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Pilot Roundup: Dorff to "Skip" to the Rescue, While Jackman Gambles on "Viva Laughlin"

Things look to be gearing up for a busy pilot season again this year, as yesterday brought a whole slew of pilot orders from most of the broadcast networks.

First up is CBS drama pilot Skip Tracer, about an altruistic man who searches for people who have made themselves disappear as a skip tracer in the underbelly of Los Angeles. The script is written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess (The Sopranos), who will executive produce with Tucker Tooley.

Stephen Dorff, last seen in World Trade Center (though to me, he'll always be the kid from The Power of One), will star in the CBS Paramount pilot as the aforementioned skip tracer and also exec produce.

CBS also ordered a plot for the US adaptation of UK limited series Viva Blackpool (called Blackpool across the pond), which will now be called.... wait for it... Viva Laughlin. (That doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?) I've been wondering when CBS would get around to releasing an official working title, as the Blackpool reference doesn't exactly hold much water over here.

In any event, Viva Laughlin's pilot will star Hugh Jackman (yes, Wolverine himself) as a cutthroat entrepreneur looking to take his small time Laughlin, Nevada casino to Vegas-style heights, no matter what the costs. And it looks like Jackman will reprise his singing-and-dancing ways from Oklahoma or The Boy from Oz; the British original featured David Morrissey and David Tennant (Doctor Who) breaking into song and dance at a moment's notice in a drama/musical/murder mystery storyline.

The pilot comes from the combined forces of Sony, CBS Paramount, and Jackman's production company, Seed Productions. Jackman, producing partner John Palermo, writer Bob Lowry, BBC's Paul Telegdy and original Blackpool creator Peter Bowker executive produce.

Over at ABC, the network has ordered a pilot for Darren Star's Cashmere Mafia, about four female friends who attended business school together and who all find themselves trying to juggle work, family, and personal lives in Manhattan. Still not entirely sure what this is about, per se, but I do love that nifty title.

Is it just me or does that sound suspiciously familiar to NBC's pilot Lipstick Jungle, from Candace Bushnell, author of the original girl-in-the-city tome Sex and the City. Based on Bushnell's novel, Lipstick Jungle follows four powerful businesswomen, who must juggle work, family, and their personal lives (deja vu) while doing whatever it takes to get ahead. (There's, um, the twist, I guess.)

The project, from NBC Universal, has been in development for over a year; despite getting a production order last season, NBC decided not to shoot the script and put it back into development for 2007-08. The most recent script, the third to date, is written by Elaine Heisler and DeAnn Heline.

What will make it onto the air? That's anybody's guess at this point. But given the fact that we're now officially into 2007, it seems as though pilot season is about to get going. And I, for one, cannot wait.


Anonymous said…
The most surprising thing about reading these stories for me this morning was learning that Stephen Dorff has an overall deal at CBS. I mean...what?

I do think he is rather well suited for the "Skip" part, though.
Anonymous said…
Stephen Dorff bugs the hell out of me.

Now Hugh Jackman, on the other hand........
"Viva Laughlin" is a horrible title but the show has promise. Especially with Jackman as the lead. I really enjoyed the Brit version.

"Cashmere Mafia," on the other hand, feels like a designer knock off. "Sex in the City" Part II. Blech.
Vance said…
Sign me up for Viva Jackman no matter what the silly title is! and based on the ep of Blackpool I saw, could be interesting. I'm in. Meanwhile, Stephen Dorff is still alive? I would have thought he would have OD'd or something by now.
Anonymous said…
Why are we subjected to old, has been talent like Stephen Dorff when there are thousands of more interesting actors/actresses around?
Stephen Dorff? Please!

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