The latest news from Hollywood
The Good Wife‘s a hit! So, naturally, expect to see plenty more network dramas just like it.
Does Julianna Margulies deserve a finder’s fee? In the wake of CBS’ success with her series The Good Wife (13.9 million viewers a week and counting), lots of dramas featuring female protagonists are in the running for fall 2010. Though the development process is just starting, many of the hour-long scripts snatched up by the Big Four networks feature female leads in exciting — and outrageous — situations. Among the contenders: CBS is developing a series based on the best-seller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, about a woman descended from witches. (Charmed and Eastwick, be damned!) Fox hopes to chronicle four house-wives who turn to a life of crime on Daylight Robbery. ABC is updating Charlie’s Angels and developing cop series Holly and Ramona. And NBC is remaking the U.K. crime hit Prime Suspect (it won’t star Helen Mirren) while taking a peek at incarcerated chicks via the script Inside Mary Baxter. ”It presents a women’s prison as a microcosm of the world, with a unique voice that will make the problems they face very connected to a wide audience,” promises exec producer Neil Meron (Hairspray), who together with business partner Craig Zadan is also working on a Fox drama about a female law student investigating death-penalty cases. Typically, the networks don’t set out to develop shows for women featuring female leads; they first want to know that there are strong male characters to keep the dudes at home interested. But producers are mindful about who controls the remote. ”The women find the show and they bring the men,” said Jason Katims, who’s exec-producing a modern-day Wizard of Oz script for NBC called Dorothy Gale. ”So it’s never a bad time [to develop female-friendly shows], because I do think there will be an audience for them.”
— Lynette Rice, with additional reporting by Dan Snierson
FlashForward takes a step back
ABC has temporarily shut down production on FlashForward, although a show spokesperson insists it’s hardly cause for alarm. ”They started production early so that they could have the luxury to do this,” says the rep. ”They want to maintain the high quality of the show, and this gives the writers the opportunity to do so.” The move comes a month after the departure of co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim and less than a week after the rookie drama hit a new ratings low of 7.8 million (for its Nov. 19 episode). At least FlashForward‘s lull won’t be nearly as long as the monthlong creative hiatus ABC imposed on V. The Alphabet rep says FF — which returns to the schedule Dec. 3 with a midseason finale — will resume production this week after just a six-day break.
— Michael Ausiello
Get ready to Rock: The Fraggles hit the big screen
It may not be easy being green, but being a Jim Henson fan? That’s a different story. First came the news that Jason Segel is penning a new Muppets movie, and now director Cory Edwards (Hoodwinked) tells EW he is overseeing a big-screen revamp of the Henson-created Fraggle Rock, the much-beloved ’80s TV show about tiny Muppet-esque creatures. ”We’ve got a script we’re very excited about, but it’s been a very tricky balance,” reveals Edwards. ”We have to appeal to 10-year-olds as well as the nostalgic 30- and 40-year-olds.” The latter camp need not worry about an excess of CGI jiggery-pokery. ”This is old-school Muppet tricks,” reassures Edwards. ”I think it’s more important to the fans than it would have been to Jim. He loved any tool of creation. But yeah, we’re going to do puppets.”
— Clark Collis