TCA Notes: GSN Signs Three-Series Sony Deal

Jan 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

GSN has signed a three-series deal with Sony Pictures Television for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” executive producer Michael Davies to develop game show programs for the network. The deal is a cable first-look agreement with Mr. Davies, and the network expects its first production later this year. GSN is also ordering a remake of the classic game show “I’ve Got a Secret.” The show will run in prime time starting in April and will be hosted by GSN personality Bil Dwyer.

Sci Fi Reunites With Spielberg for Miniseries

Three years after garnering record-breaking ratings with “Taken,” Sci Fi is teaming again with director Steven Spielberg for another event miniseries. The 12-part “Nine Lives” will explore life after death, with the characters trying to reunite with loved ones who have died. “Nine Lives” will be produced by DreamWorks Television and penned by “Taken” screenwriter Leslie Bohem. It is slated for 2007. Sci Fi also announced an alternative reality slate that includes a search for a real-life superhero (“Who Wants to Be a Superhero?”), a search for a talented psychic (“The Gift”) and a docu-soap about celebrity psychic Char Margolis (“Medium at Large”). The NBC Universal network also announced a trio of scripted projects Thursday: “The Bridge,” a dramedy about a group trapped in purgatory; “The Butterfly Effect,” based on the 2004 Ashton Kutcher time-travel film; and “Warehouse 13,” a pilot project by “Battlestar Galactica” showrunner Ronald Moore about a storage facility of strange and supernatural artifacts. Also, sister channel USA Network announced the pickup of the fifth and sixth seasons-and acquisition of the back-end syndication rights-to its original series “Monk.”

ESPN Original Movie to Debut on ABC

ESPN’s next original movie will premiere on ABC. The sports network has greenlighted production on “Ruffian,” based on the true story of a racehorse. The movie will debut in conjunction with ABC’s presentation of the Belmont Stakes in June 2007. ABC is owned by ESPN parent The Walt Disney Co. Within four days of its ABC premiere, “Ruffian” will run on ESPN, ESPN’s broadband channel ESPN360 and ESPN HD.

A&E Orders Simmons Series

A&E has ordered a new docu-soap reality series starring KISS rocker Gene Simmons. The series, “Family Jewels,” stems from a “Biography” episode on Mr. Simmons. Mr. Simmons recently starred in another cable-reality effort, VH1’s “Rock School.” “Family Jewels” will debut later this year.

Bravo Plans Broadband Channels, New Docu-Soap

Bravo plans to produce a new docu-soap reality series and launch a pair of broadband channels based on its former cable property Trio. The new series, titled “Work Out,” is a six-episode, one-hour docu-soap set in an upscale fitness club that’s set to premiere in the third quarter. The broadband channels are triotv.com, which will carry original and exclusive content from the Trio brand, and brilliantbutcancelled.com, based on Trio’s breakout series dedicated to canceled programs. Triotv.com is planned to launch this month, with brilliantbutcancelled.com and other channels launching later this year (no date is set for brilliantbutcancelled.com).