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.”

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly

DEADLINE: The CW Buys Magical Crime Drama From ‘iZombie’ Quartet

The CW has put in development Criminal Magic, an hourlong drama from iZombiewriter Graham Norris, creator/executive producer Rob Thomas and executive producers Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.

Written/executive produced by Norris based on the novel A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly, Criminal Magic is described as The Departed-meets-The Vampire Diaries.Set in present-day Los Angeles, it revolves around two warring street gangs who fight the cops and each other to corner the market on the most lucrative contraband of all: magic. A young woman hiding spectacular magical powers and an undercover cop must try to survive this glamorous world of speakeasies, crime and danger. Thomas executive produces via his Spondoolie Productions alongside frequent collaborators Stokdyk and Etheridge. Warner Bros. TV, where Thomas is under an overall deal, is the studio.

This is the third development collaboration between Norris, who started as an actor, and Thomas. Last season, Norris co-wrote and Thomas executive produced utopian drama The Tempest, which also was set up at the CW. And during the 2013-14 development season, Norris wrote and Thomas exec produced a drama inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables for Fox.

Thomas is the writer/executive producer behind one of the highest-profile projects at the CW this season, a series based on The Lost Boys movie.

Norris is repped by UTA, manager Joe Riley and attorney Eric Feig. Thomas is repped by UTA and attorney Jeanne Newman.

The Loudest Voice In The Room by Gabriel Sherman

DEADLINE: Roger Ailes Limited Series In the Works From Tom McCarthy & Blumhouse Based On Gabriel Sherman Reporting

Roger Ailes is getting the Spotlight treatment. The recently ousted Fox News topper will be the subject of a limited series from Oscar-winning Spotlight co-writer/director Tom McCarthy, Blumhouse Television (Emmy-winning The Jinx, The Normal Heart) and journalists Gabriel Sherman and Jennifer Stahl.

The series will be based on Sherman’s reporting on Ailes in the bestselling book The Loudest Voice In The Room and New York magazine where Sherman is National Affairs Editor. The announcement was made today at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.

McCarthy will executive produce and shepherd the series, giving it instant cred as he recently spearheaded the Oscar-winning journalism investigation movie Spotlight. Sherman and Stahl will write and co-executive produce. Blumhouse will serve as the studio, financing and producing the series.

Husband and wife Sherman and Stahl collaborated on The Loudest Voice In The Room. Sherman then extensively covered the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes this past summer that led to his abrupt departure from Fox News.

Sherman drew national attention with his string of exclusive stories on Ailes detailing an alleged long history of sexual abuse and harassment and chronicling the events that led to Ailes’ dismissal. His coverage was so damning, Ailes hired a label lawyer who requested that New York magazine and Sherman preserve all documents pertaining to Ailes, a not-so-subtle threat of possible legal action.

“Anthony Hopkins in the Hitchcock Film was a spitting image,” Sherman said today when asked who should play Ailes, while also floating John Goodman as a possibility.

This is the first source material Blumhouse Television has acquired under co-presidents Jeremy Gold and Marci Wiseman, who recently joined the company to expand it into new business and creative areas alongside Jessica Rhoades, the longtime Head of Programming & Development. It also represents the first scripted series the company will finance as an independent studio.

Blumhouse TV’s slate includes the upcoming Sharp Objects on HBO starring Amy Adams and unscripted Hellevator on GSN.

McCarthy is repped by Gersh and Andrew Hurwitz. Sherman and Stahl are repped by Gail Ross and Jody Hotchkiss.


First Women by Kate Andersen Brower

DEADLINE: Reese Witherspoon, Robin Wright & ‘Spotlight’ Producer Team For First Ladies TV Series Based On ‘First Women’ Book

Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard and Spotlight producer Anonymous Content are teaming to produce a timely TV series based on Kate Andersen Brower’s bestseller First Women: The Grace & Power Of America’s Modern First Ladies. It will be directed and executive produced Robin Wright, who plays a First Lady on TV on Netflix’s House Of Cards.

The book, published April 12 by HarperCollins, is described as an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. Wright, who won a Golden Globe for her role as FLOTUS Claire Underwood on House Of Cards, is attached to direct the pilot. She executive produces, along with Pacific Standard’s Witherspoon, Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar, and Bruna Papandrea. Anonymous Content’s Ashley Zalta and Doreen Wilcox-Little are co-executive producers.

