tariel22 (tariel22) wrote,

The CW orders TV pilot from Tom Welling Productions

I'm sure by now that all the Smallville fans on my flist have seen the news that the first project from Tom Welling Productions, a TV pilot called Hellcats (formerly known as Cheer) was picked up for a pilot presentation by the CW. A pilot presentation is shorter than a full pilot, and therefore less expensive and quicker to make. It can be interpreted as a sign of tentativeness on the part of the network, but it doesn't mean the show won't go to series. Castle, for example, was picked up based on a presentation.

My reaction to the news? Yay! Congratulations, Tom! I wish him great success in all his endeavors, and I'm so interested to see the choices he'll make when he's truly in charge of a project. If the show is anything like the book upon which it's based, I think it has a lot of potential. Tom is listed as executive producer on the project, with Kevin Murphy (Caprica, Reaper, Desperate Housewives, Ed) listed as creator and executive producer.

Of course, though, I'm concerned about what this will mean to Smallville if the show is picked up for S10. We've already seen Clark's screen time go down this season; will Tom ask that his role be reduced even further so he can devote more time to Hellcats? I can't really see him putting his name on something without taking an active part in it. Does he intend to direct on the new show? Will it film in L.A., far from the Smallville production offices, requiring lots of travel time? Tom does so much already, how can he add such a big project to his busy schedule without taking away from something else?

We don't know if Tom's pilot will ultimately become a series, and we don't know for sure if Smallville has a future beyond this season. I'm both excited and apprehensive about the possibilities, but for right now I'm just looking forward to Absolute Justice (two more days!), and hoping that the rest of the episodes in S9 are good, especially if they turn out to be the last new ones we ever see.

Here is yesterday's announcement from Variety:

PILOTS: Tom Welling, Hayden Panettiere add "CW producer" to their credits
By: Michael Schneider
Tuesday, February 02, 2010, 5:02 PM

"Smallville" star Tom Welling and "Heroes" thesp Hayden Panettiere have lined up pilot presentation orders at the CW -- but as behind-the-scene producers.

Welling has teamed with Kevin Murphy ("Reaper"), who is the writer behind "Hellcats."

Murphy EPs the project, which centers on the world of competitive college cheerleading, along with Welling. (The CW describes it as "Election" meets "Bring It On." May we add, perhaps, "Glee" minus the singing?)

Warner Bros. TV and CBS TV Studio are behind the show, along with the Tom Welling Co. Superman's all grown up!
[ ... ]

And the original announcement from October, when we first heard about Tom's production company:

Kevin Murphy joins 'Caprica'
'Housewives' alum in tube groove
By: Michael Schneider
Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 8:00 PM

"Desperate Housewives" alum Kevin Murphy has put together an eclectic slate -- ranging from a CW drama on which he's working with "Smallville's" Tom Welling to a stage adaptation of "Heathers."

Murphy has also joined the staff of Syfy's "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica" and is supervising another project for USA.

At the CW, Murphy is adapting the book "Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders" through Warner Bros. TV and Welling's production shingle, Tom Welling Prods.

The book, written by Kate Torgovnick, is a real-life account of the world of collegiate cheerleaders. Torgovnick followed teams from Stephen F. Austin U., Southern U. and the U. of Memphis as they went from tryouts to the national championships.

"I read the book, got halfway into it and said, 'We have to do this,' " Murphy said. "It's a group of people that for them, it's all about winning. Any time you have a series about people who want something desperately, it's fodder for a fantastic soap opera."

Murphy will exec produce with Welling and A.J. Marcantonio, who heads up Welling's company.

Murphy said he imagines the show as a cross between "Election," "Saved" and "Heathers."
[ ... ]
Tags: hellcats, tom welling productions
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