With Michael Mann and David Milch's HBO show "Luck," which features filmic talent like Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Michael Gambon and Joan Allen, among others, being picked up for a second season only days after the first episode aired, the spate of cinematic types dipping their toe into television shows no sign of letting up, particularly as it's currently the time of year where networks are commissioning pilots. And as such, there's a brace of TV news from the last few days featuring names best known for their big-screen work.
First up is David Ayer, who first came to attention as the writer of "Training Day," before going on to direct gritty thrillers like "Harsh Times," "Street Kings" and the upcoming "End Of Watch." Deadline reports that Ayer is now developing a drama series for HBO, and watchers of his work won't be surprised to see the subject matter; it'll involve a group of Special Forces soldiers who go undercover in the L.A. crime world. Ayer is writing the project, and will direct and produce the pilot should it get to that point, fitting the film in among his many other projects, which include remakes of "Commando" and "Scarface."
Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams is an old TV hand. Despite becoming best known of late as the director of "Star Trek" and "Super 8," he came to fame as the co-creator of "Felicity," "Alias" and "Lost," and has a whole mini-industry of shows on air at present, including the ace "Fringe," and the less ace "Person Of Interest" and "Alcatraz." As ever, Abrams has got plenty in the works, and EW reports he's just set up a new TV project at NBC. Entitled "Revolution," the series, co-created with "Supernatural" writer Eric Kripke, is set in a future where technology has mysteriously ceased to function, and follows a family battling for survival. It's typically high-concept stuff, but could easily become the next "Lost," providing it's got a little more going on upstairs than the dumb-as-a-rock "Alcatraz." WHAT'S IN THE MYSTERY BOX, JJ?
Meanwhile, filmmaker Philip Noyce, who most recently had a hit with "Salt," has made a decent second career in TV of late, helming the pilot for ABC's hit "Revenge" and working on an upcoming episode of "Luck." And he'll be back this pilot season, as Deadline report that he's just signed on with ABC to direct the pilot for "Americana," a soap revolving around a famous fashion designer and his family. Not sure that one's for us.
Finally, Bryan Singer has quietly had as much success as any filmmaker on the small screen thanks to executive producing "House," for which he directed the pilot, and he's having another crack with an upcoming reboot of "The Munsters," the popular 1960s series about a family of monsters. The show, being masterminded by Singer and "Pushing Daisies" creator Bryan Fuller, is in the works at NBC, but according to TVLine, the show just got a namechange, to "Mockingbird Lane," named after the street on which the family live. Some might argue that abandoning the classic name could be a huge error, but seeing as fairly few under the age of 40 know what a Munster is, it's likely neither here nor there. Singer will direct the pilot, which is casting up at the moment.