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Posts tagged “NBC

Constantine Won’t Smoke on NBC

John_Constantine_comicJohn Constantine is sad; all he wants is a smoke, he won’t however… His restraint comes from the standards & practices department at NBC, which is more powerful than any nicotine patch when it comes to killing off a nicotine habit. You can have rape, murder, torture and all manner of violence, but no smoking on network tv.

The character, a DC Comics mainstay since his creation by Alan Moore in the mid-’80s, is coming to television via David Goyer and NBC. And despite the fact that Constantine is a serious smoker (such a dedicated smoker, in fact, that lung cancer became a major plot point in his overall story) the network has said “no smoking” to the producers of Constantine.

Pilot director Neil Marshall explains some of the no smoking reasoning. Given that Constantine is about a damaged magic using-antihero who is more likely to hurt his friends than help them, is there really any thought that John Constantine, played by Matt Ryan, would inspire kids to smoke? (Maybe? Some people are pretty dumb.) Collider spoke to pilot director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, several Game of Thrones episodes) who explained that NBC axed the idea of John Constantine smoking on television.

No we’re not [making him smoke]. It’s the one thing, a compromise I guess. On network it’s the one thing — you can’t smoke on network. That’s one of his character traits. We’re working around that. We’re trying to get aspects of it in there as much as possible. We’ll see.

Marshall says he doesn’t know what happens after the pilot, and that he can’t say whether Constantine’s cancer will end up being a plot point in some manner despite the lack of smoking. He does say there is no mention of cancer in the pilot.

Smoking aside, violence and disturbing content won’t be an issue. Which is to say that Hannibal may have evil company.

Hannibal is on NBC, and that’s pretty dark and disturbing. Whatever the regulations are, you can be as dark and disturbing as you want and we’re going to go in that direction. The intention is to be as dark and scary as possible with the show. And that was our whole kind of plan going in, to make it scary. So we’re going to explore all kinds of things. But the smoking is very frustrating. Who knows where it will go; where the story will go; where the character will go? There’s still lots of options.

Constantine premieres Friday October 24, at 10pm. Here’s the official blurb:

Constantine_NBCBased on the wildly popular comic book series “Hellblazer” from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine specializes in giving hell… hell. Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he fights the good fight – or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind. But when demons target Liv, the daughter of one of Constantine’s oldest friends, he’s reluctantly thrust back into the fray – and he’ll do whatever it takes to save her. Before long, it’s revealed that Liv’s “second sight,” an ability to see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences, is a threat to a mysterious new evil that’s rising in the shadows. And now it’s not just Liv who needs protection; the angels are starting to get worried too. So, together, Constantine and Liv must use her power and his skills to travel the country, find the demons that threaten our world – and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.

Aquarius – The Manson Family

david-duchovny_Aquarius_Manson-FamilyAs his Showtime dark comedy series Californication, comes to an end (7 seasons!), David Duchovny reunites with Bob Greenblatt for Aquarius, a gritty 1960’s cop drama at NBC about a cop who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. The project has received a 13-episode straight-to-series order.

Aquarius marks the return to broadcast TV of Duchovny, who starred in Fox’s hit The X-Files, in which Greenblatt also was involved while at Fox. The project stems from a script McNamara developed for FX a long time ago with Adelstein producing.

Manson-Family_Murders_Vincent-BugliosiSet in the late 1960’s, Aquarius stars Duchovny as a Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” The man’s name is Charles Manson. The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that eventually will lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons. “Event series are a big priority for us, and the combination of a show that charts the lead-up to the Manson murders, along with a television star of the magnitude of David Duchovny, is the very definition of an event,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Added Greenblatt, “After being involved in the production of both The X-Files and Californication, it gives me great pleasure to work with David Duchovny for the third time on this compelling drama.”Aquarius joins another Charles Manson project, a limited series is in development at Fox with writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie.

It all sounds very similar to the 1976 move Helter Skelter which was based on the best selling book by Vincent Bugliosi who prosecuted the Manson Clan.

Rosemary’s Baby – NBC Mini-Series

rosemarys-baby_Mia-FarrowI posted news about his back in July, but now it appears that NBC has moved forward with the four-hour miniseries of Rosemary’s Baby,  an adaptation of the 1967 best-selling suspense novel by Ira Levin. Agnieszka Holland, who has been nominated for both an Oscar (Europa, Europa) and an Emmy (Treme), has come on board to direct the mini, written by Scott Abbott and James Wong (American Horror Story). Casting begins immediately, with filming set to begin in January in Paris.

“Ira Levin’s mesmerizing book was a ground-breaking reflection on how effective and influential a psychological thriller could be,” said Quinn Taylor, NBC’s EVP, Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions. Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “As we move into the event movie and miniseries space, Rosemary’s Baby represents the kind of attention-getting, surprising project that will make noise for us. The story has been updated and moved to Paris, but it’s faithful to the spirit of Ira Levin’s classic novel.”

rosemarys_baby_posterRosemary’s Baby centers on a young married couple who move into a Paris apartment that has a haunted past. After getting pregnant, the wife becomes increasingly suspicious that both her husband and their neighbors will have ulterior motives when her child is born. The book has a famous feature adaptation, the 1968 film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow.

