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Cannes – Shaping up as one of the big event TV series to come out of Europe as it ramps up ever more ambitious TV fiction, Rola Bauer’s Germany-based Tandem Productions (“Pillars of the Earth”), a Studiocanal company, is said to be developing epic TV drama “Lionshearts: The Crusade,” linking with the BBC and “24’s” Robert Cochran.
Helmer of the 2008’s first “Taken,” which gave Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp its biggest movie franchise ever, France’s Pierre Morel (“Taken”) is believed to have committed to direct the first two episodes.
Producer and co-creator of Fox’s “24,” Cochran is attached to “Lionshearts,” which turns on the most famous crusade of all, the Third Crusade of 1191-92. English-language and almost certainly a big epic BBC primetime series,
“Lionhearts: The Crusade” looks a firm candidate for a U.S. deal of some sorts. As Tandem prexy Bauer pointed out last month, made over the last 15 years, »
- John Hopewell
Cannes – Linking three of the Europe’s biggest film-tv companies, Studiocanal has acquired international sales rights to Olivier Marchal’s “Section Zéro,” one of France’s most-anticipated high-end TV dramas, which is produced by Luc Besson’s France-u.S. studio EuropaCorp and France’s Canal Plus, forming part of its original programming lineup.
Set in 2024, as an elite cop squad battles big corporations and their droids, “Zéro” marks the comeback as a showrunner-director of Marchal, whose hard-boiled cop skein “Braquo,” another Canal Plus original series, proved a milestone for Gallic TV production, taking it to U.S. cable terrain.
Described by Rodolphe Buet, Studiocanal’s new president of international marketing and distribution, as “a mix of ‘Fargo,’ ‘The Returned,’ and ‘The Mad Max Trilogy,’” “Section Zéro,” Canal Plus’ first futuristic skein, looks in other ways toward the future.
On March 10, Studiocanal announced the launch of its own TV sales operation, »
- John Hopewell
Back in January, we reported that Fox is planning a revival of The X-Files with original series creator Chris Carter. Today, TV Wise is reporting that the network is close to issuing a two-season order for the revival series, with original stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson set to return. Nothing is set in stone yet, since talks are still ongoing, but the site's source says each season will be less than 10 episodes.
The report reveals the "short stack" order was decided on for two reasons, the first being story requirements set forth by series creator Chris Carter and the second being scheduling. It is believed that it would be easier to secure David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, both of whom are still very much in demand, with a shorter order. David Duchovny's new NBC show Aquarius is an off-cycle summer series, and production won't begin on Season 3 of »
Studiocanal, one of Europe’s largest film-tv production-distribution-sales forces, looks set to be driving more into the U.S. TV production business, following a major strategic realignment, splitting TV production and distribution, whose reverberations will play out over the whole company.
Move roles off Studiocanal’s forceful step-by-step entry into TV production from late 2012 – plus the large demand near worldwide for high-end English-language drama, and the emergence of digital TV platforms as potential new powerful buyers worldwide for top-notch TV fiction.
Studiocanal and German partner Tandem Productions aim “to increase our number of really international TV series productions, including dramas co-produced or co-financed out of the U.S. as Studiocanal extends the number of top-level partners it works with,” Studiocanal chairman-ceo Olivier Courson told Variety.
In one major move, former Shine International sales Svp Katrina Neylon, who has spent most of her career at Twentieth Century Fox Intl. TV and Disney ABC Intl. »
- John Hopewell
It’s not all grumble and moan round here when TV networks decline to pick up pilots. Sometimes, we’re even grateful.
Hindsight teaches that every so often, passing on a particular show is the best thing a channel could have done. Not ordering one pilot to series spurs its creators on to start another, and frees up its cast to join new projects.
Had the failures below all thrived, there’s a chance we could now be living in a world with no Breaking Bad, Hannibal, or even South Park. Had these pilots gone on to enjoy healthy, lengthy lives, then Jack Bauer, Oberyn Martell, Chandler Bing and more might all be unrecognisable today.
