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CBS Orders ‘Salvation’ Summer Suspense Drama Series Produced By Alex Kurtzman

CBS Orders ‘Salvation’ Summer Suspense Drama Series Produced By Alex Kurtzman

CBS has set its next straight-to-series summer drama, giving a 13-episode order to suspense thriller Salvation, from Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and CBS Television Studios. The series will premiere in summer 2017, joining returning Zoo. CBS earlier this week opted not to renew the two new dramas it introduced this past summer, BrainDead and American Gothic.

Like the other summer dramas under CBS/CBS TV Studios’ model for lower license fees offset by international sales and short-window streaming deals, Salvation is a serialized series with thriller elements. CBS has a three-year deal with Amazon for one new summer drama each year. I hear Salvation has not been set as the 2017 Amazon entry. There is interest from multiple streaming platforms, and a partner will be announced shortly. So far, all CBS summer series have gone with Amazon with the exception of Zoo, which has a deal with Netflix.

Salvation centers on an MIT grad student and a tech superstar who bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery – that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth.

“Salvation is the type of fast-paced, dramatic ride that viewers look for in a summer event series,” said CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller. “We’re excited to launch another high concept, highly promotable show with great auspices that adds to our roster of year-round, original scripted programming.”

Salvation was written by Necessary Roughness creators/executive producers Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro based on the story by Matt Wheeler. Kruger and Shapiro have experience with CBS summer dramas, having served as showrunners on the second season of Extant. The duo, who is under an overall deal at CBS Studios, will also be showrunners on Salavation.

Salvation was originally developed at CBS during the 2013-14 development season, with Wheeler as writer and Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci, Peter Lenkov and Heather Kadin executive producing. It was the first sale for Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products after the company moved to CBS TV Studios.

The newly picked up version of Salvation hails from K/O successor, Kurtzman’s CBS TV Studios-based Secret Hideout. The company’s Kurtzman and Hadin executive produce with Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver showrunner Lenkov as well as Kruger and Shapiro.

The series will be distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and worldwide by CBS Studios International.


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Daniel Sunjata To Star In ABC’s 'Notorious' Drama Pilot Based On Mark Geragos

Daniel Sunjata To Star In ABC’s 'Notorious' Drama Pilot Based On Mark Geragos

Graceland and Rescue Me alum Daniel Sunjata is set as the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Notorious.

The project, from Sony Pictures TV and Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm, was inspired by the relationship between famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and long-time Larry King Live executive producer Wendy Walker. Written by Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman and blogger Allie Hagan (Suri’s Burn Book), Notorious is described as a provocative look at the interplay of criminal law and the media. It follows the professional and personal relationship between a charismatic attorney (Sunjata) and a powerhouse television producer as they attempt to control the media, the justice system, and ultimately – each other.

Sunjata will play the character inspired by Geragos, Jake Gregorian, a charismatic and sexy defense attorney, who manipulates the media to win cases at any cost. Following the end of Graceland, the actor had been pursued for multiple pilots, choosing Notorious, from Rescue Me producer Sony TV.

Notorious is executive produced by Berman, Geragos, The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry, alongside Kenny Meiselas and Wendy Walker.

Sunjata also recurred on Smash and Grey’s Anatomy. He is repped by UTA, Cornerstone, Authentic and attorney Ira Schreck


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Catherine Hardwicke Set To Direct USA Series 'Eyewitness', Tyler Young To Star

Catherine Hardwicke Set To Direct USA Series 'Eyewitness', Tyler Young To Star

Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) is set to direct and executive produce the first two episodes of USA Network’s 10-episode straight-to-series drama Eyewitness. Tyler Young has been cast as one of the two young leads in the project, an adaptation of the Norwegian crime thriller Øyevitne. Additionally, Scott Peters (V) has joined as an executive producer and will direct multiple episodes of the Universal Cable Prods. series, from Shades Of Blue creator Adi Hasak, who wrote it and will serve as executive producer/showrunner. The original series’ creator Jarl Emsell Larsen will executive produce.

Eyewitness, in the popular Nordic noir genre, explores a grisly crime from the point of view of the eyewitnesses. In it, two innocent teenage boys secretly meet up in the forest where they bear witness to a shooting and barely escape with their lives. Desperate to keep their relationship a secret and in fear of being found by the perpetrator, they remain silent but soon learn that what has been seen cannot be unseen and when you witness a horrible event it changes everything, forever.

Young will play one of the two teenagers, Philip O’Brien. A sensitive yet tough boy from the projects who’s seen more pain than anyone ever should, he gets a shot to start over with his foster mother, Helen, in an idyllic small town. There, Philip’s on the verge of falling in love with a boy from school, Lukas, when they witness a quadruple murder.

The series will begin production in Canada later this year and is set to premiere in 2016 on USA.

Hardwicke delved in the teen psyche with her breakout feature debut, Thirteen. She most recently directed Miss You Already, starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette, which premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival. Her TV credits include Hell On Wheels, Low Winter Sun, and the pilot of Reckless. She is repped by CAA and Manage-ment.

Peters, who most recently directed USA’s freshman drama Colony, is repped by Rothman Brecher, Andrea Simon Entertainment and attorney Neil Meyer.

Young, who has appeared on Empire and Chicago Fire, is repped by Authentic Talent Management and Gray Talent Group.


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