The TV season is about to get underway, with a handful of shows already starting airing, and, for the most part, there’s not an awful lot to get excited about. A few shows that have our interest (mostly hitting cable in the New Year), and some returning favorites, obviously, but a thin slate of new series by most accounts. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything coming down the pipe, as a few announcements in the last few days have made clear.
For one, we could be seeing a CW teen series written by, of all people, Bret Easton Ellis. The novelist/winner of the 2012 Who Can Be Wrong The Most Often On Twitter Award is teaming with teen drama veterans Josh Schwartz (“The O.C“) and Catherine Hardwicke (director of “Twilight“) for a new drama series named “Copeland High” set up at the CW. Ellis has somehow found time from his busy schedule of writing disappointing novels and missing the point about movies on social networks to pen the pilot, which involves a high school that turns its kids into monsters. Schwartz will produce through his Fake Empire production company, and Hardwicke is serving as ‘executive consultant,’ which may mean she’d direct a pilot if it gets that far. [THR]
Meanwhile the star of one critically adored, but low-rated show doesn’t seem to be particularly confident that his day job will be around for much longer. We’re a few weeks from finding out if “Community” survives the exit of creator Dan Harmon, but its breakout star Donald Glover isn’t going to sit around twiddling his thumbs to find out, as he’s developing a new show at NBC. A half hour sitcom apparently based on his own life, with “30 Rock“executive producer Matt Hubbard (who like Glover, used to write for the Tina Fey show) on board, the show would be in second position to “Community” if the latter gets picked up, but given its Friday night death slot, it’s unlikely. [TV Guide]
Meanwhile, the path of movies-to-TV shows is, “M*A*S*H” aside, not wildly successful, but off the back of the success of MTV‘s “Teen Wolf,” Bravo looks to be taking another shot, as its moving full steam ahead on a big-screen version of endlessly-quotable teen classic “Heathers,” with Jenny Bicks (“The Big C“) in charge. Whether it’ll be able to capture the subversive quality of the original on a basic cable network is somewhat doubtful, but if it even has half the edge of the original, it could be kind of fun. The network has a number of other projects in the works, including “22 Birthdays” from Doug Liman, and “All American Girl,” involving three women at a teen magazine in the 1970s, from Chris and Paul Weitz. [THR]
Michael Bay has somehow failed to make inroads on the small screen, presumably because the explosions budget is limited. But the “Transformers” director is looking to change that with a pair of shows in the works. A&E just gave a pilot order to “Occult,” a cop show with a paranormal bent, produced by Bay and written by James Wong (“The X-Files,” “Final Destination“). Furthermore, Bay’s Platinum Dunes has a second series in the works, as its just set director Jonathan Mostow (“Breakdown,” “Terminator 3“) to direct the pilot for “The Last Ship,” about a naval destroyer that survives nuclear warfare and may house the last human beings on the planet. Yes, it sounds remarkably similar to the Shawn Ryan-created “Last Resort” series that’s about to start airing. No, Michael Bay doesn’t care. [Deadline/Deadline]
Finally, in terms of existing shows, while SNL has lost veteran stars Kristen Wiig, Abby Elliott and Andy Samberg over the summer, the other cast member who’s starting to break out in movies in a big way, Jason Sudeikis, has confirmed that he’s staying on board for the new series. There’s a catch however, as it’s likely to only be until January, a move that principally seems so that Sudeikis can stay around during election season. Presumably Bobby Moynihan hasn’t yet nailed his Mitt Romney impression, then. Season 38 (!) of “Saturday Night Live” kicks off this coming Saturday, with Frank Ocean as musical guest, and Seth MacFarlane hosting. So, you know, brace yourself for some big band numbers. [EW]