Here then, are the TV pilots we’re grateful weren’t taken to series because their »
[Press Release] Seattle--(Nasdaq: Amzn)—An intriguing tale about alternative history, a twisted story of friendship put to the ultimate test, a docu-series based on America’s most award-winning magazine, a kids series based on magic and another about being stinky and dirty—all coming exclusively to Prime Instant Video. Amazon today announced it has greenlit five new Amazon Original Series, including The Man in the High Castle, which is based on the Philip K. Dick alternative history novel; an hour-long dark comedy Mad Dogs; docu-series The New Yorker Presents; along with kids shows Just Add Magic, and The Stinky & Dirty Show. The new Amazon Original Series come from an acclaimed creative roster including Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Cris Cole (The Good »
- Pietro Filipponi
As you may recall, NBC aired the first season of Crossing Lines a couple summers ago. It didn't perform well enough in the ratings and the network opted not to pick up the second season. Crossing Lines has been a success in the international market however and Netflix recently started streaming season two for Us audiences.
Deadline now reports that a third season of 12 episodes has been ordered with Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, Revolution) and Goran Visnjic (ER) joining the cast. They'll join Donald Sutherland as leads, replacing William Fichtner.
The X-Files' Frank Spotnitz is joining the show as an executive producer alongside Tandem's Rola Bauer. Crossing Lines creator and executive producer Ed Bernero departed after Season two to be close to his family in California.
The series shoots in Europe and filming will be getting underway next week in Prague. »
Crossing Lines‘ new leads have a rather impressive TV-drama pedigree: Lost‘s Elizabeth Mitchell and ER‘s Goran Visnjic will take over as series leads in the crime drama’s Season 3, our sister site Deadline reports.
In addition, Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) has signed on as an executive producer of the drama, which follows European law-enforcement officers as they deal with international crime in the European Union.
Related 2015 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?
Mitchell and Visnjic will play new team members Carine Strand and Marco Corazza, respectively. They join returning cast members Donald Sutherland, »
Exclusive: Revolution and Lost alumna Elizabeth Mitchell and Goran Visnjic (ER) are set to star in the third season of Tandem Communications’ Europe-set action/crime drama Crossing Lines. The two join Donald Sutherland as series leads and will fill a void left by original Crossing Lines star William Fichtner, who will not be returning for Season 3. The series has been greenlit for 12 episodes with X-Files veteran Frank Spotnitz, who has a first-look deal with Tandem… »
Rodrigo DeSousa will get his encore after all now that Amazon Studios has confirmed plans to renew its original series Mozart in the Jungle for a second season, which has been slated to premiere exclusively on the company’s Prime Instant Video in the early stages of next year.
In light of the news, Roman Coppola — who served as executive producer on the first season of the dramatic comedy — touched upon his excitement to expand the arc of the New York Symphony in Mozart‘s sophomore outing.
“Jason, Paul and I are delighted to work on a second season of Mozart in the Jungle,” said Roman Coppola. “There are so many interesting stories we want to tell and we’re looking forward to shooting another season with our wonderful cast and team of collaborators. We’re grateful to all the folks at Amazon who believe in this project and support »
- Michael Briers
Amazon has made decisions on its latest batch of pilots, giving series orders to "The Man in the High Castle," "Mad Dogs," "The New Yorker Presents" and kids shows "Just Add Magic" and "The Stinky & Dirty Show." "Mozart in the Jungle" also got picked up for a second season. "Mad Dogs" and "Man in the High Castle" were easily the best scripted adult shows of this batch of pilots, and I interviewed both "Mad Dogs" producer Shawn Ryan and "Man in the High Castle" producer Frank Spotnitz about their plans for each show if they got series orders. "Mozart" also turned out to be very enjoyable over its first season, so I'm glad it will be back. What does everybody else think? Were there other pilots from the latest batch you're disappointed won't continue? »
- Alan Sepinwall
During Amazon Studios’ latest pilot season, The Man In The High Castle became the most-watched since the original series development program began. Amazon has now greenlit a full season of the drama from Frank Spotnitz. It has also picked up full seasons of hour-long dark comedy Mad Dogs, from Shawn Ryan; docu-series The New Yorker Presents; and kids shows Just Add Magic, and The Stinky & Dirty Show. The new series will premiere exclusively for Prime Instant members in… »
It was Amazon Original Series' most-watched pilot, and now it's received a full series order. Celebrations are in order for writer Frank Spotnitz and director David Semel's take on Philip K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle.
The alternate history drama, adapted from Dick's 1962 novel, is one of the winners of the online streaming service's popularity contest in which Prime membership gives customers the power to vote as to which shows are greenlit.
