In an apparent bid to take all of the week’s entertainment news stories and jam them into a single project, ABC has announced that it’s ordering a pilot for a modern-day political drama based on William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The news comes not long after NBC announced its own present-day adaptation of a literary classic, Sawyer & Huck, and Lionsgate started development on a 300-esque epic of the Roman dictator’s life. (If the minds behind this new show can work bourbon into the premise somehow, we might have finally achieved the fabled Newswire Singularity.)

Caesar comes courtesy of producers Matt Lopez and John Glenn, and centers on the murder of a populist Los Angeles mayor, whose death by assassination sends the city into chaos. (People who don’t want to be spoiled about what happens next should stay away from HBO’s Rome, Shakespeare’s 400-year-old play, or any discussion of the history of the last 2000 years.) Lopez, the writer behind such Shakespearean works as Bedtime Stories and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, last worked with the network for a pilot called Gothica. Glenn, meanwhile, is not that John Glenn, unless you think of that John Glenn as “the guy who has an angel show in development with Roma Downey, and who’s behind the punnily named legal drama Miranda’s Rights for NBC.”

Advertisement

Julius Caesar is, of course, in the public domain, which makes it perfect for a network looking to get easy name recognition at the best of all possible prices. (Which is to say, a modicum of guilt and the negligible loss of some English majors’ respect.) Also, it means that Glenn and Lopez probably already know where to go when it’s time to start adding music to the soundtrack:

Advertisement