A post-Sopranos HBO set the golden standard for original series on pay cable, Showtime got in the game with their flagship drama Dexter, and Starz recently gained ground with the successful first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Upstart premium channel Epix has recently jumpstarted efforts to get in on the original content market with projects in development from Chris Offutt (Weeds) and Larry Charles (Curb Your Enthusiasm). Now the channel has signed Oscar-winner Oliver Stone and Bruce Wagner to a development deal which will immediately result an adaptation of the Wagner novel Still Holding, a satire of Hollywood excess.
Stone remarked on the union, “I’m interested in the possibilities in television. When a company like EPIX comes along, it’s a chance to break new ground.”
Hit the jump for the full press release.
Here’s the official press release:
OLIVER STONE AND BRUCE WAGNER TO DEVELOP ONE HOUR DRAMATIC SERIES FOR EPIX
Academy Award winning Stone Latest Talent to Join Standout Creative Roster for EPIX
NEW YORK, NY, April 30, 2010 -Oscar-winning producer/writer/director Oliver Stone and Bruce Wagner have entered into a development deal with EPIX it was announced today. Their first project will be a one hour scripted dramatic series, “Still Holding,” based on the iconoclastic Wagner’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The series will explore the colliding worlds of three disparate people in Los Angeles, and the violent consequences of love and betrayal, of holding on and letting go. Stone and Wagner will serve as executive producers. They previously worked together on the mini-series “Wild Palms.”
Stone is the latest award-winning talent to develop original programming for the multiplatform premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service. “I’m interested in the possibilities in television,” Stone explained. “When a company like EPIX comes along, it’s a chance to break new ground. They want to make their mark. They want to entertain and provoke; they don’t want their drama or comedy watered down. The team at EPIX showed early on they could provide the supportive environment and creative freedom necessary to recognize the vision Bruce and I have for ‘Still Holding.” EPIX has the two vital organs that are essential to all human endeavors: guts and heart.”
Mark Greenberg, President and CEO of EPIX, added: “EPIX offers a unique canvas for talent to fully realize their creative vision across multiple screens on television and online. We’re thrilled that filmmakers and writers have flocked to our network with bold, daring concepts – they truly get what we’re trying to do. To have Oliver and Bruce come to us for his first scripted drama is a validation of what we are trying to do at EPIX – backing our talent and giving them the creative freedom they deserve.”
Bruce Wagner has been a Pen Faulkner finalist for his novel Chrysanthemum Palace. He alsoco-wrote and produced Tracy Ullman’s show “State of the Union” for Showtime and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue and Vanity Fair.
EPIX‘s aggressive roster of development projects includes the recently shot “Tough Trade,” a one-hour drama pilot starring Sam Shepherd and Lucas Black with music, by Academy Award winner T-Bone Burnett (“Crazy Heart”) The project, about three generations of a music dynasty set in Nashville, is executive produced by Jenji Kohan, Sean Furst and Bryan Furst, and created by Chris Offutt. Also recently announced was the half hour single camera comedy “iCon” from the legendary Emmy Award-winner Larry Charles (“Seinfeld”, “Entourage”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Media Rights Capital (MRC). Charles will co-write the script with Dan Lyons, a technology consultant for Newsweek, the creator of the popular Fake Steve Jobs blog and author of “Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs” The show is a savage satire centering on a technology tycoon whose ego is a study in power and greed.