Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WGN America Orders 13 Episodes of Drama Series, 'Manhattan'

WGN America is quickly ramping up its original scripted content. The network has green-lit its second scripted series, drama Manhattan, for 13 episodes. The series is slated for a summer 2014 premiere.

Manhattan is from writer Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing). It is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world's first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the early 1940s and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their familes as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives. Skydance Television, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate Television will produce the series.

"Sam and Tommy's passion for the world of Los Alamos, the Manhattan Project and the characters who populate it came through the moment we all sat down to discuss the project," said Matt Cherniss, President of Original Content, WGN America. "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," said Marcy Ross of Skydance Television. "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."

"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," added Kevin Beggs, President, Lionsgate Television. "We couldn't have better partners on this project than Skydance and Tribune Studios, and we look forward to a terrific collaboration."

Shaw and Schlamme executive produce alongside David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Ross. Production is slated to begin in New Mexico this winter.