NBC scares up summer of 'Fear'

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NBC has lined up a host of talent for its upcoming horror anthology series "Fear Itself."

Directors on the list include John Landis ("An American Werewolf in London"), Stuart Gordon ("Re-Animator") and Darren Bousman (the "Saw" series), with such actors as Brandon Routh ("Superman Returns"), Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") and Eric Roberts (" L.A. Confidential").

"Fear Itself" is slated to run for 13 episodes on NBC in the summer.

The series is from Lionsgate, which produces heavily in the horror film genre, and Industry Entertainment, the company behind Showtime's "Masters of Horror" and last summer's ABC anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction."

Others directors signed on include Ronny Yu ("Freddy vs. Jason"), Brad Anderson ("The Machinist"), Breck Eisner (the upcoming "Creature From the Black Lagoon" remake), Mary Harron ("American Psycho") and Ernest Dickerson (NBC's "Heroes"). Acting talent also includes Shiri Appleby ("Charlie Wilson's War"), Cynthia Watros (ABC's "Lost") and Pablo Schreiber (HBO's "The Wire").

"We've teamed up with some of the most illustrious writers, actors and directors to create a distinctive, scare-filled series that will push the boundaries of this classic genre," NBC Entertainment executive vp Teri Weinberg said.

As with the "Masters" duo, the Emmy-winning team of Keith Addis and Andrew Deane are on board to executive produce. Joining the team is Lionsgate executive Peter Block, who oversaw development on the "Saw" films.

With teen-targeted horror movies continuing to generate solid boxoffice returns, NBC hopes to crack the scariest plot of all: the longtime ratings curse on broadcast television anthology series.

Last year, ABC's short-lived "Science Fiction" was put into the Saturday 10 p.m. slot despite generating positive critical reviews. Addis said partners Lionsgate and NBC have brought a new level expertise and excitement to the latest project.

"This is a world Lionsgate knows a lot about," he said. "They have a proven track record in this genre and understand the marketing of it. NBC saw this as a great opportunity to bring a genre to commercial television that nobody else is doing ... (this time) the partners have a very different level of enthusiasm."
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