working on the film’s sequel, so he will not be available to direct the new version for Netflix. But he will serve as an executive producer on the series, along with Barbara Muschietti as well as Cuse, who has been instrumental in the project’s efforts to find a new home, via his Genre Arts production company, Hill, Averill and Coleite. Also exec producing are Lindsey Springer through Genre Arts, Ted Adams and David Ozer for IDW Entertainment and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs via Circle of Confusion.

Locke & Key, written by Hill, is a horror/fantasy series that revolves around three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities. Little do they know, a devious demon also wants the keys, and will stop at nothing to attain them.

Staying on from the three young actors playing the siblings is It co-star Jackson Robert Scott.

The Hulu pilot’s cast also included Frances O’Connor, Nate Corddry, Samantha Mathis, Owen Teague and Danny Glover.

Locke & Key was ordered to pilot in April 2017, before the top management changes at Hulu. The surprising pass on the pilot came after Hulu’s creative team, who had supported it, had given the project a blinking green light — setting up a full writers room that produced 6-7 backup scripts and having the sets built with everyone ready to go.

This marks a happy ending for Locke & Key, which previously was adapted during the 2010-11 development season when it reached the pilot stage at Fox with Josh Friedman writing, Mark Romanek directing and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci producing alongside DreamWorks TV. Back then the pilot, starring Sarah Bolger, Miranda Otto and Nick Stahl, did not go to series, though the title has remained a cult favorite, with Hill and IDW Entertainment in 2016 announcing that they were taking a new stab at it for television. The unaired Fox pilot screened at Comic-Con in 2011.

The IDW Publishing Locke & Key comic book franchise, co-created by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, has garnered both awards and acclaim during its ten-year run; has been translated into dozens of languages across the globe; and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

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.