EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman has been set to direct a drama series based on James Patterson’s book series Private, which is being pitched around town as a straight-to-series project. Sonar Entertainment is producing. Furman most recently directed Lionsgate’s 2011 feature The Lincoln Lawyer. John McLaughlin (The Black Swan) has written the initial two-episode pilot and will pen future episodes. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro of Tribeca Productions have become involved as exec producers in the project, which will center on the novels’ protagonist former CIA agent-turned-private eye Jack Morgan. Tribeca’s Berry Welsh will serve as co-executive producer, and Patterson exec produces along with Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment. McLaughlin, Furman, Patterson and Tribeca Prods are repped by CAA; Furman is also repped by Atlas Entertainment.

De Niro and Rosenthal also serve as exec producers on NBC’s midseason series About A Boy; they previously produced CBS’ rookie-cop drama NYC-22. Patterson’s most recent book-to-screen adaptation was October’s Alex Cross, which starred Tyler Perry as the famous Washington DC crimefighter/psychologist. A second novel in that series, Double Cross, will be the basis for a second movie.