The “Let The Right One In” series adaptation landed first at A&E back in 2015 after a bidding war with Showtime. It’s now in the running with other horror projects at TNT alongside the Tales From the Crypt series, dramedy Claws and anthology Time of Death.
Based on the best-selling Swedish book by John Ajvide Lindqvist that was subsequently adapted into the critically acclaimed 2008 movie directed by Tomas Alfredson (also adapted in 2010 in English language), Let The Right One In is about Henry, a shy and lonely 16-year old kid who lives with his single mother in an apartment building in Vermont. Badly bulied by the bigger, meaner locals, he gets a new friend when Eli moves next door. She’s friendly, aloof, protective, wary and… she’s a vampire. She lives in secrecy with her mysterious guardian. When a series of strange murders pops up in the small town, it attracts the attention of a federal marshal with a mysterious past of his own…
Criminal Minds & Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis penned the pilot script. Marty Eldestein & Becky Clements from Tomorrow Studios serve as executive producers. A+E Networks is the studio. Shooting is expected to start mid-october in Vancouver.
Alongside the new version of Tales from the Crypt, already ordered to series with M. Night Shyamalan producing, TNT goes deeper in its exploration of the horror genre with an order for “Claws”, a series described as “a midnight-dark workplace dramedy-noir”…
Produced by Rashida Jones & her partner Will McCormack through their Warner Bros. TV-based Le Train Train shingle, the project was first sold to HBO in 2013 but was passed on recently. It is now redeveloped at TNT, no longer as a half-hour but as a one-hour drama. Written by Eliot Laurence (The Big Gay Sketch Show), Claws is about a nail salon in Florida and the strange, dangerous women who work there. Sounds like a pitch Ryan Murphy could have come up with!
Created by Jonathan Lisco (SoutLAnd, Halt and Catch Fire, Jack & Bobby). Based on the australian movie Animal Kingdom. Directed by John Wells (ER, Shameless US,The West Wing, Third Watch, August: Osage County). Produced by John Wells, Liz Watts, David Michôd (Animal Kingdom, The Rover), Andrew Stearn & Jonathan Lisco. For Warner Horizon Television & John Wells Productions. 58 pages.
Description:When 17-year-old Josh moves in with his wild, free-wheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town after his mother ODs, he is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess. But after Josh discovers that it’s all being funded by criminal activities, it suddenly becomes clear to him that joining the Cody family comes with more danger and excitement than he might be ready to handle…
With Ellen Barkin (The New Normal, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, This Boy’s Life, Sea of Love), Scott Speedman (Felicity, The Last Resort, Underworld), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders), Shawn Hatosy (SouthLAnd, Fear the Walking Dead), Devon Sawa (Nikita), Jack Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows), Daniella Alonso (One Three Hill, Friday Night Lights, The Night Shift), Ben Robson (Vikings), Ryan Dorsey (Justified), Anna Belknap (CSI: New York)…
STARTS JUNE 7th ON TNT
With Animal Kingdom, TNT is definitely trying to move on and leave their glorious past behind. Forget bad popcorn series like Falling Skies or worse : The Last Ship (even if technically, this one’s still on the air). Forget the Dallas reboot misstep, which was creatively a winner but lost too many viewers in a very short period of time to become anything else but a loser. Forget uninteresting copshows like Perception. Forget Legends & Agent X. Oh, maybe you never heard of them in the first place… And you can already start to say goodbye to Rizzoli & Isles, which is ending at the end of season 7. Major Crimes shouldn’t stay long either if TNT finds what they’re looking for with their new shows: the larger crowd possible with finer products. It’s a big challenge for the most network-y of all the cable channels. They want to be AMC. They want to be FX. Except they broadcast all day long Bones, Castle, Grimm, Charmed, Hawaii 5-0, Law & Order repeats. The transition’s gonna be hard. Is Animal Kingdom, likely coming next summer, is their Mad Men, the show that will change the face of TNT forever?
Undoubtedly, Animal Kingdom is edgier than what they are used to broadcast. It’s packed with antiheroes doing bad things like you know… swearing, stealing, fighting, selling drugs… and probably killing at some point if they need to. They’re not afraid of it, or of anything quite frankly.They’re bad asses you don’t wanna mess with. Everybody know them in town. They’re “respected” because they are so much feared. Even the police is careful with them. They’d love to put them all in prisons, they’re watching them as much as they can but the Codys also happen to be very clever, at least most of them, so trying to catch them is more like wasting time and energy. But as much as they are dangerous, they’re also filled with humor, joy, coolness, sexy ways -they love to throw parties around the pool and forget to put shirts and/or pants on- and they have a certain sense of family values. They’re always hitting each others but it’s clear they love living together. The ciment of the whole family is the mother, nicknamed Smurf. She’s cheery, colorful, funny, she cooks a lot, but let’s not be fooled: she’s even more dangerous than her children! She’s the mastermind and she never rests. Whether she’s a good person in the inside has yet to be proven. But she might be. And watching Ellen Barkin in this role will be delightful, that’s for sure.
