A&E Ramps Up Scripted Development


For the first time in five years, A&E is getting into the scripted business, moving forward on pilots from familiar names like Steven Bochco and Joel Silver.

A&E has begun development on six projects, potential series compliments to the network's syndicated pick-ups.

"With powerful platforms such as 'The Sopranos,' 'CSI: Miami' and our original real-life franchises, the development of our own signature drama series now becomes a key priority," says Bob DeBitetto, executive vice president and general manager at A&E. "This initial slate reflects our commitment to developing original drama that compliments these platforms and puts a premium on great character, storytelling and 'A' auspices."

Silver ("Veronica Mars," a slew of film franchises) and writer Michael Frost Beckner ("Spy Game") are behind "Dry River," a drama about crimefighters -- local police and federal agents -- in a Texas bordertown.

Bochco, a 10-time Emmy winner, will produce an untitled drama about a pair of married lawyers who work together in a lucrative divorce practice. Jonathan Abrahams ("Wildfire") is writing that pilot.

Sheldon Turner, writer of "The Longest Yard" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" prequel, is writing "The Hunt," which focuses on a former LAPD cop out of prison after doing time for his part in the Rampart Scandal.

Also on the slate are "Y3," about a man who solves crime in an NYPD uniform, an untitled drama set in the NYPD anti-terrorism unit and "Johnny the Great," which has nothing to do with the NYPD, but was written by "NYPD Blue" alum Billy Finkelstein.

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