At the top of NBC‘s TCA presentation, entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt announced that it has put in development four event series/miniseres as part of its push in the arena. They include 4-hour miniseries Hillary, about Hillary Clinton to star Diane Lane. Oscar nominee Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) will script the project which recounts Clinton’s life as a wife, mother, politician and cabinet member from 1998 to the present as she goes from First Lady to US Senator and then Secretary of State. Asked whether the mini would approach Clinton as a great tough woman or a controversial figure, Greenblatt said, “it’s going to be all of those things.” Clinton is “not going to be involved at all” in the project and “I don’t know if she’s aware of it,” he said. “If I were her, I can’t imagine she’d have anything to say about it yet… We literally just closed the deal and maybe she’ll have a point of view about it. I don’t think she’ll endorse it.” Sherryl Clark of Busted Shark will executive produce the mini with James D. Stern (Looper). Hillary joins Rodham, a feature about Clinton’s 20s that has been in the works.
NBC also announced a four-hour updated remake and resetting of Rosemary’s Baby, new version of Stephen King’s Tommyknockers, and Plymouth, the story of the landing of the pilgrims, produced by The Bible‘s Mark Burnett. The network also has in the works AD: After the Bible, a limited series sequel to hit The Bible, with Burnett. “We’re moving very aggressively in limited series and miniseries,” Greenblatt said. He noted that the current success of CBS’ Under The Dome, based on King’s book, was a factor in the decision to take on Tommyknockers. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of NBC opening a senior executive position as head of miniseries and limited series and hiring ABC’s longform veteran Quinn Taylor who fostered that network’s relationship with King that resulted in several highly rated miniseries. NBC also has a six-hour Cleopatra mini in the works as well as a live staging of The Sound Of Musicslated for this coming holiday season. Asked whether NBC is rewinding the ’80s with the boom of miniseries and event programming, Greenblatt noted, “I don’t know that it ever fell out of favor… A lot of them before were all of those big, special effects (Robert) Halmi movies, and maybe they thought they ran out of those. But things like The Bible people looked at and said, we want to watch that.”
Here’s the rundown of the new NBC projects:
Rosemary’s Baby is a four-hour updated retelling of the bestselling novel by Ira Levin that was later adapted as a feature film about devil worship and the complex relationship between a young husband and wife. In the new version, the couple lives in Paris where this edge-of-your-seat thriller unfolds. Lionsgate is the production company. Scott Abbott (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Winchell) will serve as writer on Rosemary’s Baby. Executive producers are Joshua Maurer, David Stern, Perri Kipperman and Alix Witlin.
Stephen King’s Tommyknockers is based on the renown author’s chilling 1987 novel about how the residents of a small Maine town deal with what they believe is an alien spacecraft that has landed nearby. Executive producers are Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky. Emmy Award winner Yves Simoneau (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) is attached to direct.
Limited series Plymouth, which examines the challenges and drama of the Pilgrims’ journey across the Atlantic and the difficulties of settling in a new country, will be executive produced by Mark Burnett and Anne Thomopolous of Mark Burnett Productions, and Gina Matthews and Grant Sharbo (Little Engine). Oscar (The Hellstrom Chronicle) and Emmy winner (NYPD Blue) Walon Green will write.