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Shawn Ryan Sells Four Projects; I Ask Why Are the 1970s So In Right Now?

Even as fellow FX creator Ryan Murphy sold two projects in the last two weeks, The Shield creator Shawn Ryan has proven himself to be even more prolific than Murphy, nailing down no less than four television projects in the last few weeks to a collection of broadcast networks and cablers, including FX, FOX, and CBS. All projects will be produced by 20th Century Fox Television, where Ryan signed an overall deal last September.

Ryan will team with Ocean's Eleven writer Ted Griffin for an untitled one-hour comedic series about a private detective, which has been fast-tracked by cabler FX. Details are scarce at the moment but I am doing some digging to see just what the premise is for this intriguing concept, one that seems to be very different to the sort of darkness as that have categorized many of FX's drama series.

Over at CBS, Ryan has given a put pilot commitment to an adaptation of Richard Murphy's upcoming novel Confessions of a Contractor, about a blue-collar contractor who renovates wealthy people's home and finds himself caught in a love triangle with two women, who used to be best friends. Project will be adapted as a one-hour drama with Richard Murphy attached to write.

In a vastly different direction, The Unit co-creator has received a script commitment for half-hour comedy Millionaires Club, about a group of wannabe millionaires who concoct elaborate (and doomed to fail) schemes in order to strike it rich. (Lest you think this is a 180 degree turn for Ryan, he did get his start working on the NBC comedy My Two Dads, so he's no stranger to half-hours.) FOX seems determined to do something in this genre, following last season's Ricky Blitt-scripted pilot Single White Millionaire.

Finally, there's The Lead Sheet at A&E, set in the 1970s and following the three police officers and two district attorneys who are investigating the notorious Hillside Strangler case in Los Angeles, "with each episode of the crime procedural starting with a tip leading to a violent crime that may or may not be related to the Strangler," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

I'm not sure why the 1970s seem to be a common denominator for development recently, but 1970s-set skeins seem to be all the rage these days, with ABC's Life on Mars scheduled to launch in October, Swingtown currently airing this summer on CBS, and AMC developing a period drama based on the 1974 feature film The Conversation (starring Gene Hackman) that will also be set in the 1970s and use that era's technology to tell the story of a surveillance expert who discovers he is himself being watched. That project will be written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers); producer Tony Krantz has been trying to get it made for ten years.

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Big Brother 10 (CBS); Last Comic Standing (NBC; 8-9:30 pm); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); So You Think You Dance (FOX; 8-10 pm)

9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); America's Got Talent (NBC; 9:30-11 pm); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

10 pm: Flashpoint (CBS); Hopkins (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching:

10 pm: Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List on Bravo.

Okay, I know, I know, but I find her acerbic overeagerness somehow calming. On tonight's episode ("Woz Love Got to Do With It?"), Kathy teams up with Steve Wozniak to host a charity event but it proves a little too stressful for their friendship to bear; later, Kathy tries to find one of her friends a date.


Anonymous said…
This may be the wrong place to ask this question, but your post has triggered it. Are there any pilots coming down the pike that feature women? Plots about women? Anything besides groups of women buddy-bonding? Anything with women in lead roles in which they are a detective, or a lawyer, or they run their own business, or they're living in the 70s, or the 60s, or anything in which they play something other than the power hungry male-in-a dress person, or the love interest, or .... anything?

Why am I not surprised that there is going to be a sitcom about a man who has two girlfriends who "used to be friends," and so now must be in conflict with each other over the man?

This is why I don't watch much network television, and don't get too excited over each new season. It's one male-centric show after the other. Please -- show me I'm wrong! There must be a woman somewhere in your business who has had a pilot picked up? A good pilot?? Please?

(Love Pushing Daisies which, yes, has a man front and center, but it's really an ensemble and the women in it are great. Can't get enough of Kristin Chenoweth! Can't get enough of Bryan Fuller!)
Jace Lacob said…
Rebecca, let's hope that Rob Thomas' delightfully zany pilot "Good Behavior" gets picked up as it offers one of the best written women's roles (particularly for a slightly older woman) in years for TV and stars Catherine O'Hara no less.
Yay Catherine O'Hara!
Page48 said…
Don't know why they wouldn't fast-forward "The Conversation" to the 21st Century. The idea sounds great but I just don't care to revisit the 70's.

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