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WE tv is officially in the scripted business.
The AMC Networks-owned cable network has handed out a 10-episode series order to The Divide, a drama originally developed at AMC from Richard LaGravenese (Behind the Candelabra, The Fisher King) and Tony Goldwyn (Scandal).
Oscar and Emmy nominee LaGravenese penned the script and executive produces alongside Goldwyn (Conviction) and John Tinker (The Practice), who is on board to serve as showrunner. Andrew Sugerman (Conviction) will co-executive produce the series, which is slated for a 2014 premiere.
“The Divide is the kind of compelling, high-quality storytelling that we think will set the right tone for our entry into scripted drama, a significant step in our network’s evolution,” WE tv president and general manager Kim Martin said. “We could not be more excited about this project and the talent behind it.”
Divide stars Marin Ireland as Christine Rosa, an impassioned caseworker with the Innocence Initiative who delves into the case of a death-row inmate she believes was wrongly convicted of a young family’s heinous murder 11 years earlier. She chases down new evidence in a search for the truth and confronts an equally passionate district attorney, Adam Page (Damon Gupton), whose view of justice is colored by shades of gray. Throughout the journey, Christine and Adam’s pasts resurface as they are faced with the question of one man’s guilt or innocence intertwined with their own personal histories. Joe Anderson (Across the Universe), Aunjanue Ellis (The Help), Clarke Peters (The Wire) and Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation) co-star.
AMC originally ordered the project to pilot in May 2012, with the project moving to WE tv in the spring.
In addition to Divide, WE tv also has put three more scripted drama projects in its development pipeline as it becomes the latest cable network to expand beyond its reality offerings.
• All American Woman (working title) hails from Oscar nominees Chris and Paul Weitz (About a Boy) and Andrew Miano through their Depth of Field banner. The drama takes place in three different years — 1964, 1988 and 2013 — during decades that changed the country’s cultural landscape. The entry will follow the lives of three women with one thing in common: All American magazine. All American Woman was originally developed at NBCUniversal-owned Bravo, and is based on Black List writer Jenni Ross‘ mother’s stint as fashion editor at Seventeen magazine in the 1970s. Emmy nominees Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (The Starter Wife) will executive produce and pen the script. Ross will co-executive produce the Fox Television Studios drama.
• Dirty is penned by Nancy Fichman and Jennifer Hoppe (Damages, Nurse Jackie) and revolves around Lucy, a financier who has fallen on hard times and is forced to live and work with her housekeeper, Maize, in an unexpected and clever enterprise. R.J. Cutler (Nashville) will executive produce the Fox Television Studios drama.
• Headhunters hails from Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street, Copper) and Academy Award winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Copper) and centers on generations of women who are being encouraged to “lean in” in new and innovative ways and examines their attempts to confront the ambiguity and conflicting choices that surround their lives today. Susanna Styron (Borgia) will pen the script.
WE tv, home to Braxton Family Values, Joan & Melissa and more, becomes the latest AMC-owned network to enter the original scripted business. AMC, home to The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, aired repeats of Sundance Channel’s Rectify following Mad Men, while Breaking Bad aired on Sundance. Sibling network IFC, meanwhile, recently unveiled its largest scripted roster yet with three pilots and eight other projects in development. For its part, Sundance has two scripted dramas — Rectify and recently ordered The Red Road — in addition to its miniseries offerings. The cabler last week picked up 10 Emmy nominations for miniseries Top of the Lake and Restless.
“Originally developed and piloted at AMC, The Divide gives WE tv the opportunity to enter the scripted space with a truly engaging series. It will join other series such as The Walking Dead (AMC), Low Winter Sun (AMC), Mad Men (AMC) and Rectify (Sundance Channel) that AMC Networks has developed or produced in our commitment to telling distinctive stories and bringing viewers quality, cinematic entertainment,” AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll said.
WE tv’s scripted foray comes as other female-focused networks including Bravo and Discovery are making similar moves.
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