This is NBC’s first miniseries in a long time as the genre has been enjoying a resurgence following the success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys. The network’s last miniseries until now was the 2009 The Storm, which aired during the summer. NBC has several other miniseries in the works, including an adaptation of Stephen King’s Tommyknockers, along with several limited series, including The Bible sequel AD: After the Bible. 

Hannibal – Premiere on April 4

TV-Hannibal_Mads MikkelsenNBC’s new drama Hannibal has been given a premiere date, April 4, Thursday 10 PM. Between now and April 4, NBC will air Law & Order: SVU repeats in the hour. Hannibal, from Bryan Fuller, Martha DeLaurentiis and Gaumont International TV, stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. The project is described as a contemporary thriller featuring the classic characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon – FBI agent Will Graham (Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) — who are re-introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship.

Barbarella series from Drive director

After bringing Hannibal to television with an upcoming NBC series, Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis are looking to do the same for another iconic character, Barbarella. GIT, the U.S.-based production and distribution arm of European feature studio Gaumont, is teaming with De Laurentiis and Drive director Nicolas Refn for a TV series that will be based on the character created by Jean-Claude Forest in a graphic novel and made famous in the 1968 sci-fi movie staring Jane Fonda as a sexpot tasked with finding and stopping the evil weapons inventor. Refn will direct and executive produce the series alongside De Laurentiis, whose late husband Dino produced the 1968 movie.

Refn called Barbarella “one of the ultimate counter-cultural characters.” Added GIT CEO Katie O’Connell, “We are thrilled to have secured the rights from the Forest estate and are thrilled to be pairing the bold visceral style of Nicolas Refn with the pop culture icon Barbarella.” In addition to Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, GIT also is producing the upcoming Eli Roth series Hemlock Grove starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard for Netflix. Gaumont is producing two of Refn’s next feature films, including Only God Forgives starring Ryan Gosling. Dino and Martha De Laurentiis originally acquired film rights to Barbarella in 2007. Dino was working on a feature Barbarella remake before his 2010 death; the project attracted a slew of directors and young actress but ultimately didn’t take flight.

Normally this kind of thing would make me groan, however I love Refn’s movies, Drive was a highlight of 2011, so… this could be good.

New Dracula Series at NBC

NBC is giving the classic vampire tale of Count Dracula a contemporary spin. The network has teamed with producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender and writer Cole Haddon for a Dracula series eyed for both the U.S. and international marketplace. The project, developed for NBC and NBCU’s international channels, has a “script-to-series” commitment, meaning that it won’t go through a pilot stage but straight to series if NBC brass like the script, which is currently being written by Haddon. Set in the 1890s, it is described as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors” and as a big, sweeping international soap opera that is young, sexy and supernatural. Frequent collaborators Krantz and Callender are executive producing, with Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive producing.

In the deal for Dracula, NBC employed the same model it is using for another drama project about an iconic villain, Hannibal. That project, written by Bryan Fuller and produced by Gaumont International Television, also has a commitment for a script against 13-episode order. Both shows have pre-sold titles, along with Fuller’s Munsters reboot, which was recently picked up to pilot by NBC. Vampires have been hot on the big and the small screen lately with the blockbuster Twilight movie franchise and hit series True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. In addition to Dracula, TV producer/feature director Kratz and former HBO executive-turned-producer Callender have another drama project at NBC and Universal TV, The Fixer, based on the life of top New York attorney Edward Hayes.

Cole Haddon has experience with rebooting classic dark characters. His feature script Hyde, about an allegedly rehabilitated Dr. Jekyll, landed on the 2010 Black List. The project is being developed by Dark Horse Entertainment, Mark Gordon Prods. and  Skydance Prods.

Hannibal & the Munsters – New TV from NBC

Bryan Fuller may have two series on NBC; the man behing ‘Pushing Daisies’ is behind two high-profile projects, The Munsters and Hannibal, both of them on a script-to-series track. Fuller originally developed a reboot of the 1960s comedy series The Munsters last season and his was one of very few scripts new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt kept in play when he took over the network in January. Greenblatt rolled the project to get it redeveloped by his team. Fuller’s new outline submitted in September was received well (it was the talk of NBC’s pre-Emmy party), and his draft was just delivered last Friday.

Word is that NBC, which may pull the trigger on a series order as early as this week, envisions the new Munsters as a potential summer or event series. Like Fuller’s previous series, Pushing Daisies, the  project features striking visuals mixed with all the classic Munsters archetypes. Grandpa Sam Dracula is essentially Dracula who assembled Herman because no man was good enought for his daughter Lily, a sexy vamp. Lily’s niece Marilyn the freak is actually normal and Lily and Herman’s only child, Eddie, has his werewolf tendencies surface in puberty, forcing the family to relocate to their famous 1313 Mockingbird Lane address.

Separately, Fuller is writing Hannibal, a drama series for Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis, which NBC just bought preemptively. Fuller is writing the script about based on the iconic literary and film character Hannibal  Lecter against a 13-episode commitment, meaning that  the script will trigger a 13-episode series if NBC likes it. (NBC has a short window to decide upon receiving the draft, with a potential release triggering a penalty.) I hear the network first got interested in the project when Fuller  mentioned it casually to the network’s new entertainment president  Jennifer Salke over drinks. A well-known foodie as evidenced by Pushing Daisies, apparently Fuller was attracted to the dark, sick side of Hannibal, who tends to feast on his victims.