WGN America Picks Up New Scripted Drama MANHATTAN
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(R)- 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."