NBC Orders at Least Six Drama Pilots
The network also gave the go-ahead to a comedy pilot co-executive produced by Kelsey Grammer. The project is described as a comedy about a young married couple who moves in with the woman's parents.
With NBC already in strong shape on the drama front -- thanks to "ER," the "Law & Order" franchise and already-renewed rookie "Crossing Jordan" -- the network decided to take a few chances in ordering some unconventional hours, NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker said.
The most daring: "Kingpin," a sweeping epic about the drug trade from scribe David Mills ("Homicide: Life on the Street"), features a drug lord as its heart and soul.
NBC's order of "Kingpin" is contingent on producer Spelling Television's finding the right actor for the lead, though Zucker is confident that will happen.
"We just think the quality of the writing and the vision of the series that's been laid out by David is something that's not on television," Zucker told Daily Variety. "It's very ambitious and exciting and scary. And that's what will make it great."
In addition to "Kingpin," the other winners of the NBC drama development derby include:
- "War Stories," focusing on journos covering overseas conflicts. Jeff Goldblum is expected to star.
- "Miss American Pie," a retro family hour that traces the history of the 1960s through the eyes of a teen who's a dancer on "American Bandstand." Executive producer Dick Clark will use "Forrest Gump"-style technology to put the teen into old clips from his old "Bandstand" series.
- "Young Arthur," a look at what Arthur was like before he pulled the sword from the stone -- think "Smallville" meets "Camelot." A contender for Sundays at 7 p.m., the show would likely be shot on a lower-than-normal budget.
- "Mister Sterling," a young man ends up a U.S. senator. Although it comes from "West Wing" producer Lawrence O'Donnell, Zucker said he did not think there would be any overlap with the White House drama.
- "Boomtown," a "Rashomon"-like hour about cops as seen through multiple perspectives. Industry insiders are dubbing this "LAPD Blue."
NBC is likely to produce one more drama pilot, choosing from a handful of projects still in contention.
To that end, the network Thursday ordered two additional scripts for "Future Tense," an action-drama; "Miss Miami," about a Latina police officer; and "The Doctors Bloom," about a family of docs.
Insiders said NBC remains interested in "Zero Effect," a drama based on the feature of the same name. "One for the Money," based on the Janet Evanovich book, is also still in play.