Sony producers hook up cable

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It's another busy development season for Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly's Sony-based TV production company, which has set up eight projects from such auspices as Elmore Leonard, Graham Yost, Michael Dinner, Barry Sonnenfeld and Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman.

What is different this year is that most of the projects are set up at cable networks.

Since its 2003 launch, Timberman/Beverly Prods. (formerly 25C) had been focused on developing for the broadcast nets, landing several pilots and a series order from NBC for "Kidnapped."

Timberman and Beverly tested the cable waters this year with the A&E pilot "Danny Fricke." Now they're hooked.

"It has opened the door to explore subject matters that we would've never thought of developing for broadcast," Timberman said. "Wanting to go to cable is often a result of us not wanting the water down characters."

It also helped that their company is based at Sony TV, a major cable player.

Timberman/Beverly's cable slate includes an untitled Elmore Leonard drama and "Hit Man" at FX, the drama "Fade to Black" and the comedy "Carry Me" at Showtime and the drama "Between Smith and Jones" at Lifetime. On the broadcast side, the duo has sold the comedy "Holly Gale" and an untitled medical drama to CBS and comedic drama "The Nelsons" to ABC.

"It's a classic Elmore Leonard story with ironic twists of fate, dimensionalized criminals and a protagonist who is himself an enigma," Timberman said.

Beverly called the show "a character piece about a meticulous hitman's messy midlife crisis and what bubbles to the surface as a consequence."

"It's a provocative, timely look behind the veneer of what we think of 1940s Hollywood," Timberman said.

"This is a provocative and unconventional way to get into the family show genre," Beverly said.

Book properties play a major part in Timberman and Beverly's development strategy this season. In addition to Leonard's story and Block's novels, the CAA-repped Timberman/Beverly has optioned Meg Wolitzer's "The Ten Year Nap," with Judith Verno attached as exec producer, and Iain Levison's "A Working Stiff's Manifesto."

"More so than ever, we felt it was a good time to explore alternative sources of material for great characters, whose points of view and circumstances aren't currently reflected on air," Beverly said. (partialdiff)
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