Watch what happens when Bravo, the cable network known for reality TV hits like “The Real Housewives” and “Top Chef,” gets into original scripted programming for the first time.
The network ordered its first two scripted drama pilots last week. “The Joneses,” an adaptation of the 2009 Demi Moore and David Duchovny film of the same name, follows a seemingly all-American family that has to keep a secret when they move to an upscale suburb to start a new life. The project was originally developed at ABC but moved to Bravo in July. Also moving forward is “Rita,” a family drama about a private school teacher who has to combat the school’s bureaucracy and overprotective parents while struggling to raise three teen children.
Bravo is now developing “Moguls,” a drama about a media mogul and his family that will be co-written by screenwriter Charles Randolph (“Love and Other Drugs,” “The Interpreter”) and playwright Sharyn Rothstein (“Camp Monster,” “The Invested”). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project “is described as being similar in tone to Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The West Wing.’ ”
Other scripted dramas still in development at Bravo include “22 Birthdays,” centered on a group of parents at an exclusive private school and their scandalous behavior at a series of lavish birthday parties; “Blowing Sunshine,” which follows the staff and high-profile patients at a fictional private rehab center; “The Darlings,” set on Wall Street after the recent recession; “All American Girl,” taking place in three different time periods at a female lifestyle magazine; a series based on the 1960 Jack Lemmon-Shirley MacLaine classic “The Apartment” in which two 20-something siblings inherit an Upper West Side apartment and rent it out to people having extramarital affairs; and a present-day follow-up to the 1988 film “Heathers” that finds Veronica Sawyer (played by Winona Ryder in the movie) move back to her hometown with her teenage daughter, who faces a new generation of high school drama.
Andrew Wang, Bravo’s VP of scripted development and production, said that scripted projects “give us an opportunity to explore worlds and character interactions beyond our reach with unscripted programming. The projects feature relatable storylines and the strong, unique, aspirational characters that our Bravo audience craves.” The network reportedly hopes to have its first scripted series on the air by the end of 2013.
Also moving into scripted television is the Discovery Channel, which is producing its first scripted miniseries. “Klondike,” based on the novel “Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike” by Charlotte Gray, is about the men who fight nature and each other as they struggle to survive and get rich in a frontier town in the Yukon during the late 19th-century gold rush. The project is written by “Prison Break” creator Paul Scheuring and produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Television, Entertainment One, and Nomadic Pictures. Production is scheduled to begin in March 2013 on location in Alberta, Canada.
“We’ve been developing scripted for some time, but wanted to find the perfect fit. When we read ‘Gold Diggers,’ we knew we finally found it,” Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks, said in a statement. “Discovery created and owns the ‘gold’ narrative with several of our hit series and we’re elated to partner with Scott Free Television and eOne Television on a subject we know so well as our first scripted project.”