This Week in TV:
The Steven Spielberg-produced drama Extant lands Halle Berry as its lead; CBS orders a comedy pilot from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; NBC orders a sci-fi pilot titled Tin Man from Transformers scribe Ehren Kruger; NBC announces a Remington Steele reboot is in the works; and the Amy and Greg Poehler series Welcome to Sweden also finds a home at the peacock network.
CBS has cast Halle Berry to star in Extant, an upcoming drama series from executive producer Steven Spielberg.
Ordered to a 13-episode first season back in August, Extant centers on an astronaut (Berry) who returns home from a year-long solo mission and attempts to reconnect with her family. However, things become bigger than our main character as her experiences in space and at home lead to events that will change the course of human history.
Spielberg – whose company Amblin Television is co-producing the series – expressed his excitement after scoring the talented Berry:
“There’s only one Halle Berry and we are incredibly honored that she has chosen ‘Extant’ to expand her illustrious career. As she does with everything she touches, she will bring a deep authenticity to her role and I very much look forward to working with her.”
While some of Spielberg’s recent television ventures haven’t lasted long (Smash, Terra Nova), this one is certainly showing plenty of promise now, after landing a high-caliber performer to lead an original serialized show.
Extant will come to CBS in the summer of 2014.
Source: CBS (via Coming Soon).
This week, CBS put in a pilot commitment for the half-hour sitcom More Time with Family from executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
The show – which is considered to be one of the highest-profile sitcom projects of the season – is based on Damon’s experiences and the comedy of the show’s star Tom Papa, who is also Damon’s close friend. It will center on a man (Papa) who gives up a life on the road to return home, only to realize that his family could really care less about him being there.
The multi-camera comedy is written by the husband-and-wife team of Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, who are best known for co-creating the FOX comedy ‘Til Death and for writing on The King of Queens. Although Papa is not listed as a co-writer, he’ll likely have a major influence on the content of the show, considering his stand-up material and comedic sensibility seem to match the show’s premise.
As for Damon and Affleck, it’s unclear how involved they will be, but the show appears to be in good hands with the talent attached.
We’ll let you know if CBS orders More Time with Family to series.
NBC has ordered a futuristic drama pilot from Transformers franchise writer Ehren Kruger titled Tin Man.
Here’s the show’s official synopsis:
‘Tin Man’ is a psychological crime thriller set in the near future that focuses on a fugitive robot accused of first degree murder. The robot may hold the key to the future of human evolution, and a young female public defender is forced to fight for his cause.
Kruger has more than 10 film credits as a writer – including all three Transformers films – but is working in TV for the first time with Tin Man, which he will write and executive produce.
While it’s hard to judge the project without any cast members attached, the sci-fi premise seems intriguing enough and it’s safe to say the show would be a welcome sight on network television for genre fans.
We’ll keep you updated as the Tin Man pilot develops.
NBC announced that it is developing a Remington Steele reboot as a half-hour comedy.
The original series – which aired for five seasons from 1982-1987 and starred a dashing young Pierce Brosnan as its title character – centered on a licensed private detective named Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) who hires a con man (Steele) to pose as a male superior and later falls in love with him. The reboot – also titled Remington Steele – will pick things up 30 years later with the couple’s daughter, Olivia Holt, who reopens the Remington Steele detective agency and like her parents, can’t avoid getting caught up in romantic entanglements while trying to crack the case each week.
So far, NBC has only committed to a script, which will be written by Smurfs 2 and Zookeeper scribes Jay Sherick and David Ronn, who also have experience writing for TV after working on Spin City in the late 1990s. Sherick and Ronn are also set to executive produce, along with Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad, Zombieland), who is signed on to direct the show as well.
While the original series certainly took a tongue-and-cheek approach to the crime procedural, it would appear that the reboot will play the premise for even more laughs, considering it’s described as a comedy. The show could aim for the same tone as something like FOX’s Bones, which has had success balancing comedy, drama and romance between its leads for eight-plus seasons.
NBC hasn’t ordered a pilot yet, but with the names attached so far, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it gave the green light to the Remington Steele reboot.
NBC has acquired the broadcast rights to a new half-hour comedy from Amy and Greg Poehler titled Welcome to Sweden.
Created by Greg Poehler and based on his real life, the show is described as a fish-out-of-water comedy that follows a New York accountant named Bruce (Poehler) who falls in love with a Swedish girl and packs up everything to follow his heart to her homeland. Greg Poehler is set to make his acting debut as the lead character, while his sister Amy is only lined up for a cameo appearance, although, she will executive produce along with her brother.
Also scheduled for cameos are comedy heavyweights Will Ferrell and Amy’s Parks and Recreation co-star Aubrey Plaza. The remainder of the cast will be made up of primarily Swedish actors and much of the show will actually shoot on location in Sweden, which is a first for an NBC comedy.
The show was originally commissioned by Sweden’s TV4 network as its first ever English-speaking series, but NBC was able to snatch it up after being attracted to the premise and the involvement of a star it helped create, Amy Poehler.
Considering Greg Poehler has never created or starred in a television series before, there are certainly a lot of question marks looming over the project, but with his sister’s help and the help of her A-list friends, Welcome to Sweden could end up becoming a surprise hit for the peacock network.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments concerning NBC’s Welcome to Sweden.