So the thing with Animal Kingdom is that it’s dark and gritty, as many cable shows are, but lighter than let’s say… Mr Robot on USA Network. Or True Detective on HBO. Or Ray Donovan on Showtime. Or Sons of Anarchy on FX. Or Breaking Bad on AMC. You get the idea? And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, don’t get me wrong: making something very entertaining with a dark content is not that easy. I can think of only one show to compare Animal Kingdom with, in terms of rhythm, content and enjoyment: Shameless. And it’s not a surprise: both are produced by John Wells. It also made me think of another show and don’t laugh please: The OC! If Ryan had arrived in the trash version of the Coen family! Because basically, Josh is like Ryan: an intelligent teenage boy that never got the chance to succeed in life because of his drug-addict of a mother. Except the Codys, unlike the Coen, won’t help him. They’re gonna drag him to the darkside until (very bad) shit happens. It’s predictable but it should be a hell of a ride for him to live and for us to witness.
Animal Kindgom‘s pilot script successfully balances the fun and the dark, the light and the twisty, the sexy and the gritty, and is definitely a show to look forward to. That being said, I don’t think it has what it takes to become a breakout hit and turn TNT upside down but it’s a first step towards the right direction. Many more are to be taken…
FOURTH UPDATE: TNT has decided to pull the plug on the project (01/07/16)
THIRD UPDATE: The “Blackbirds” pilot is a never-ending story… I just learned the project is still very much in the mix but the shooting is now postponed to october, still in Toronto. Another pilot for TNT, “Animal Kingdom”, adapted from the Australian movie of the same name, will start shooting before, in July (in Los Angeles) (06/26/15)
SECOND UPDATE: The show is now entitled “Blackbirds” and the shooting is expected to start in the summer, in Toronto. With the upfronts coming soon (TNT is on May 13th), more informations may come out.
UPDATE: The pilot will be shot more precisely this spring! Cast announcements will happen shortly.
Article initially published on December 14
A couple of months after the rumored pilot order by TNT -which has never been confirmed by the network so far- Geoff Johns , one of the writers of Titans, answered to a fan on Twitter that it will be shot in 2015.
The Warner Horizon project adapted from DC Comics’ famous Teen Titans series focuses on Dick Grayson, who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new super heroes including Starfire, Raven and many others. Probably better suited for the CW, which has already found success in Arrow and The Flash, Titans is the clear proof that TNT is looking for younger viewers after the cancellations of Dallas, Franklin & Bash and some others that struggled to attract the demo. The channel ordered mostly supernatural drama pilots, since their last successes are genre shows Falling Skies & The Last Ship. The casting process on Titans has already started. The question is: will the superheroes stay teens in this version? Not so sure. The shorter title already looks like a clue…
UPDATE : According to Deadline, the singer has left the project
After a a role in Disney’s Tomorrowland, country singer Tim McGraw pursues a career in acting with a pilot for TNT he’ll star in, “Robbers”, adapted from Christopher Cook’s 2000 debut novel of the same name.
Described as in the vein of Cormac McCarthy/Coen Brothers No Country For Old Men, Robbers tells the story of a cop and two “running buddies” on a crime spree across Texas, plus the girl who becomes the complication in a very unique love triangle. Everyone has a story. Everyone is a mystery. Mc Graw will play one of the two drifters, Ray Bob, described as being worst of the worst. Co-written and directed by Michael Dinner (Justified), the pilot is set to shoot this november in Austin, Texas. Sarah Timberman & Carl Beverly (Masters of Sex, Elementary) are producing for CBS Televison Studios. It’s the first time Tim McGraw agrees to star in a TV show after being pursued for years, especially for the lead of The Last Ship that he refused and ultimately went to Eric Dane.
The pilot order for Robbers comes on the heels of a big push from TNT in changing the brand for more edgier series, following orders for family crime drama Animal Kingdom, Michelle Dockery’s thriller Good Behavior, soapy thriller Home or psychological drama The Alienist. READ MORE ABOUT THOSE PROJECTS HERE.