DreamWorks TV projects all over the dial


DreamWorks Television is revving up the most ambitious slate in its five-year history as a pod, fielding 21 projects set up at seven different networks.

"We were able to focus on development, and we made a concerted effort to spread our projects over all networks to have the best show for each network," said Darryl Frank, who runs DreamWorks TV with Justin Falvey.

The company's slate includes three projects based on ideas from DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg as well as shows from such writers as Bruce McCulloch, Cheryl Holliday, Danny Jacobson, Rod Lurie, Walter Parkes, Wesley Strick and Gardner Stern.

"It's a mix of old friends we really respect and new writers whom (DreamWorks TV executive) Jonathan Berry identified," Falvey said.

DWTV's development skews toward comedy, a genre where the company found early success with "Spin City" and launched one of the first single-camera comedies, "The Job."

In addition to previously announced "Generations," a pilot for CBS that is now casting, DWTV has another project from Holliday — an ensemble female comedy focusing on a return to old-fashioned parenting — set up at NBC.

The two Holliday projects are among the six comedies in development that DWTV is co-producing with NBC Universal TV Studios, where the company is in the last year of a multiyear overall deal.

The other four are:

An untitled comedy from Jason Mulgrew and Eric Weinberg for NBC about a twentysomething New York man who decides to retire while he is still young and can enjoy life.

"Big Ed," about a larger-than-life car dealer who must surrender control of his automotive empire to a Japanese businessman, also for NBC. It was created by Jeff Martin.

An untitled comedy from Mark Reisman for NBC about a man who inspires everyone with his outlook on life after he wakes up from a 10-year coma.

An untitled comedy from Jacobson for Fox, set at a country club.

"The studio executives have been phenomenal partners, and we have a fantastic business relationship with them," Falvey said.

With NBC Uni TV focused primarily on supplying its sister networks, Frank said the studio brass were supportive of DWTV's taking shows out to other buyers.

DWTV's comedy projects set up at outside networks include:

"Carpoolers," for ABC, about a group of suburban guys who carpool to work together. Touchstone is co-producing the show, from McCulloch.

An untitled comedy from Dawn Dekeyser and Clay Graham about a woman who deals with a new marriage, new infant and stepdaughter. The project also is set up at ABC.

An untitled comedy from David Posamentier and Geoff Moore about the kids of a divorced couple who are raised by their birth parents and their new spouses. The project, picked up by ABC, is a co-production with Touchstone TV.

"Vegas Baby," for Fox, revolves around three friends who move to Las Vegas to pursue their dreams. Steve Leff created the show, a co-production with 20th Century Fox TV.

"Three Girls and a Bastard," for the CW, is about three maternally clueless twentysomething women who deal with an unplanned pregnancy. CBS Paramount Network TV is co-producing the project, created by Alyssa Embree, Jessica Koosed and Stacey Harman.

An untitled single-camera domestic comedy with a twist from Diablo Cody for Showtime, based on an original idea by Spielberg.

On the drama side, the company has two projects based on ideas by Spielberg, the previously announced fashion project with Ed Burns and Christy Turlington, and a time travel project with R. Scott Gemmill (HR 12/11). The two shows are set up at Fox, with 20th TV co-producing.

DWTV has three dramas at NBC, all co-produced with NBC Uni TV:

"The Compass," from Parkes and Strick, about a young FBI agent who goes deep undercover to investigate a Skull & Bones-like society.

"The Expert," from Chris Murphey, about a hyper-intelligent woman who uses her unique senses to solve crimes.

"Past Imperfect," from Stern, about two lawyers — a white male and black female — who are mysteriously transported back in time 50 years.

Additionally, DWTV is redeveloping with Lurie his former ABC pilot "Capitol City" for the CW, with Touchstone TV co-producing (HR 10/13.)

Also at the CW, the company has set up "The Call," about rookie LAPD officers and their training officers. CBS Par TV is co-producing the show, from Caleb Kane and Charles Segars.

On cable, DWTV has "The Devils Advocate," from Jonas McCord, set up at Sci Fi Channel. The "Da Vinci Code"-esque procedural drama centers on a college professor who investigates cases for a secret organization. McCord is penning the script.

At TNT, the company is developing "Nashville," a show from Les Bohem about a young singer-songwriter who moves to Nashville to pursue his dreams and becomes embroiled in the ultra-competitive country music business.

The new projects are vying to join DWTV's existing series, "Las Vegas" on NBC, "Rescue Me" on FX and Fox's upcoming reality show "On the Lot."

On the longform side, the company is shepherding three high-profile miniseries: "The Pacific" at HBO, "Nine Lives" at Sci Fi and "Talisman" at TNT.

As for the future of DWTV after the end of its current deal with NBC Uni TV, it remains up in the air. The company was sold to Viacom this year along with DreamWorks' live-action film division. Viacom has no TV division but has been actively talking about launching one.