TNT Developing Margaret Cho Drama and Ridley Scott Sci-Fi Block

Cho's drama 'Highland' has nabbed a pilot order, while 'The Martian' director is developing original science-fiction programming for the network.
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Ridley Scott

TNT is developing projects from an unlikely pair: Margaret Cho and Ridley Scott.

The network has ordered a pilot for Highland, a scripted drama written and executive produced by Liz Sarnoff (Lost) and Cho, who also will star. The pilot, which is inspired by Cho's personal history with substance abuse, is a co-production of Marty Adelstein's Tomorrow Studios and Turner's Studio T, with Cho serving as executive producer.

In addition, TNT has begun working with the Alien: Covenant director on a night of original science-fiction programming, which will be a showcase for hourlong series, shortform programs and other formats. The slate being produced by Scott's Scott Free Productions in association with Turner's Studio T. Scott and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife) will serve as executive producers, with Jordan Sheehan (The Good Fight) and Clayton Krueger (Mercy Street) as co-executive producers.

"We're looking to create a programming block filled with the kind of imaginative, awe-inspiring storytelling that has made science fiction such a beloved and enduring genre," said Sarah Aubrey, executive vp original programming for TNT. "Ridley Scott has created some of the best and most popular science-fiction movies of all time,and we look forward to bringing his fans even more of his smart, sophisticated stories."

"Being given the creative license to generate and develop science fiction programming in a variety of formats for TNT is very exciting," added Scott, who previously served as executive producer on TNT's CIA miniseries The Company in 2007. "This genre is one of my favorites, and there are an infinite amount of original and innovative story ideas out there that we are looking forward to exploring with TNT. It is very exciting for all of us."

Highland, meanwhile, will chronicle what happens when two extended, dysfunctional Korean-American families who share the same patriarch must come together after tragedy strikes. As it turns out, the most reliable person in both families is the one who just got out of rehab.

"Liz Sarnoff and Margaret Cho's brilliant script exposes Margaret's warm heart and bracing humor, balancing powerful emotional truths with laugh-out-loud scenes and characters," said Aubrey. "Highland continues TNT's commitment to bringing diverse voices and worlds to television. We look forward to making a pilot with such a singular talent as Margaret Cho."

Highland marks TNT's third project with Tomorrow Studios, which also produces the network's acclaimed new drama Good Behavior, starring Michelle Dockery, and is currently in production on a pilot for Snowpiercer, an action-packed drama based on the film by Bong Joon-ho.

TNT's development slate also includes pilots for The Deep Mad Dark, a thriller about the complexities of friendship from executive producers John Wells and Megan Martin, and Deadlier Than the Male, a challenging and morally complex thriller about three damaged people trying to start over from executive producers Bruna Papandrea, Harriet Warner and Casey Haver.

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