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Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Seeks Scribes For ‘Ransom’ Writers’ Room Project

Deadline logo Deadline 1/4/2017 Nancy Tartaglione
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Frank Spotnitz’s UK-based Big Light Productions is launching an immersive Writers’ Room Project which will provide unique access to the X Files alum, and involve shadow work on upcoming series. The first show to fall under the scheme is CBS’ just-debuted suspense drama Ransom, for which scripts will be developed in view to a potential second season. There are currently two spaces for UK writers who have already had some work produced in TV, theater or radio, and are represented by an agent.

Created in partnership with Creative Skillset’s High End TV Council through the HETV Levy, the paid scheme will enable intermediate TV writers to gain more experience in long-running series and team writing.

“Big Light is committed to nurturing talent and there’s no better way of demonstrating this than throwing two eager writers into the deep end,” says Spotnitz.

Candidates will need to provide original writing samples — applications from female and diverse writers are strongly encouraged. The call for submissions will close January 13. Folks seeking to apply should contact rosydeacon@biglight.com. Those selected for the shortlist will be interviewed the week of January 23. The start date for successful applicants will be January 30. They will receive an allowance and financial help for living expenses and transportation, with accommodation provided by the project partners.

Ransom is a 13-episode co-production from CBS, TF1 in France and Shaw in Canada that’s created by David Vainola and Spotnitz. The Writers’ Room scheme is developing scripts for Season 2 with the intention that the series will be renewed. It launched in the U.S. on Sunday, averaging about 7.05M viewers and a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49. Ransom will move into its Saturday 8 PM slot on January 7. The Canada-France treaty co-production is a lower-cost acquisition, allowing CBS to use it on a night with little ratings upside like Saturday.

Based on the real-life experiences of internationally renowned hostage negotiator Laurent Combalbert and his partner Marwan Mery, Ransom stars Luke Roberts as Eric Beaumont. He understands criminals better than they do, and uses his insight into human behavior to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. Despite the stakes, Eric refuses to resort to violence, even when confronted by some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. While his considerable powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

Big Light and Spotnitz’s credits also include Medici: Masters Of Florence, The Indian Detective and The Man In The High Castle.

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