Paramount Plus Developing ‘Urban Cowboy’ TV Series; Justin Simien to Helm ‘Flashdance’ Reboot

Paramount Plus revealed Tuesday it is moving forward on developing TV series remakes of classic ’80s movies “Urban Cowboy” and “Flashdance,” bringing on “Dear White People” creator Justin Simien to write and direct the latter project.

Additionally, the ViacomCBS-owned streamer said during its virtual session at the Television Critics Association press tour it has put a docu-comedy series from “Mr. Show” duo Bob Odenkirk and David Cross in the works.

The “Urban Cowboy” project comes after Paramount Television Studios first set up development on a TV series based on the film of the same name at Fox in 2015, which was later scrapped. The Paramount Plus version of the show, based on the John Travolta-Debra Winger movie, goes deeper into Bud’s journey from farm to the big city in 1980s Houston and will feature iconic music from that era. James Pondsolt is directing and co-writing with Benjamin Percy.

Meanwhile, Simien has come aboard the “Flashdance” TV series reboot — which has been in the early stages of development at Paramount Plus since October 2020, when it was still known as CBS All Access. He will adapt and direct the “contemporary take on the Paramount Pictures classic” that starred Jennifer Beals. Previously, Tracy McMillan was set to write the script and Angela Robinson to direct the pilot for the potential series.

Paramount Plus announced Tuesday it’s developing “Guru Nation,” a modern-day, half-hour docu-style comedy from Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and Bill Odenkirk. Along with co-creating the series, Bob Odenkirk and Cross are set to star as rival cult gurus manipulating the minds of their deluded followers. Jason Woliner, who directed “Borat 2,” is running the project. Executive producers include Bob Odenkirk, Cross, Bill Odenkirk, Woliner, Marc Provissiero, Naomi Odenkirk and Tim Sarkes.

These three projects are in development alongside Paramount Plus’ revival of “Frasier,” which follows the next chapter of Frasier Crane’s story with Kelsey Grammer starring and executive producing.

Also Tuesday, Paramount Plus revealed the title of its upcoming espionage drama series starring Kiefer Sutherland as “Rabbit Hole.” The series finds private espionage operative James Weir (Sutherland) in the midst of a battle over the preservation of democracy in a world at odds with misinformation, behavioral manipulation, the surveillance state and the interests that control these extraordinary powers.

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