John Grisham’s ‘The Whistler’ in the Works at TNT; TBS Orders Chris Romano, Hilary Winston Pilots (EXCLUSIVE)

Joe Otterson
·3 min read

TBS has ordered a pair of comedy pilots from writers Chris Romano and Hilary Winston, Variety has learned exclusively.

Romano’s pilot is titled “Kill the Orange-Faced Bear.” It is described as a comedy about one man’s revenge journey after a bear eats his girlfriend.

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Romano will write and executive produce the pilot, with Trevor Engelson and Steven Fisher of Underground producing with Alex Karpovsky. Jake Szymanski will executive produce and direct the pilot.

Winston’s pilot is called “Space.” In the project, long term couple Rob and Marin, on the verge of a breakup, are granted the ultimate “space” to figure out their future when they suddenly begin jumping into the bodies of other couples. I

Winston is writing the pilot with Nick Stoller attached to direct and executive produce via Stoller Global Solutions. Sony Pictures Television will produce.

On the development side, TNT is developing a pair of one-hour drama projects. The first is based on the John Grisham novel “The Whistler.”

It follows government investigator Lacy Stoltz, who is thrust into the case of her career when she’s tipped off to a decades old corruption in the South Florida judicial system. Fred Golan is writing the script with Grisham and David Gerner executive producing. eOne will produce.

The other TNT project in development is called “Deathbed,” based on DC Comic characters created by Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo. When a millennial freelancer is hired to ghost write the memoir of a dying “Adventurer,” she assumes his fantastical stories are the product of dementia, until ghosts from his past drag her into a psychedelic, globe-hopping battle over who gets to write history.

Neil Reynolds is writing the script with Julie Plec executive producing via My So-Called Company. Warner Bros. Television will produce.

TBS is also developing a pair of half-hour, single-camera comedies in addition to the two pilot orders. The first is “The Quiet Zone.” It follows Carina Alpert, a recently divorced astronomer who seizes a job opportunity and moves her kids from Silicon Valley to the National Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square mile area where modern conveniences are limited to protect the country’s largest radio telescope. Surrounded by country folk, electromagnetic hyper-sensitives, and top astrophysicists, she will try to rebuild her life in a tiny 1950s-esque town where unplugging from technology is mandatory in the name of science.

The show is loosely inspired by the real-life existing quiet zone in West Virginia. Jackie Geary is writing and executive producing, with Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive producing under their After January banner. Warner Bros. Television will produce.

The second TBS project in development is “Animal Acres.” The workplace comedy centers on Danny Doyle, owner and head handler, and his eclectic crew of caretakers at a fictional wild animal compound servicing the Los Angeles entertainment community. Jim O’Doherty will write and executive produce. Jason Blum of Blumhouse will also executive produce, with Blumhouse TV producing.

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