As the scales continue to tip back away from reality programming, E!, home of such pop culture-eating-itself products like the Kardashian franchise, “The E! True Hollywood Story,” “Chelsea Lately,” “The Soup” and “Ice Loves Coco,” has become the latest network to announce its forays into scripted programming. What will an E! scripted show possibly be like? Well, judging from the nine one-hour series they’ve announced are currently in development, it’s going to be somewhere in between “Gossip Girl,” “Entourage” and maybe “Scandal.”
The complete list of shows from E! is below, but there are two projects that jump out. The first is “Fascination Street,” from, among others, executive producer Phillip Noyce and writer Stephen Kijak (who directed the doc “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man”), a look at two brothers in a band that jumps between the past, when they were trying to make it big, and the present, in which their lead singer has disappeared.
The other is “Upstarts,” a dot-com era drama about three people trying to make it in Silicon Valley in the late ’90s from executive producers Kevin Spacey and Michael De Luca (who in fact produced “The Social Network”). Ben Younger of “Boiler Room” will direct the pilot, if one’s ordered. As mentioned before, its high time we have a show set at a startup, and whether its this or Armando Iannucci’s “Couldn’t Be Better,” we seem close to getting one.
AMY DEVLIN MYSTERIES
A modern take on procedural storytelling, Amy Devlin is a late 20something, culturally-obsessed detective who brings her own style and POV to police work. Based on the graphic novel of the same name. From writer Daniel Barnz, who wrote and directed “Won’t Back Down,” starring Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter which hits theaters in September. Executive Producers are Daniel Barnz, Eric Gitter from Oni Press and Andy Bourne from CBS Productions.
ANNE OF HOLLYWOOD
Based on the bestselling novel by Carol Wolper, the story of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII is reset in present-day Hollywood … “the flashiest, most treacherous court of all.” The elements of Anne’s true story — love, passion, intrigue, betrayal, infidelity and conspiracy — remain fully intact, and become truly relatable to today’s audience. From John Wells Productions and Warner Horizon Television.
Inspired by the books “Dorothy” and “The Wizard of Oz,” a girl from Kansas City falls for a man and moves with him to the Emerald City to work at his Emerald Hotel. From writer Natalie Krinsky (“Gossip Girl,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Warner Horizon Television.
A then-and-now look at the tumultuous relationship between two brothers as they work to make their band a success in the past and struggle to find who is behind the disappearance of the lead singer in the present. From executive producers Phillip Noyce (directed the feature films “Salt,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “Patriot Games”), Josh Reims (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Dirty, Sexy Money,” “Felicity”), Ross Fineman (“Lights Out”), and writer Stephen Kijak (documentary director of “Stones In Exile,” “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man”). From Fox Television Studios.
The rise of the Vanderbilt dynasty is chronicled in this sprawling, stylized and fast-paced drama set in NY society of the 1890s, where “Society” was defined by the number of people who could fit into Mrs. Astor’s ballroom. From prolific writer Emily Whitesell (“Once and Again,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Life Unexpected”) and Executive Producer Anne Thomopoulos (“Borgia,” “Camelot,” “Rome”). From Fox Television Studios.
Alex Dunbar is a good man who makes one critically bad decision –he accidentally kills a woman who has been blackmailing him for a somewhat shady business deal. He frames a man who turns out to become the scion of a business empire. The ensuing media frenzy engulfs the police investigator, the DA and even Alex’s wife as the trial becomes the national obsession. As the story unfolds, we learn that the man framed is far from innocent, the blackmailer was not who she seemed, and the puppet master for this media circus seems to be juror #9…aka Alex Dunbar. From writer Brian Ross (“Crossing Jordan,” “LA Dragnet”) and Executive Producer/Director Danny Cannon (CSI, CSI Miami, Alcaltraz). From Warner Horizon Television.
From writer (and former D.C. lobbyist who has worked for Rep. NancyPelosi and Sen. George Mitchell) David Gerken (“West Wing,” “E-Ring”) comes the tale of a modern-day “Mr. Smith” who is, in this case, a self-made billionaire with a penchant for hooking up with lobbyists in the nation’s capital. Gerken will also serve as co-executive producer. From Universal Cable Productions.
UNTITLED ASSISTANT PROJECT
Ambition bordering on insubordination fuels the lives of a group of executive assistants who are seemingly loyal minions to their high-powered bosses. However, when their superiors are out of the office, the gloves come off as these aspiring titans plot their way up the corporate ladder. From writers Meredith Lavender & Marcie Ulin (“Missing,” “Covert Affairs,” “Charlie’s Angels”) and executive producer Gary A. Randall (“Saving Grace,” “The Glades”). From Fox Television Studios.
Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and Oscar-nominated producer Michael Deluca (“The Social Network,” “Moneyball”) are Executive Producers through their respective production companies, Trigger Street Productions and Michael Deluca Productions, of this sprawling drama in which three big dreamers seek to grab their share of wealth and glory amidst Silicon Valley’s digital gold rush of the late 1990s. Fueled by power, money, sex and politics, these three will stop at nothing to earn a spot atop the digital food chain. Written by Joey Falco, who will also be a co-executive producer. Dana Brunetti and Ben Younger will also Executive Produce with Younger set to direct, if ordered to pilot. Brian Haas is also set to co-executive produce. From Universal Cable Productions.