WGN America Orders 13 Episodes of Drama ‘Manhattan’
via press release:
WGN America Expands Its 2014 Programming Lineup with Second Original Series
WGN America has ordered the drama series MANHATTAN from Skydance Television, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate Television, the TV division of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF).
For Tribune Studios and Skydance Television, MANHATTAN will be the first entry into producing scripted content for their respective newly formed divisions. MANHATTAN also marks WGN America’s second original series since beginning its aggressive push into the scripted programming arena earlier this year.
WGN America has ordered 13 episodes of the drama, written and created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) who will serve as Executive Producer alongside EPs David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. Emmy Award®- winning director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, Sports Night) is attached to direct and will also serve as Executive Producer under his Shoe Money Productions banner. MANHATTAN will begin production in New Mexico this winter for a Summer 2014 premiere.
Set against the backdrop of the greatest clandestine race against time in the history of science – the mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico – MANHATTAN follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives.
“Sam and Tommy’s passion for the world of Los Alamos, the Manhattan Project, and the characters who populate it came through from the moment we all sat down to discuss the project, and we couldn’t be more excited to support them as they bring their vision to life,” said Matt Cherniss, President/GM, WGN America and Tribune Studios. “We feel MANHATTAN has all of the elements to make for a provocative and memorable series and are excited to have the support of Skydance and Lionsgate as WGN America continues its rapid expansion toward year-round original programming on the network.”
“When we read Sam Shaw’s incredible script, we knew instantly that this was the project we wanted to pursue as our flagship television show. Knowing that the brilliant Tommy Schlamme was attached as the director made the project even more undeniable. We found the perfect partners in Lionsgate and my former colleagues that are now at Tribune, Peter Liguori, Matt Cherniss and Jon Wax. We are thrilled and honored to be a part of the WGN America network launch,” stated Marcy Ross, President, Skydance Television.
“We’re delighted that WGN America has chosen MANHATTAN as one of its first original dramas,” said Kevin Beggs, President, Lionsgate Television Group. “The events surrounding the Manhattan Project ushered in a new chapter in world history that still has resonance today, and Sam’s brilliant script has laid the foundation for a truly great series. We couldn’t have better partners on this project than Skydance and Tribune Studios, and we look forward to a terrific collaboration.”
About Skydance Productions:
Skydance Productions creates and produces elevated event-level commercial entertainment. Skydance’s recent releases include WORLD WAR Z, starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster; J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, and G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, starring Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson. Skydance’s next film, JACK RYAN, from director Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Pine, is set for release on December 25, 2013. Skydance projects currently in development include the reboot of the TERMINATOR franchise, to be released on June 26, 2015, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5 with Christopher McQuarrie directing and a disaster film on a global scale titled GEOSTORM written by Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot with Devlin also directing. Skydance’s previous projects include the award-winning Coen Brothers film TRUE GRIT, starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon; MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner and Christopher McQuarrie’s JACK REACHER, starring Tom Cruise.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has 28 television shows on 20 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and Orange Is The New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Tyler Perry’s Temptation, Warm Bodies, Snitch, Texas Chainsaw 3D, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods and Arbitrage. Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.