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ABC Buys Legal Drama From Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland & Writer KJ Steinberg

By | Monday July 22, 2013 @ 4:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In one of the first buys for the upcoming development cycle, ABC has put in development Lawless, from Mistresses developer/executive producer KJ Steinberg and Shonda Rhimes‘ Shondaland. The project tells the story of Joanna James, a maverick lawyer who returns to her hometown to right the wrongs she left behind. It is inspired by the real life of crusading trucker-turned-lawyer Wynona Ward, founder of Have Justice Will Travel. Former victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, Ward got compelled at age 41 by the news of another child in her family getting sexually abused by relatives to go to college and law school and start a group that provides free legal representation and support services to victims of domestic violence in rural areas.

Steinberg is writing Lawless, which she is executive producing with Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers in conjunction with UK-based producers Esther Douglas and Tara Cook. ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based, is producing. This marks a reunion for The Nine co-creator Steinberg and Shondaland. Two years ago, they teamed for Gilded Lilys, a period drama which also was an early buy at ABC and went to pilot. Gilded Lilys was one of two scripts Steinberg wrote during the 2011-12 development season. The other, an adaptation of the British drama Mistresses, received a straight to series order by ABC for this summer. The network recently left the show … Read More »

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ABC Gives Series Order To KJ Steinberg’s Drama ‘Mistresses’ For Summer 2013

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 7:02pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Mistresses, the drama soap from The Nine co-creator KJ Steinberg, which had been on the short list at ABC for a pilot order for fall, is getting a straight-to-series pickup for summer instead. The network has greenlighted the project to series targeted for summer 2013. Based on the British format, Mistresses, whose setup evokes ABC’s departing Desperate Housewives, is described as a provocative thrilling drama that finds four women with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal, and at the mercy of the complex relationships they’ve created. Steinberg wrote the adaptation, which is being executive produced by Bob Sertner and Ecosse Films’ Douglas Rae for ABC Studios. The original series, which ran for 3 seasons on BBC One, is carried in the U.S. by BBC America. Produced by Ecosse, it was created by Rachel Anthony, S.J. Clarkson and Lowri Glain and starred Sarah Parish, Sharon Small, Orla Brady and Shelley Conn.

This marks the second pickup this season for WME-repped Steinberg, who also wrote ABC’s period drama pilot Gilded Lillys and is executive producing it with Shonda Rhimes. ABC has been the most aggressive among the broadcast networks in developing scripted series for summer. Its most recent effort, Missing, originally eyed for last summer, was shifted to a regular season launch after landing Ashley Judd for the lead. Previous ABC summer scripted series developed at … Read More »

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ABC Picks Up Shonda Rhimes/KJ Steinberg Period Drama Pilot ‘Gilded Lillys’

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 3:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has given the pilot green light to Gilded Lillys, a period drama written/executive produced by The Nine co-creator KJ Steinberg and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. Set in 1895 New York City, Gilded Lillys is described as an epic love story that follows the opening of the first luxury hotel in the city and the intermingling of love, treachery and disdain between the classes. The project, from ABC Studios and Rhimes’ studio-based Shondaland, was one of ABC’s first buys in August and is now among the network’s first pilot pickups. It follows the orders to Roland Emmerich’s metaphysical drama and Shawn Ryan/Karl Gajdusek’s Last Resort. Steinberg, who spent four seasons on Gossip Girl as co-executive producer, made a two-script deal at ABC Studios at the beginning of this season. Her other project under the pact, Mistresses, is still in contention for a pilot pickup at ABC. Rhimes, who is executive producing Gilded Lillys with Steinberg and Betsy Beers, sold a slew of projects through Shondaland this season. Her next ABC series, drama Scandal, launches in April. It was the first pilot to get the green light last pilot season.

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