The small screen continues to be a place of refuge for filmmakers looking to create work outside the tentpole-crazed studio system, and the latest carpetbagger is none other than David O. Russell getting in on the action. Per Deadline, the “American Hustle” director is teaming up with “Erin Brockovich” screenwriter Susannah Grant for an untitled “upstairs/downstairs soap set at a private country club.” The show will skip the pilot season altogether and just go straight to series with a thirteen episode order from ABC. Russell and Grant broke the show’s story together but actual scripting duties will fall to Grant. The show will presumably air next fall.
Now, in collaborations you never would have thought would happen, Deadline reports British DJ Calvin Harris, Will Smith, Jay Z and “Trainspotting” author Irvine Welsh have all teamed up for the HBO half-hour comedy “Higher.” Written by Welsh and co-developed with Harris, the show “is set in the world of electronic music.” As for Hov and the Fresh Prince? They’re just executive producers. No word on the timeline for the show.
Fear no longer “Murder, She Wrote” purists, NBC has put the kibosh on their planned reboot of the series with Octavia Spencer in the lead, according to Deadline. Don’t get too excited though, the Peacock is apparently “not giving up on a ‘Murder, She Wrote’ reboot” and with the execs thinking it could be taken “in a different way, possibly with a new concept.”
Speaking of that fledgling broadcast network, Deadline has learned that NBC has decided to call an audible and bring in another '80s sitcom star to save their Thursday night. That’s right, Bill Cosby is coming back to TV—and reuniting with his old producing partner Tom Werner—with a new sitcom starring himself as “the patriarch of a multi-generational family” that will continue the thematic through-line that has united all his comedic work, namely loving and warm families and all the comedy that can be mined from well-intentioned people living their lives. Don’t dig out your Cosby sweater too soon, as the show is only just starting to firm up its writing staff. No word on when we can expect the show but NBC is probably looking to get the ball rolling very soon.