John Shiban will write and co-produce a four-hour miniseries on Lifetime, The Gathering.
Witches 'Gathering' for Lifetime miniseries
By Kimberly Nordyke
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Lifetime Television has given the greenlight to its second original miniseries, a four-hour drama titled "The Gathering."
The two-parter tells the story of Michael Foster, a doctor in search of his wife after she vanishes without a trace. Without any logical explanation for her disappearance, Michael's search leads him to dark and sinister findings, including the existence of a cabal of witches gathering in modern-day New York.
Casting is under way; the film is set to air on the women's cable channel in the fall.
Lifetime's first original miniseries, 2005's "Human Trafficking," starred Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland and earned multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Lifetime greenlights 'Gathering'
Eick, Shiban to exec produce thriller
Lifetime will tell advertisers today that its eyes are set on a younger prize, greenlighting projects including a four-hour thriller from "Battlestar Galactica" exec producer David Eick.
"The Gathering," from Sony Pictures Television, revolves around a doctor whose wife suddenly vanishes. In investigating her disappearance, the man uncovers a dark underbelly to New York — including a cabal of witches.
The longform, which will air in two parts, will be exec produced by Eick and John Shiban ("The X-Files"), who wrote the project. Tom Patricia ("Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story") is also onboard as an exec producer, while Bill Eagles ("CSI") is set to direct.
The miniseries looks to morph the thriller genre with some aspects of reality TV, Shiban said.
"We wanted to take a horror staple — witchcraft — and give it a dose of reality and make television that scares because it feels so real," he said.
Lifetime mini is part of a busy slate for Eick, who recently reupped his deal at NBC U (Daily Variety, March 16). The exec producer, currently handling NBC's remake of "The Bionic Woman" and the Fox pilot "Them," also has projects set up at FX and Sci Fi.
As for "The Gathering," Eick said the longform offers a "very timely story."
"The scarier the real world gets, the more it seems we look to allegory to reflect our fears back at us," he said.
"The Gathering" reps Lifetime's second-ever miniseries, behind 2005's top-rated "Human Trafficking." Project is set to air in the fall; no cast has been set.
Lifetime Entertainment prexy Susanne Daniels said Eick and Shiban have "created a truly unique and scary event for Lifetime."
"The storytelling in 'The Gathering' reminds us how unpredictable and unexplainable life can truly be," Daniels said.
Holding its upfront presentation today in Gotham, Lifetime is expected to showcase "The Gathering," along with upcoming new skeins "Army Wives," "State of Mind" and "Side Order of Life." Femme-centric cabler hopes to make a splash this summer with the crop of quirky, younger-skewing relationship dramas.
Information on the project can also be found on MovieWeb.