A former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, is now the Democratic nominee with a shot at becoming the first female U.S. President.

First Women author Brower is a former White House reporter for Bloomberg News who covered the Obama administration, as well as a former CBS News staffer and producer for Fox News.

First Women: The Grace And Power Of America’s Modern First Ladies’ paperback edition will be published by Harper Perennial on January 24, 2017. Brower was repped in the deal by the Ross Yoon Agency and Hotchkiss & Associates.

Snapshot 1988 by Joe Hill

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Universal Nabs Joe Hill's Horror Novella 'Snapshot 1988' (Exclusive)

The story, set in 1988, centers on a 13-year old boy who ends up taking care of his elderly former housekeeper.

The Stranger Things ripple effect has begun.

In a competitive situation, Universal has won the rights to Snapshot 1988, a novella by Joe Hill. Ouija 2: Origin of Evil director Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard, , who co-wrote Ouija: Origin of Evil and Before I Wake with Flanagan, are in talks to write.

Akiva Goldsman's Weed Road and Jason Blum's Blumhouse, the banner behind the studio’s recent release Purge: Election Year, are attached to produce. Greg Lessans will executive produce.

Hill’s novella hit the town earlier in the week and quickly generated buzz for its Stranger Things tone and 1980s Amblin movie vibe. Sources say Universal beat out Fox, which was bidding for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves and his 6th and Idaho production banner.


The story, set in 1988, centers on a 13-year old boy who ends up taking care of his elderly former housekeeper whom he thinks is succumbing to dementia. What he doesn’t know is that her memories are not being lost but stolen by an evil man named The Phoenician who uses a camera that steals memories. The story will be published in a four novella collection from William Morrow in the Spring of 2018.

The timing for an 1980s-themed teen adventure couldn’t be better. The series Stranger Things, which was released by Netflix, became a summer sensation because it channeled the movies of that era such as E.T. and The Thing. It also owed a huge debt to the works of Stephen King.

It is only fitting that the first project that has execs talking Stranger Things then is written by his son, Hill. Hill is the author of Horns, which was adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, and The Fireman.

Flanagan is known for his work in horror, most recently writing and directing this year’s Ouija: Origin of Evil, which Universal will release on Oct. 21. He also directed Netflix’s Hush, and Before I Wake and Oculus for Relativity. He’s repped by WME. Howard is repped by APA and Untitled, and attorney Joel Vanderkloot of Nelson Davis reps both Howard and Flanagan.

The deal was negotiated by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of The Choate Agency.

Black Flags by Joby Warrick

DEADLINE: ‘Black Flags’ Miniseries About Rise Of ISIS From Bradley Cooper & Todd Phillips In Works At HBO

EXCLUSIVE: Black Flags: The Rise Of ISIS, the 2016 Pulitzer-winning nonfiction book by Joby Warrick, is headed to the small screen. HBO has put in development a miniseries being developed by Bradley Cooper, who executive produces with with Todd Phillips via the duo’s Joint Effort production banner. Bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X, Wolverine) is writing the adaptation and executive producing. Helmer Tim Van Patten (Game Of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire) executive produces and will direct.

Black Flags tells the story of the rise of ISIS, from its origins in a remote Jordanian prison to its stunning success in Syria. The book tracks the group’s unlikely roots and transformation into the world’s most feared terrorist organization — as well as the small band of American and international agents tasked with shutting it down.

After reading Black Flags, Cooper immediately envisioned it as a limited series and sought out Warrick. He and Phillips then traveled to Warrick’s hometown to meet with him. The duo pitched the idea for the mini and discussed collaborating on the project.

Black Flags could not be more timely as the threat of ISIS continues to grow with deadly attacks across multiple continents, including a string of tragedies in the heart of Europe.

Cooper and Phillips merged their Warner Bros.-based production companies into what became Joint Effort in 2014. The company’s first movie release, War Dogs, comes out August 19.

Cooper and Phillips are repped by CAA. Phillips also is repped by attorney Warren Dern. Warrick was repped in the deal by the Ross Yoon Agency and Hotchkiss & Associates.