via press release:
USA NETWORK PARTNERS WITH GREG BERLANTI, LAURENCE MARK AND
WARNER HORIZON TELEVISION FOR SIX-HOUR
DRAMA EVENT SERIES “POLITICAL ANIMALS”
PROVOCATIVE LOOK INTO THE SAGA OF A POWERFUL DYNASTY TO
LAUNCH SUMMER 2012
NEW YORK – January 30, 2011 – USA co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel today announced the pickup of the television event series POLITICAL ANIMALS. From acclaimed producers Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark, the six-hour drama, produced by Warner Horizon Television, is slated for summer 2012. This announcement comes on the heels of USA’s unprecedented sixth straight year at #1 as well as the network’s recent Golden Globe® and SAG Award® nominations.
POLITICAL ANIMALS is a bold and significant look at a fictional former first family in turmoil. Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady and current Secretary of State, struggles to keep her family together while simultaneously dealing with the crises of the State Department. She finds an unlikely ally in Susan Berg, a famous D.C. journalist who has spent her career tearing Elaine down. The provocative drama series will tap into the behind-the-scenes dynamics of a high-profile political dynasty, the dark – yet real – human side of life, and the often-disastrous effects of political ambition. Exploring themes that resonate in the current political landscape and taking viewers beyond the glossy ads and well-written public speeches, POLITICAL ANIMALS will reveal a vulnerable family on the verge of falling apart.
POLITICAL ANIMALS is from Berlanti Productions and Laurence Mark Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television. Berlanti wrote and will direct the pilot and serves as executive producer of the series with Mark. Melissa Kellner Berman of Berlanti Productions will co-executive produce.
"We're ecstatic to collaborate with Greg and Larry, a writing and producing dream team of this magnitude,” said McCumber.
"We’ve been chasing Greg for years," said Wachtel. "We can’t think of a better partner to be working with as we expand the storytelling reach of the network."
Leading television and film writer-producer Berlanti previously served as executive producer of the series "Brothers & Sisters" and “Dirty Sexy Money,” and he co-created/executive produced “No Ordinary Family” and “Eli Stone,” for which he was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award. He began his career in television as a writer and, later, executive producer on “Dawson’s Creek” before going on to create the acclaimed drama “Everwood” and co-create/executive produce “Jack & Bobby.” On the feature side, Berlanti produced and co-wrote the super hero blockbuster “Green Lantern,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively and directed the romantic comedy hit “Life As We Know It,” starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel.
Academy Award®–nominated and Golden Globe®–winning producer Mark has helped create a number of acclaimed hit films, including “Dreamgirls,” “Jerry Maguire,” “As Good As It Gets,” “Working Girl” and “Julie and Julia,” among others. He produced the popular 81st Annual Academy Awards®, hosted by Hugh Jackman, receiving an Emmy® nomination. He also produced “I, Robot,” starring Will Smith; “Last Holiday,” starring Queen Latifah; and “The Lookout,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Additional producer credits include “Riding in Cars with Boys,” “Finding Forrester,” “Black Widow,” “Anywhere But Here,” “The Object of My Affection” and “Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.”
USA recently announced a variety of high-profile projects: the nine-episode original reality series THE MOMENT produced by Charlie Ebersol and Justin Hochberg and hosted by NFL star and Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner to launch in third quarter; the original half-hour comedy pilot LOCAL TALENT from Universal Cable Productions with Nathan Lane starring and producing and Douglas McGrath writing, directing and executive producing; and GRACELAND, a one-hour drama, from Fox Television Studios and executive producer Jeff Eastin (WHITE COLLAR), starring Aaron Tveit, Daniel Sunjata, Vanessa Ferlito, Brandon Jay McLaren and Manny Montana. USA is currently the home to ten original scripted series: BURN NOTICE, COVERT AFFAIRS, FAIRLY LEGAL, IN PLAIN SIGHT, NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, PSYCH, ROYAL PAINS, SUITS, WHITE COLLAR and will launch its newest original series, COMMON LAW, this summer.
Warner Horizon Television (WHTV) is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of scripted series for the cable marketplace and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Founded in 2006, this second production entity allows the Warner Bros. Television Group to expand its programming offerings and explore creative options made possible under a new business model. WHTV’s current unscripted series are The Voice for NBC, The Bachelor franchise — which includes The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad — for ABC and Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV. Scripted programs from WHTV are Rizzoli & Isles and the forthcoming Dallas for TNT, Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game for ABC Family and Longmire for A&E.
USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in 102 million U.S. homes. A division of NBCUniversal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and is home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, acquired television series and entertainment events. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com.
USA Network is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.