Great Expectations And The Prince & The Pauper Re-Imaginings Among E!'s Planned Scripted Dramas

E!'s better known for their news and unscripted content, but it appears the cable network is looking to branch out a bit in the way of scripted content. Among the projects in development are a number of dramas, one of which comes from The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz, and another, executive produced by Ryan Seacrest. And a few of the projects are inspired by classic stories.

Among the scripted projects in development at E! is Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's Laurel Canyon, which centers on a young woman who returns to her dysfunctional extended family in Laurel Canyon with her son after learning that her rock-star legend father has died. The project is based on executive producer/writer Karen Croner's experience growing up in Hollywood Hills.

Ryan Seacrest is among the executive producers for The Stand-In, a drama described as a darkly psychological re-telling of "The Prince & the Pauper," and follow a famous actress who decides to let a "stand in" take over her career while she takes time away from the spotlight in an effort to have a normal life for a change. Of course, the doppelgänger slowly loses herself in the process of becoming a mega-star.

Songbyrd comes from Krista Vernoff (Grey's Anatomy) and centers on a young songwriter who's good at writing love songs but has trouble finding love in her personal life when it turns out the inspiration for her music is revealed to be a lie. This one would feature songs and experiences from Grammy Winner Diane Warren, who's listed among the executive producers, along with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (producers of this year's Academy Awards).

Expectations is based on Charles Dickens story and comes from writer Ron Bas. The project is described as a soap about a morally corrupt family living in New York City and making their fortune in the diamond business.

The Shoreline is written by Carolyn Ingber and centers on a small South Carolina town where a popular soap opera is filmed. There's a major class division between the townspeople and the cast and producers of the show being made there. And yet, their lives are all intertwined, which has the makings of some interesting drama.

Dirty/Pretty comes from The Good Wife's Keith Eisner, along with Jason Markarian and John Mirabella. It's described as a dark comedy that follows a blue collar guy from south Boston who finds himself scouted to be a model in miami. Things get complicated when he's tracked down by two old friends who want to use his new life to expand their criminal endeavors.

Fortunate Son is about a "society golden boy" who's framed for a drug deal by a friend and ends up becoming a criminal informant for the police. That one is executive produced by Kevin Spacey, Michael DeLuca and Dana Brunetti. And then there's The Royals, which is "party fairy tale, part cautionary tale, this contemporary family ensemble is steeped in all of the regal opulence of the British Monarchy and framed by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s a tale of men and women corrupted by power, wealth and desire while looking at the nature of celebrity from a Royals’ point of view." The Royals comes from March Schwahn (One Tree Hill).

So it seems E! has a number of interesting sounding projects in development. The above projects were among E!'s recent upfront announcements, which also included a number of unscripted projects in development, and a handful of upcoming new series.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.