EXCLUSIVE: ABC has bought one of its most ambitious projects so far this development season — a globetrotting adventure from North Country writer Michael Seitzman and producer Mark Gordon. Based on the Jack West Jr. book series by best-selling Australian action thriller novelist Matthew Reilly, The Seven Wonders is a treasure hunt show in the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Arc and National Treasure. It centers on an unlikely five-member team led by commando-turned-archeologist Jack West Jr. as they search the world for seven pieces of an ancient and powerful relic and along the way form a unique non-traditional family that includes West Jr.’s 12-year-old adopted daughter. Seitzman will write the pilot script for the project, whose first season will be based on the first 2 books in the series, The Seven Ancient Wonders (Seven Deadly Wonders in the U.S.) and The Six Sacred Stones. Seitzman got on board to adapt the novels the moment he read them. “They feel like big boyhood and girlhood adventure stories; they are really fun and remind me of all the movies in the genre I loved,” Seitzman said. He called the novels “a mixture of history and historical truth and carefully drawn-out plausible fiction.” Seitzman is writing the project under the new two-year deal he signed with ABC Studios in May. He will executive produce it with frequent collaborator Gordon, who also renewed his overall deal at the studio in the spring. This is Seitzman’s second project at ABC this season. He is also writing/executive producing family soap Americana which, like Seven Wonders, is produced by ABC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co. WME-repped Seitzman was in a similar situation 3 years ago when he also developed 2 shows for ABC Studios with Gordon, Empire State and House Rules, both of which were picked up to pilot by ABC and CBS, respectively. The Mark Gordon Co. also is having a busy selling season. In addition to The Seven Wonders, the company just sold light romantic procedural Winging It to ABC. In the vein of Hitch, the project, written by Ron Bass and Jen Smolka, follows a disparate but lovable group of expert relationship coaches (wingmen) as they struggle to bridge the gap that technology has built between people. Also in the hopper at ABC is another Mark Gordon Co.-produced dating project, comedy Status Update from Friends With Benefits writers Keith Merryman and David Newman, and another comedy, Scott King’s Stuck In Reverse.
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