by Joe Drum
Bad Robot Productions, Inc.
1925 Century Park E Floor 22
Los Angeles, CA 90067-2701
Phone: (310) 392-3308
J.J. Abrams, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Bryan Burk, Executive Vice President
2012 Company Activity
January 13, 2012 – Paramount Pictures posted a press release to announce that J.J. Abrams had began production on the next “Star Trek” film. The sequel is set to release on May 17, 2013 in 3D. The studio was enthusiastic to announce this news, as Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” received rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and went on to gross $385 million worldwide at the box office. From the press release: “Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions present a Bad Robot Production of a J.J. Abrams Film. Returning to their posts on the Enterprise are John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin. They are joined by new cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve and Peter Weller.”
January 16, 2012 – “Alcatraz,” a new television series co-produced by Bad Robot Productions premieres on FOX. Executive-produced by J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, the show follows the mysterious reappearance of 302 dangerous prisoners and guards from the notorious Alcatraz prison located on an island in San Francisco Bay, half a century after their sudden vanish. The show stars Sarah Jones, Lost-alum Jorge Garcia, and science fiction-legend Sam Neill.
J. J. Abrams on “Alcatraz”:
January 22, 2012 – J.J. Abrams’ science fiction television series “Fringe” continues to battle ratings on Fox. The show, co-produced by Bad Robot Productions and Warner Brothers, is currently winding down its fourth season. Tired of losing money on the series, Fox executives are going back and forth with Warner Brother’s representatives in an attempt to reduce the show’s license fee. If the show were to continue into a fifth season, the show would eclipse 100 episodes, the “magic number” in the realm of syndication. Abrams, the shows creator, commented on the matter, adding “we remain hopeful that “Fringe” will be able to continue.” Worst-case scenario, the show’s season four finale could serve as a series finale if need be, according to executive producer Jeff Pinkner.
January 31, 2012 – The CW network has ordered a one-hour pilot dubbed “Shelter” from J.J. Abram’s and “One Tree Hill” creator Mark Schwahn. The drama, to be executive-produced by Bad Robot Productions, follows the lives of the guests and staff members of a prestigious New England summer resort. This project will be the first time Abrams has returned to the CW since his debut on the previously named W.B. network’s show “Felicity” which aired from 1998-2002. Additionally, it will give him the chance to work with CW president Mark Pedowitz and executive vice president of drama development Thom Sherman, who worked together on Abram’s ABC hit series “Lost.”
February 2, 2012 – NBC has ordered a pilot for the drama “Revolution” from J.J. Abrams and “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke. Kripke will write the script, which surrounds “a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.” Abrams and Bryon Burk will executive produce the show via their Bad Robot Productions shop. This will be J.J. Abrams second television attempt at NBC, where his CIA drama “Undercovers” failed to be picked up after a few months last season.
February 8, 2012 – Jon Favreau has been chosen to direct the pilot for the upcoming epic-adventure thriller “Revolution” for NBC. The latest project from J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot handle, the drama revolves around a group of people struggling to survive in a world suddenly without energy. While this is the first drama pilot Favreau will pen, he is no stranger to the game, having written comedy pilots for ABC’s In Case of Emergency and currently CBS’ Tweaked. Favreau’s most recent credits include his role as director for the Iron Man films and last summer’s Cowboys and Aliens.
February 22, 2012 – Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions jointly announced the extension of their first-look agreement through December 2015. The original deal has resulted in such films as “Mission: Impossible III,” “Cloverfield,” “Star Trek,” “Morning Glory,” “Super 8,” and most recently, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” Paramount is currently filming the sequel to 2009’s “Star Trek” with the help of Abrams’ Bad Robot for a May 2013 release. It can be assumed the two will produce a third film in the franchise if the second film proves as fruitful as the first. Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, had this to say on the agreement: ““J.J., Bryan Burk and the whole Bad Robot team are an integral part of Paramount and we’re proud to continue our collaboration. Their pictures have extraordinary resonance around the world and we’re so pleased Paramount will be their home for years to come.” Abrams, who has enjoyed success with Paramount over the last six years, added “Brad, Rob, Adam and the whole Paramount team have given Bad Robot truly incredible support, a fun and smart collaborative environment and access to the best film distribution people in the business. I couldn’t be happier knowing that Bad Robot features will remain at Paramount.”
