Continuing a strong selling season, two new television projects have been sold by Tribeca Productions, the production company run by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. The Good Shepherd, a Cold War period drama based on characters that appeared in the 2006 spy thriller directed by De Niro, is being developed by Showtime with De Niro set to direct his first Tribeca TV project.
The original film's writer, Oscar winner Eric Roth, will write and executive-produce the series, which follows the family of a CIA operative. Although the producers had originally planned a feature film sequel, they chose a pay-cable alternative in order to flesh out the characters in a serialized format instead.
The other Tribeca project is a family medical drama from writer/playwright Diana Son that was snatched up by (who else?) CBS. The untitled project revolves around the chief trauma surgeon at a respected Manhattan hospital who has to balance work and family by herself for the first time after her stay-at-home husband dies in a fatal accident. Re-evaluating her life, the workaholic mother decides to take over her father-in-law's family medical practice based in a Brooklyn brownstone as a way of being closer to her children.
In addition, Tribeca recently sold a legal drama series from Game Change writer Danny Strong and The Fighter director David O. Russell to CBS, inspired by a real-life father/daughter law firm. Can't say I have much personal interest in any of these, but I like the idea of a feature film eschewing a sequel in favor of exploring the characters in a television series. De Niro directing a TV project, with Eric Roth writing, should also help the Good Shepherd series attract an audience. What do you think?