A&E Networks, which is enjoying a banner year thanks to the success of Duck Dynasty, Vikings and The Bible, unveiled a slate of new projects at its upfront presentation Wednesday, including a miniseries about Houdini starring Adrien Brody in the title role and reality shows about the real-life Hatfields and McCoys and stay-at-home dads.
A&E will air Modern Dads follows four stay-at-home dads (some married, some single) and the trials and tribulations they go through in their daily lives. The network has also picked up Those Who Kill, a serial killer drama based on a Danish series, produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and starring Chloe Sevigny and James D’Arcy. It will premiere in 2014.
New programming for the History Channel includes a reality series based on the real-life Hatfields and McCoys. Piggybacking on the networks’ 2012 miniseries about the feuding families, Hatfields & McCoys, the new show will track two clans as they debate going into business together.
Adrien Brody will also star as Houdini in a two-day miniseries about the escape artist. A premiere date was not announced. Another scripted miniseries, Sons of Liberty, will focus on the events surrounding the Revolutionary War.
Lifetime unveiled Hillbetties, a country music reality show about aspiring female musicians, and announced that its previously-announced miniseries Bonnie and Clyde — starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger in the title roles, as well as Holly Hunter and William Hurt — will premiere simultaneously on A&E, Lifetime and The History Channel later this year.
The network also aired clips of previously-announced series Devious Maids, the new soap from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, which premieres in June, and Witches of East End, starring Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Julia Ormond, which will premiere later this year.
The diva still has a pulse!
Six weeks after Lifetime pulled the plug on Drop Dead Diva, the network has renewed the dramedy for a fifth season.
According to Deadline, which first broke the news, Diva’s producer Sony TV came up with a more feasible “financial model” for the show, paving the way for Lifetime’s about-face.
Formerly Clueless one Alicia Silverstone has signed on to headline the Lifetime pilot HR, lifting a cast contingency on the project and allowing it to move forward with production, Deadline reports.
Silverstone will play the Director of Human Resources for an international conglom who, after suffering a brain injury, adopts a less-rigid and more bold approach to her job.
HR was initially greenlit as a pilot last summer — along with the Renee Zellweger-produced Cinnamon Girl (recently snuffed), The Secret Lives Of Wives (also snuffed) and Witches Of East End (fully cast and ordered to series) — with a contingency placed on the casting of the lead role.
Silverstone’s TV credits include a Season 1 arc on Clueless co-star Jeremy Sisto’s Suburgatory, a Childrens Hospital appearance and the ill-fated 2006 NBC sitcom The Singles Table.