Showtime Green-Lights Several Pilots


Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt is pushing the pedal to the medal with pilots, green-lighting a half-dozen series, evenly split between dramas and comedies.

Richard Pryor will executive-produce Pryor Offenses, a half-hour inspired by the comedian's stand-up material and his real-life experience when he was about to break through while confronting a number of personal issues.

Weeds centers on a suburban mom and her daughter, while an untitled third comedy is billed as a Seinfeld-like take on living in New York.

On the dramatic side, The Cell will focus on an ex-con recruited by the FBI to go infiltrate an Islamic terrorist cell, while Southie tracks two brothers at opposite ends of the tracks in Boston: One’s a politician, the other a gangster.

Hate is a fictionalized take on the New York Police Department’s real-life bias unit.

David Janollari -- who teamed up with Greenblatt as principals in The Greenblatt Janollari Studio (Six Feet Under) before the former joined the premium network -- is one of the three executive producers on the pilot.

A Showtime spokeswoman said production on the pilots would begin this summer, emphasizing that no commitments have been made beyond this stage. If they pass muster, some of the eclectic mix of shows could end up on the premium network’s 2005 slate.