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8 items from 2007


Olmstead inks deal to stay at 20th TV

30 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Prison Break executive producer/showrunner Matt Olmstead has inked a new two-year overall deal with series producer 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the seven-figure pact, which has an option for a third year, Olmstead will continue at the helm of Fox's Break and develop new projects for the studio.

He is already dabbling in development with Prison Break: Cherry Hill, a potential Prison Break spinoff set at a women's prison, which he is penning with Break co-exec producer Zack Estrin. The project has received a script commitment by Fox.

" 'Prison Break' is an amazing series for the studio, impacting audiences around the world, and much of that is due to the excellent showrunning Matt has done on it," 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. "We're looking forward to him continuing his leadership on 'Prison Break' and also creating his own shows."

20th TV is the only studio home Olmstead has ever known.

Following a freelance assignment for Steven Bochco's CBS drama Brooklyn South in 1997, Bochco gave Olmstead his first full-time writing job on Bochco's gritty ABC drama NYPD Blue, which was produced by 20th TV. »

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In 'Army' now: Johnson joins as showrunner

6 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Dee Johnson has come aboard Lifetime's new hit drama series Army Wives as an executive producer/showrunner. She also has extended her overall deal with Wives producer ABC Studios for another year.

Johnson is joining Wives full time after writing a couple of episodes for the show's first season. She is taking over showrunning duties from Jeff Melvoin.

Johnson is the third showrunner on Wives, which ABC Studios co-produces with the Mark Gordon Co. Samantha Corbin-Miller was named showrunner/executive producer in December and was replaced by Melvoin in March.

Third time seems to be the charm for Johnson. She also was the third showrunner on ABC's 2005-06 series Commander in Chief -- also from ABC Studios (then Touchstone Television) -- following the departures of creator Rod Lurie and his successor, Steven Bochco.

Wives recently was picked up for a second season with an 18-episode order. The series, which features an ensemble cast that includes Kim Delaney and Catherine Bell, has performed consistently in the ratings since its June 3 premiere, which averaged 3.5 million total viewers -- the most ever for a Lifetime series bow. »

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Bochco pilot lands in TNT's court

5 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TNT has greenlighted a legal drama pilot from Emmy-winning writer-producer Steven Bochco.

The untitled project, which Bochco penned with David Feige (Indefensible), revolves around former law school classmates who find themselves facing off against each other in court on the same case.

TNT announced the project in March as part of its development slate (HR 3/14). It hails from Steven Bochco Prods. and ABC TV Studio, with Bochco and Feige executive producing.

Bochco, who was behind Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, among other series, has projects in development at several cable networks, including a show at A&E about a happily married couple who are partners in a family law practice, which he's writing with Jonathan Abrahams, and a supernatural drama for FX he is penning with Joel Fields.

Of TNT's batch of drama pilots last year, two -- the Holly Hunter starrer Saving Grace and Heartland, toplined by Treat Williams -- were picked up to series and will premiere in the summer. »

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Supernatural thing at FX from Bochco

20 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Steven Bochco is back in business with FX.

The Emmy-winning writer-producer behind FX's critically praised Iraq war drama Over There has teamed with the cable network for a supernatural drama project.

Bochco is penning the untitled project with another Over There alum, Joel Fields, executive producer on FX series Dirt.

Bochco and Fields are executive producing the drama, now in development, which is described as a supernatural thriller with family elements.

The creator of such groundbreaking series on broadcast television as Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, Bochco recently shifted his attention to cable.

In addition to the FX drama, he has two other one-projects in development, one at TNT and one at A&E.

The TNT show, which he is co-writing with David Fiege, centers on former law school classmates who find themselves facing off against each other in court.

The A&E project, which is being written by Jonathan Abrahams, centers on a happily married couple who are partners in a family law practice specializing in divorce clients.

Additionally, Bochco recently launched his first Internet programming venture, Cafe Confidential, with video site Metacafe. »

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Dialogue: Bochco enters the online world

19 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Creating iconic series including "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law" has made Steven Bochco a television-industry legend, but he isn't one for resting on his laurels. The writer-producer is launching his first Internet programming effort, "Cafe Confidential", today with video site Metacafe. "Confidential" represents a real departure for Bochco, who continues to develop TV series for ABC Television Studio. The Hollywood Reporter's technology reporter Carly Mayberry recently spoke with Bochco about his latest project and his vision of how digital media will change entertainment.