Set in an alternative universe in which the Allied Powers lost WWII, The Man In The High Castle has espionage, global conflict and political intrigue in spades. It also has the bonus of Ridley Scott executive producing alongside The X-Files and Hunted writer, Frank Spotnitz.
You can read our thoughts on the pilot here, »
An intriguing tale about alternative history, a twisted story of friendship put to the ultimate test, a docu-series based on America’s most award-winning magazine, a kids series based on magic and another about being stinky and dirty—all are coming exclusively to Prime Instant Video later this year and in 2016.
Amazon today announced it has greenlit five new Amazon Original Series, including The Man in the High Castle, which is based on the Philip K. Dick alternative history novel; an hour-long dark comedy Mad Dogs; docu-series The New Yorker Presents; along with kids shows Just Add Magic, and The Stinky & Dirty Show.
The new Amazon Original Series come from an acclaimed creative roster including Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Cris Cole (The Good Times Are Killing Me), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward), and Kate & Jim McMullan (I’m Dirty! »
Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Told through the lives of a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle examines life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality.
Executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), the hour-long drama stars Alexa Davalos (Mob City), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars), Rupert Evans (The Village), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy), Joel De La Fuente »
Last week, I published an interview with Shawn Ryan, producer of one of the two best pilots from Amazon's latest batch. Today, it's the turn of the man behind the other top pilot: Frank Spotnitz of "Man in the High Castle." "X-Files" alum Spotnitz (who most recently produced Cinemax's "Hunted" and TNT's "Transporter: The Series") and director David Semel adapted Philip K. Dick's novel set in a world where the Axis powers won World War II, and America is split into an Eastern region governed by the Nazis and a Western run by the Japanese. The pilot looks fantastic (and has an opening title sequence that perfectly sets up the premise and tone) and does a good job of creating this alternate reality. Not surprisingly, it's not only the highest-rated pilot of this round, but has by far the most votes. As I did with Ryan, I emailed Spotnitz »
- Alan Sepinwall
It's been a game-changing month for Amazon Studios. The online superstore announced plans last week to start producing original movies—not just a few, either, but 12 titles a year, each with a respectable indie budget ranging from $5 million to $25 million. The move came on the heels of Amazon solidifying its reputation as a major force in the TV industry by convincing Woody Allen to make a TV series and picking up two Golden Globes for its transgender dramedy Transparent—including the first-ever win by a streaming company in the best series category. And at least one of Amazon’s new »
- James Hibberd
Amazon released its latest batch of pilots a couple of weeks ago, in the midst of press tour, so it took me a while to get to them, and I still haven’t had time to watch “Point of Honor.” But I saw all the other adult scripted series, and two clearly stood out as the ones I hope go to series: “The Man in the High Castle,” about a reality where the Axis powers won WWII, and “Mad Dogs,” about four middle-aged friends (played by Steve Zahn, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin) whose vacation to visit a fifth old pal (Billy Zane) goes terribly awry. Both are adaptations with top-notch U.S. producers involved: “Man in the High Castle” with Frank Spotnitz working from the Philip K. Dick novel, “Mad Dogs” with Shawn Ryan teaming up with “Mad Dogs” UK creator Cris Cole. Amazon moves at its »
- Alan Sepinwall
The Man in the High Castle, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Directed by David Semel
Released January 15th, 2015 by Amazon
For fans of Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle will have undoubtedly already been on their radar for quite some time. Dick’s fiction has been adapted into several acclaimed films, including Blade Runner, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly. In this recent batch of Amazon pilots, Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) adapts The Man in the High Castle with the vision of turning the source material into a full television series. Those unfamiliar with Dick’s written work need only know that his interest is in science-fiction and that the worlds he creates are generally immersive, vast, and intricately planned-out.
In that regard, The Man in the High Castle is a success. I’ve always thought »
- Sean Colletti
Warning: contains spoilers for The X-Files and for the comic book continuation Season Ten.
The X-Files, much like several of its villains, is a show that refuses to die. A seminal, ground-breaking series in the 1990s, it became a slightly creaky series in the early 2000s, then a cancelled series, then a movie following on from the original series, and now it may become a series again. But where can the show go now? There are a number of options available…
Judging from comments made by Fox representatives Dana Walden and Gary Newman, this is the current plan – they want to bring back David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Mulder and Scully and continue the series, presumably picking up after »
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