ABC is staying in business with Shonda Rhimes. The mega-producer has landed yet another series at the network, with “Still Star-Crossed” being handed a series order for the 2016-2017 season. Plus, Shondaland’s newest show, “The Catch,” has been renewed for Season 2.
“Still Star-Crossed” is a departure for Shondaland, as it marks the first period drama from a company that’s known for “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away with Murder.”
Based on Melinda Taub’s book of the same name, “Still Star-Crossed” picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.
The cast includes Wade Briggs as Benvolio Montague, Anthony Head as Lord Silvestro Capulet, Zuleikha Robinson as Lady Guiliana Capulet, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline, Ebonee Noel as Livia, Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus, Medalion Rahimi as Princess Isabella, Grant Bowler as Damiano Montague, Susan Wooldrigde as Nurse, Torrance Coombs as Paris and Dan Hildebrand as Friar Lawrence.
“Scandal” and “Grey’s” alum Heather Mitchell is writer and executive producer. Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Michael Goldstein and pilot director Michael Offer are also executive producing the ABC Studios project.
ABC has bought a Baghdad-set military drama project from “Grey’s Anatomy” veteran Zoanne Clack and Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company.
The untitled show is set circa 2004 among an U.S. Army Medevac team who work out of a base camp in the Iraqi capital. The series revolves around team members who “get on each other’s nerves, sleep with the wrong people, navigate ‘office’ politics and party like there’s no tomorrow.”
Clack is writing the script for ABC Studios and Shondaland. Clack, Rhimes and Shondaland’s Betsy Beers are exec producing for ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based.
Clack has worked her way up the ranks at “Grey’s Anatomy” since that show’s inception, rising from story editor to executive producer. She’s repped by CAA and manager Alan Rautbort at Circle of Confusion.
Shondaland has two comedy projects and another drama in the development pipeline this year at ABC.
Shonda Rhimes’ production company has sold yet another series to ABC. Shondaland is teaming with “Trophy Wife” creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins to develop the half-hour comedy “Splitsville,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The comedy follows a group of single residents of a suburban cul-de-sac, who in the wake of a wave of divorces, join forces to raise their kids and get through it together. Halpern and Haskins will write the script and executive produce alongside Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
The project marks a reunion for Rhimes and Beers with Halpern, who was an executive story editor/writer on “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff “Private Practice.”
FX is developing a limited historical drama series with writer-director Dee Rees and Shondaland based on Isabel Wilkerson’s 2010 book “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”
The book chronicles the movement of some 6 million African-Americans from the south into the north and western regions of the country from the period of 1915 to 1970. “Warmth of Other Suns” tells much of the story through the eyes of three characters who made the journey in different decades. Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winner for her work at the New York Times, earned a host of critical acclaim for the book.
The TV adaptation is in the early stages of development. FX Prods. is shepherding with ABC Signature, the cable arm of ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based. Rees is writing the adaptation and exec producing with Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland’s Besty Beers.
Rees most recently wrote and directed HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic “Bessie,” which bows May 16. She made her feature directing debut in 2011 with the Sundance hit “Pariah.”
“The Catch” from Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers follows a female forensic accountant whose career specialty is exposing fraud for a living. Much like the lead ladies of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder,” the sure-to-be fierce woman at the forefront of the crime thriller has tumultuous love life with her fiancé, complete with cons and lies.
The pilot will be exec produced by Rhimes, Beers and Julie Anne Robinson, and co-produced by Helen Gregory and Kate Atkinson. Robinson is set to direct and Jennifer Schuur will write the pilot.
According to Variety.com, “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes has set a long-term extension of her overall deal with ABC Studios through May 2018.
Rhimes’ deal extension has been a long time in the works, given the amount of business she has in play at ABC and her status as an uber-showrunner. “Grey’s Anatomy”, Rhimes’ initial breakout hit, remains a Thursday workhorse for the network as it heads into its 11th season. “Grey’s” spinoff “Private Practice”, although not as highly-rated, lasted seven seasons in the ABC lineup. “Scandal” blossomed into a bona fide hit for ABC this past season, and will kick off its fourth season this fall.
Shonda Rhimes and her producing partner Betsy Beers, have teamed up with David DiGilo for a sci-fi drama/thriller at ABC titled Mila 2.0, an adaptation of a yet-to-be-released novel by Debra Driza of the same name. Mila 2.0 is the first book in a what will be a series of novels about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.
It’s being described as a Bourne Identity–style trilogy with action, with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. DiGilio will pen the script and executive produce alongside Rhimes and Beers.
Rhimes also has I Hate L.A. Dudes, with Issa Rae, and The Mix with writer John Hoffman – both currently set up at ABC; and the FBI drama Under the Gun, with writer Peter Nowalk for NBC. All in addition to Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice, all on ABC already, although Private is in its final season.
Deadline.com reported today that “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” creator/Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes is expanding the reach of her Shondaland banner into half-hour comedy and hour-long dramedy at ABC. Rhimes and her producing partner, Betsy Beers, have set up “I Hate L.A. Dudes,” written by “The Misadventures Of An Awkward Black Girl” creator and star Issa Rae and “The Mix,” by John Hoffman (“Igor”). For more details, click here: Shonda Rhimes’ Sells Talk Show Dramedy & Comedy Project To ABC.
The prolific series creator/writer/showrunner Shonda Rhimes, in a pairing with Grey’s Anatomy writer Peter Nowalk, has sold an FBI drama titled Under The Gun, to NBC.
What’s it about?
Under the Gun revolves around Erin Kain, a woman who goes to work for the FBI as she struggles to make sense of a terrible event in her past that ruined her life and tore her family apart. While her young and fragile appearance doesn’t typically suggest that she’s best suited to work as a field agent, her dark past helps her get inside the head of criminals who were normal one day and cracked the next.
Nowalk will write the script and executive produce along with Rhimes and her Shondaland producing partner Betsy Beers.
As THR notes, this new sale marks the first one of the 2012/2013 season for Rhimes who sold four new dramas – three to ABC and one to Fox – last season. One of them, the period drama Gilded Lilys, was ordered to pilot, but didn’t get picked up as a series.
Her last season freshman hit series Scandal (one of the 4) will make its season 2 debut in less than 3 weeks.