4:30pm PT by Lacey Rose
'Breaking Bad's' Vince Gilligan Nabs CBS Drama Series Order
Hot off of his big Emmy win, Vince Gilligan has landed his next project.
An early drama spec from the Breaking Bad creator has been granted a series production order for the 2014-15 season. The project, which was first developed at CBS in 2002, centers on two detectives with very different world views who are teamed up. Together, they must answer the question: Are cynicism, guile and deception enough to clean up the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, Michigan, in the face of a complete lack of resources, or is the exact opposite true -- it takes naïveté, trust and a boatload of resources?
Gilligan has expressed interest in directing the effort, which is set up at Sony Pictures TV and CBS TV Studios, assuming his schedule will allow it. House creator David Shore, who is under a rich overall deal at Sony, is attached to join Gilligan as a writer and executive producer as well as serve as Battle Creek's showrunner. Shore is taking a pass at updating the pilot script, which is more than a decade old. Bad executive producer Mark Johnson, who has been a supporter of the Gilligan spec, also is on board as an EP. Multiple sources close to the project say CBS has made a 13-episode commitment, a commentary on the strength of the project as well as its powerhouse auspices.
CBS had passed on the Sony project a decade or so earlier, and it never moved forward there or elsewhere. Gilligan had better fortune with Bad, which was initially developed at FX. John Landgraf, now CEO of the network, graciously agreed to release the exceedingly dark drama after FX decided not to move forward with it years ago. Landgraf and his executives often refer to Bad, which is going out with record ratings, as the "one that got away."
The Battle Creek news comes just three days after Gilligan took home the best drama series Emmy for Breaking Bad, which wraps its critically lauded series run this Sunday. Earlier this month, Gilligan and fellow Bad writer Peter Gould's Sony-produced spinoff, tentatively titled Better Call Saul, moved forward at AMC. The latter centers on the character of Saul Goodman and is billed as a prequel. It is not yet clear what Gilligan's exact involvement in either small screen project will be, particularly considering he is in hot pursuit as a feature film director.
For Shore, a veteran showrunner whose credits include The Practice, Law & Order and Family Law, this marks his first series since House ended its lengthy Fox run in 2012. At that time, he moved from NBCUniversal, his home of eight years, to Sony, where he inked a three-year overall deal. The pact was said to be in the eight-figure range, fitting for a writer/creator whose Hugh Laurie starrer became one of the biggest hits not only at Fox but also around the world.
Gilligan and Shore are both repped by ICM Partners, with The Shuman Company managing Shore.