Aaron Sorkin is moving back into television with a pilot about the cable news business at HBO.
Sorkin, currently an Oscar nominee for his screenplay for “The Social Network,” has been researching a show about cable news for a while and reportedly spent time with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews at MSNBC, as well as at Fox News and CNN. The show has a pilot order from HBO, with Sorkin and Scott Rudin executive producing, Deadline reports.
Backstage drama is old hat for Sorkin: Two of the three previous series he created, “Sports Night” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” were set at TV shows. The new project will probably also be at least partly about the political arena Sorkin dealt with on “The West Wing.” The pilot will film later this year.
In other pilot news:
The CW already has vampires and demons on its schedule, and now it’s going after zombies. The network is developing a script for a show called “The Awakening,” which sets a conflict between two sisters in the context of a zombie plague. William Laurin and Glenn Davis (Lifetime’s “Missing”) are writing and executive producing. [Variety]
ABC has ordered a pair of comedy projects: “My Frickin’ Family,” about a young couple, their new baby and their very different sets of parents; and “Bad Mom,” about a single mother whose parental safety net is removed when her own mother pulls back from helping raise the kids. CBS, meanwhile, has ordered “How to Be a Gentleman” from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” writer/actor David Hornsby. [Deadline]
NBC has ordered a pilot for a cop-show/fantasy drama called “Grimm,” which takes place in a world where characters from Grimm’s fairy tales are real. “Buffy” and “Angel” veterans David Greenwalt and Tim Kouf are writing it. [EW]
Several pilots have booked directors. They are: Alan Taylor (“The Sopranos”) for NBC’s “Playboy,” pilot maven David Nutter (“The Mentalist,” “Supernatural”) for CBS’ drama “The Doctor,” Jake Kasdan (“Freaks and Geeks”) for FOX’s Liz Meriwether comedy, Paul McGuigan (“Lucky Number Slevin”) for ABC’s Shonda Rhimes crisis-management drama and Michael Fresco (“Better Off Ted”) for ABC’s “Suburgatory.” [Deadline]
In casting news, Greg Grunberg (“Heroes,” NBC’s forthcoming “Love Bites”) has signed to star in “Big Mike,” a dramedy about a San Diego detective. Camille Guaty (“Las Vegas,” “Prison Break”) has joined the cast of USA’s “Eden.” [Deadline]