EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development Quantum Spy, based on David Ignatius' CIA thriller novel The Quantum Spy, from writer Dave Kalstein Treadstone, Boies/Schiller Film Group, Tony Krantz's Flame Ventures, Anonymous Content and Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.
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Adapted by Kalstein, Quantum Spy is a thriller centered around Harris Chang, a newly promoted Chinese-American CIA officer. After America's top-secret quantum research lab is compromised, he's tasked with finding the traitor and ends up in the middle of a global conspiracy that leads him to uncover dark secrets from his own past.
Kalstein executive produces alongside BSFG President Zack Schiller and BSFG co-founder David Boies, Anonymous Content's Alex Goldstone Apple TV+'s Dickinsonand Flame Ventures' Krantz. Ignatius will co-executive produce. Boies/Schiller Film Group, Flame Ventures, Anonymous Content co-produce. Universal TV is the studio.
Kalstein is a co-executive producer on Treadstone, set in the world of Jason Bourne, which is airing its first season on USA. Previously, he served as co-executive producer on Quantico and also on NCIS: Los Angeles. He is repped by Anonymous Content and attorney Jeff Endlich.
Since Boies/Schiller, co-founded by Schiller and attorney David Boies, has been behind such films as Jane Got A Gun, The Upside and Escape Plan. Upcoming movies include Countdown, The Starling, The Babysitter 2 and an action-comedy take on the long-running reality crime series Cops.
Ignatius is an award-winning Washington Post columnist who has covered international affairs and the CIA for more than 25 years. His other novels include Agents of Innocence, Body of Lies, and The Increment.
Anonymous Content's TV slate includes Mr. Robot USA Network, 13 Reasons Why Netflix , Homecoming Amazon, Dickinson Apple, and the upcoming Home Before Dark Apple and Defending Jacob Apple.
Flame Ventures recently wrapped production on new Netflix series Wu Assassins. Next up is Dangerous Liaisons for Starz. Krantz is currently in pre-production on his next theatrical film, The Plumbers, which he wrote and will direct at the top of next year. Flame Ventures is repped by CAA and attorney Bianca Levin.
On news broadcasts and cable news channels, the company will reduce commercial loads to allow for more programming. On the entertainment front, late night shows as well as unscripted series on Bravo, E! and USA, will all feature extended episodes and bonus content in lieu of some commercial pods.
NBCUniversal will reduce advertising loads across its networks and add more entertainment and news content as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, and as families quarantine at home.
“Now, people all across America are turning to us more for the content that comforts them and connects them to the outside world,” writes NBCUniversal ad sales and partnerships chairman Linda Yaccarino in a blog post Monday afternoon. “At the same time, some marketers across every industry have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift their messages, and they're looking for ideas, tools, and strategies from their most trusted partners. So, in light of everything we're seeing and hearing, we want to do what's right for our audiences and marketers.”
On the broadcast news shows and the company's cable news channels MSNBC and CNBC, the company will reduce commercial loads to allow for more news and information programming.
On the entertainment front, late night shows The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen now originating from the hosts' homes, as well as unscripted series on Bravo, E! and USA, will all feature extended episodes and bonus content in lieu of some commercial pods.
Some of the company's channels will also launch family movie nights, with sponsored but commercial-free airings of films.
Late last month the advertising research firm Magna Global predicted that the U.S. TV ad market would fall by 13 percent in 2020 due to the fallout from the pandemic, calling the situation “totally unprecedented.” The travel, restaurant and movie sectors in particular have pulled back ad spend.
In addition, NBCUniversal finds itself in the position of having to fill many hours of programming that had been set aside for coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have since been postponed until 2021.
Yaccarino also writes that the company will be engaging in outreach to companies and waiving fees “to allow companies to reach their customers directly in their homes and generate much-needed sales.” That will include access to remote production teams, brand assets, talent, translation services, and editing services, which can all be used to create new campaigns even as most people are staying home.
The company also released new research on Monday outlining the increased media consumption during the last few weeks. The research found that digital and linear TV viewing is up, gaming is up significantly, and that streaming services are seeing subscription gains, while...