5:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Tales From the Darkside' Anthology, Julie Plec Drama Nab CW Pilot Pickups
Update, 5:45 p.m.: The CW has ordered its third pilot of the season: Dead People. From Californication creator Tom Kapinos and executive produced by Bad Robot Productions, the drama centers on a down-on-his-luck, semi-alcoholic but roguishly charming cab driver who, after a near-death experience, suddenly has the ability to interact with ghosts, including his late ex-wife who he has never gotten over. Kapinos will pen the script and exec produce alongside J.J. Abrams' Warner Bros. Television-based Bad Robot banner. Kapinos' Aggressive Mediocrity shingle is also attached. Kapinos, meanwhile, also has DC Comics take Lucifer heating up for a pilot pickup at Fox.
Tales From the Darkside and Cordon, a remake of a Belgian series from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals exec producer Julie Plec, have been ordered to pilot at the youth-skewing network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The new Tales From the Darkside hails from Joe Hill (writer of the Locke & Key comics and Stephen King's son) and will be executive produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci via the Sleepy Hollow duo's overall deal with CBS Television Studios. Mitchell Galin (The Stand), K/O Paper Products president Heather Kadin and Jerry Golod — who produced the original Darkside — also are on board to executive produce the half-hour entry.
The new Darkside is described as a reinvention of the horror/fantasy/thriller anthology and based on the 1980s series. Each episode will be completely different and contain at least one separate story, with new actors expected every hour — making it a true anthology in the vein of the original and other series, including The Twilight Zone and, more recently, Black Mirror.
Darkside is the second pilot order of the season for Kurtzman and Orci; it joins CBS' Limitless adaptation. The duo currently has three series on the air: Fox's Sleepy Hollow, CBS' Hawaii Five-0 and rookie Scorpion, the latter of which has been renewed for a second season in 2015-16.
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Plec's Cordon, meanwhile, examines what happens when a deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta and a large city quarantine is quickly enforced, leaving those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives. Based on the original Belgian series created by Carl Joos for Eyeworks, Cordon tells the story of loved ones tragically torn apart, and how the society that grows inside the cordon reveals both the devolution of humanity and the birth of unlikely heroes. Plec will write and exec produce, with David Nutter (Game of Thrones, The Flash, Arrow) on board to direct the pilot and exec produce. The drama hails from Warner Bros. Television and Plec's studio-based My So Called Company, with original producer Eyeworks also attached. Should Cordon move to series, Plec would be one of a handful of producers, including Shonda Rhimes and, potentially, Chuck Lorre with three shows on the air. It would be the second time the prolific producer juggled three: last year, Plec had The Tomorrow People adaptation at the network.
The pilot pickups — with more expected at the network — arrive as The CW has little room on its schedule after handing out early renewals to eight shows: Arrow, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, The 100, Reign, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. The network has yet to make a decision on holdovers Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie and midseason entries iZombie and The Messengers. Last year, The CW developed six pilots and picked up four to series.