Upfronts: Pivot Slate Adds Scripted Drama

Participant Media-owned network Pivot greenlit its first original scripted drama series as part of its 2014-15 development slate, while also retooling its nightly TakePart Live talk show and setting an August return date for original comedy series Please Like Me.

In all the network slated four new shows, has 11 series in development and plans for more than 300 hours of original programming this year.

The 12-episode scripted drama series Fortitude stars Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sienna Guillory and Luke Treadaway and follows the dark secrets of Fortitude, a quiet Arctic town shaken by the brutal murder of a research scientist. A co-production with Sky Vision in the U.K., which originated it, and written and executive produced by Simon Donald (Low Winter Sun), Fortitude is an “eco-thriller” that is slated to debut in early 2015, Pivot officials said at an upfront event in New York City today.

Other new series include Human Resources, a “docu-comedy” about deadline-driven world of an innovative New Jersey-based company; and Welcome to Fairfax, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at a vibrant and artistic block that has emerged in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles.

The network has also set several specials including Freestyle Love Supreme, a 10-episode series that focuses on the live New York City improvisation show; as well as June 1 coverage of the annual George Foster Peabody Awards, the first year of a three-year partnership around the awards with the University of Georgia.

The live show TakePart Live is being retooled and will return on May 12 with two new cohosts -- Meghan McCain and Eddie Huang -- along with returning host Jacob Soboroff (pictured) and new producers in Michael Davies and Embassy Row. The show is moving to 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, four nights per week, from midnight and will highlight the hosts' different takes on news of the day.

Coming-of-age comedy series Please Like Me, starring Australian comedian Josh Thomas, will return for a second season on Aug. 8, paired with newcomer Human Resources, the network said.

The millennial-targeted network also announced several scripted series in development including comedy-based improv series Laughing Matters; animated comedy Leader Town; comedy series Panic Years and drama series Prison Earth and Thirst. Unscripted series include America’s Got Issues, American Rewind, and an Untitled Andrew Jenks Project, said network officials.

Kent Gibbons contributed to this article.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.