Rumors are circulating that the E! Network will be the next cable mainstay to venture into developing original scripted series.
Deadline reports that the network known for its celebrity worship is close to deals that would put two original pilots into development.
The first project, entitled "Songbyrd," comes from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC's "Smash." The series is centered on the original music of Grammy winner Dianne Warren, drawing on her experiences in the music industry, and will feature many of her more notable songs such as Ton Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart," Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," and more. The pilot is written by "Grey's Anatomy" scribe Krista Vernoff under Zadan and Meron's NBCUniversal deal.
"The Royals," meanwhile, is said to be a modern day spin on the opulence of British monarchy, the ensemble centering on a regal and influential family which gives its point of view on corruption by power, wealth and desire. The pilot is written by Mark Schwahn ("One Tree Hill"), who will also executive produce along with Brian Robbins and Joe Davola ("Smallville").
Both pilots getting picked up for series is said to be contingent on the right cast taking shape. The push toward original scripted series is in keeping with a mandate from NBCUniversal leadership, headed up by Bonnie Hammer. What do you think of these potential projects?