Universal Cable Productions and Vertigo Entertainment are developing a series based on THE HOUSE ON ASHLEY HILL, a short story by Ian Rogers. The story follows an insurance company that investigates supernatural claims and owns a group of very haunted houses. Roy Lee and John Middleton will executive produce, with Ellen Datlow co-producing.
NBC Productions is developing an UNTITLED ALEC BALDWIN PROJECT. The series would star Alec Baldwin as the buffoonish mayor of New York City. Wells Tower will write the pilot, with Baldwin and Cary Brokaw executive producing.
Mark Canton of Atmosphere Entertainment, Mike Tollin from Mandalay Sports Media, and Peter Guber have optioned Ben Bradlee Jr.’s book THE KID: THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF TED WILLIAMS. The trio are planning a mini-series based on the life of baseball’s most prolific hitter and are currently looking for a writer for the project.
BBC America has renewed ORPHAN BLACK for a third ten-episode season. The drama follows a group of women who discover they are clones of each other, and must figure out how and why they were created. Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Dylan Bruce, Kevin Hanchard, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Evelyne Brochu star. The series was created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett.
Cinemax has decided to give THE KNICK a second season. The medical drama stars Clive Owen as a doctor at the famous Knickerbocker Hospital and explores the issues of racism, women’s rights, immigration, class, drug addiction, and technological and medicinal advances. Executive producer Steven Soderbergh has signed on to direct the entire first season, which will debut August 8.
El Rey has renewed MATADOR for a second season, before the first has even aired. The series centers on a soccer star who uses his sports career as a cover for his real job – secret agent for the CIA. Alfred Molina and Gabriel Luna star in the series, which will debut July 15.
Michael Slovis will direct the first and second episodes of GAME OF THRONES’ fifth season. The HBO fantasy series follows the complicated and bloody political machinations in the fictional world of Westeros. Slovis is repped by Eastern Talent Agency.
Richie Keen has signed on to helm the pilot of TV Land’s TEACHERS. Based on the popular web series, the comedy centers on six elementary school teachers who work so hard molding the minds of the next generation that they don’t have time for themselves. Keen is repped by CAA and Lonestar Entertainment.
Amazon Studios has greenlit RED OAKS, a pilot from executive producer Steven Soderbergh and director and exec producer David Gordon Green. The pilot, written by Gregory Jacobs and Joe Gangemi, is a coming-of-age comedy set at a tennis club. It stars Craig Roberts, Paul Reiser, Richard Kind, Jennifer Grey, and Oliver Cooper.
Disney Channel has greenlit production of the pilot BUNKED. The comedy follows a tech-focused girl who must adapt to life at a tech-light sleepaway camp. The pilot was written by Joey Manderino and will be executive produced by Dan Staley.
Disney XD has ordered comedy pilot COMMANDO CRASH and features the puppet Crash from “Crash & Bernstein.”
IFC has ordered the miniseries THE SPOILS BEFORE DYING, a sequel to this year’s “Spoils of Babylon,” from Funny or Die. The series, which will air in 2015, will be presented as a fake book-to-series adaptation of the work of fictional author Eric Jonrosh, played by Will Ferrell. Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele, and Nate Young will executive produce.
Lifetime has ordered a pilot for the adaptation of THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR. The project, from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, is set over 25,000 years ago when Neanderthals roamed the Earth with the first humans. A group of cave dwellers adopt a blond, blue eyed child from the “Others.” When the child grows up, she has to fight against the discrimination of the people she’s known all her life.
Netflix has ordered the CBS sci-fi drama ZOO straight to series. Based on the James Patterson novel of the same name, the project focuses on the fallout from a rash of violent animal attacks against humans across the world. As the attacks become more organized, a young scientist tries to unlock the mystery.
Syfy has ordered a pilot for THE MAGICIANS, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s trilogy. The fantasy project centers on a group of twentysomething New Yorkers who discover that the fantasy world they read about as kids is very real and poses a threat to human kind. John McNamara and Sera Gamble wrote the script for the pilot, which is being produced by Michael London and Janice Williams.
Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields have signed individual two-year overall deals with FX. The pair will continue to oversee their series “The Americans,” as well as developing other projects for television. Weisberg and Fields are repped by CAA.