The Hollywood Reporter: Why enter the online world?

Steven Bochco: Because it's fun. Because it's fresh. And because it's something I hadn't done. I'd actually been thinking about the difference between the Internet and television -- which is what I've been doing my entire career for a long time -- and it struck me that the Internet provides, particularly for its younger users, a form of entertainment that doesn't conform to the traditional model that television has always presented but rather represents for its users a kind of distraction. And I think the nature of distraction is temporary and brief. If that's a valid perception, then designing entertainment for the Internet requires that you think of the kinds of things that you can provide for the user that are of very short duration ... which then took me to a consideration of what young users are almost universally obsessed with. The answer to that is sex. I thought within the context of that, what's the one experience that every single person who's ever had sex has in common? That's their first time. So I thought that would be a charming anecdotal series of segments that you could do in 11⁄2-2 minutes is "My First Time" ... and it requires minimal production. And then I extrapolated from that "My Worst Date", "My Most Embarrassing Moment", "My Worst Job". What we did was provide 44 of these segments to Metacafe under the general heading of "Cafe Confidential", which will roll out over time.

THR: Was it the confessional nature of this that attracted you to this project?

Bochco: I have to tell you, as someone who's a lot older than young men and women on the Internet, I'm kind of astonished at the degree to which people will disclose intimate details. I think it's part of the Internet culture. It has created a kind of voyeuristic delight that's enhanced by the illusion of complete privacy. I think reality television has contributed to a culture in which real people are willing to kind of do or say anything. »

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TBS, TNT present slate to advertisers

14 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- TBS and TNT's development slate includes proposed projects that include a courtroom drama created by Steven Bocho, a comedy anthology series hosted by Bob Newhart and a family drama from The Closer team of Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin.

The projects were among a presentation made by Turner executives to New York's ad community at Midtown Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art. It included presentations on TBS, TNT, Court TV, its broadband site Super Deluxe and Turner Sports. It also said that The Talisman, a limited series from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television that will air in 2008, could become a series in 2009.

Bocho, who was behind Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue among other series, has an hourlong TNT series in development about former law school classmates who find themselves facing off against each other in court. Bochco is executive producer and co-writer with David Fiege (Indefensible) of the show and from ABC Television Studios and Steven Bochco Prods. It's so far untitled.

Shephard and Robin, who executive produced TNT's smash The Closer, are developing with executive producer Michelle Ashford Mrs. America, a drama about a woman who is an executive and a mother. »

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TBS, TNT present slate to advertisers

14 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- TBS and TNT's development slate includes proposed projects that include a courtroom drama created by Steven Bocho, a comedy anthology series hosted by Bob Newhart and a family drama from "The Closer" team of Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin.

The projects were among a presentation made by Turner executives to New York's ad community at Midtown Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art. It included presentations on TBS, TNT, Court TV, its broadband site Super Deluxe and Turner Sports. It also said that "The Talisman", a limited series from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television that will air in 2008, could become a series in 2009.

Bochco, who was behind "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" among other series, has an hourlong TNT series in development about former law school classmates who find themselves facing off against each other in court. Bochco is executive producer and co-writer with David Feige ("Indefensible") of the show and from ABC Television Studios and Steven Bochco Prods. It's so far untitled.

Shephard and Robin, who executive produced TNT's smash "The Closer", are developing with executive producer Michelle Ashford "Mrs. America", a drama about a woman who is an executive and a mother. »

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Wells earns WGA's TV writing prize

4 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The WGA West will honor producer-writer John Wells with its Paddy Chayefsky Laurel for excellence in television writing.

Wells, who has won six Emmys on shows including The West Wing and ER, will be feted at the 2007 Writers Guild Awards, set for Feb. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.

"John's place in the pantheon of television writers and creators is secure, and yet he continues to earn it anew every award season," WGAW president Patric Verrone said. "I find myself regularly in awe of John's achievements as a writer, as a colleague and as a friend."

Wells, whose other successful TV series have included Third Watch and China Beach, was WGAW president from 1999-2001. A nominee in six previous Writers Guild Awards, he is nominated this year for an episode of West Wing, Election Day, Part II.

The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel is given annual to "writers who have advanced the literature of television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer."

Previous recipients include Steven Bochco, Larry Gelbart, Rod Serling and David E. Kelley. »

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8 items from 2007


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