February 27, 2012 – Actor Giancarlo Esposito has been chosen as one of the leads in the upcoming J.J. Abrams thriller “Revolution.” Esposito is most known for his role as the villainous Gustavo Fring on AMC’s “Breaking Bad” last season. He will play Captain Neville, “a hard-as-steel military man with a genteel southern manner who may not always be what he seems.” The Bad Robot-produced pilot currently sits in the pre-production phase.
March 14, 2012 – CBS has announced that the J.J. Abrams-produced “Person of Interest” has been renewed for a second season. The show entails “a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-CIA agent, Reese, who teams up with a mysterious billionaire, Finch, to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice.” Jim Caviezel and Lost-alum Michael Emerson star. The show is executive-produced by J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, and represents one of Bad Robot Productions’ current television offerings alongside Fox’s “Fringe” and “Alcatraz.”
April 26, 2012 – “Fringe” fans stressing the fate of their beloved show can breath easy. Fox has renewed the science-fiction thriller for a fifth and final season. This news comes after months of speculation from both fans, industry members, and even the show’s producers were bracing themselves for the fourth season finale to be the show’s final bow. The writers had two endings prepared should the renewal not have occurred. In terms of why the decision to move forward with season five was eventually made, a few factors came into play. First, the creation of a fifth season pushes the episode count over 100 for the series, the magical number for syndication deals moving forward. Additionally, Warner Brothers agreed to lower the show’s reportedly expensive license fee. On the announcement, Fox president Kevin Reilly added: “Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve. The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”
Following the announcement, Fox released the below trailer for “Fringe” season five:
“About the Show.” Alcatraz on FOX. FOX. 28 January 2012.
Andreeva, Nellie. “Giancarlo Esposito To Co-Star In JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke’s NBC Pilot ‘Revolution.'” Deadline. 27 February 2012. <http://www.deadline.com/2012/02/giancarlo-esposito-to-co-star-in-jj-abramseric-kripkes-nbc-pilot-revolution/>.
Andreeva, Nellie. “Jon Favreau To Direct J.J. Abrams /Eric Kripke NBC Pilot ‘Revolution.'” Deadline. 8 February, 2012. <http://www.deadline.com/2012/02/jon-fareau-to-direct-j-j-abramseric-kripke-nbc-pilot-revolution/>.
Andreeva, Nellie. “NBC Picks Up Eric Kripke/JJ Abrams Drama Pilot ‘Revolution.'” Deadline. 2 February 2012. <http://www.deadline.com/2012/02/nbc-picks-up-eric-kripkejj-abrams-drama-pilot-revolution/>.
Ausiello, Michael. “Fox Renews Fringe For ‘Exciting and Climactic’ Fifth and Final Season.” TV Line. 26 April 2012. <http://tvline.com/2012/04/26/fringe-renewed-for-season-5/>.
Ausiello, Michael. “Fringe Update: Season 5 Discussions Underway, J.J. Abrams ‘Hopeful’ Show Will Be Back.” TV Line. 22 January 2012. <http://tvline.com/2012/01/22/fringe-season-5-renewal-cancellation/>.
Mitovich, Matt. “CBS Renews 18 Total Shows, Fate of Two CSIs Left Up In the Air.” TV Line. 14 March 2012. <http://tvline.com/2012/03/14/cbs-renewal-announcements-fall-2012/>.
Paramount Pictures. J.J. Abrams Begins Production On the Next “Star Trek” Movie [Press release]. 13 January 2012. <http://www.paramount.com/news/press-releases/jj-abrams-begins-production-on-the-next-%E2%80%9Cstar-trek%E2%80%9D-movie>.
Paramount Pictures. Paramount Pictures & J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Extend Exclusive First-Look Deal [Press release]. 22 February 2012. <http://trekmovie.com/2012/02/22/paramount-extends-deal-with-jj-abrams-bad-robot/>.
Rose, Lacey. “CW Orders Dramas from J.J. Abrams, Mark Harmon and ‘Vampire Diaries’ Producer.” The Hollywood Reporter. 31 January 2012. <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/cw-drama-pilots-jj-abrams-vampire-diaries-286147>.