August 17, 2012 2:05pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC Developing Tom Sawyer-Huckleberry Finn Drama (Exclusive)
ABC has given script orders to three very different drama projects from its studio counterpart.
The network is developing Finn & Sawyer, a contemporary take on Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
The drama hails from Detroit 1-8-7 duo Jason Richman and David Zabel and is described as an adventure-themed reinvention that revolves around the two famed literary characters who re-meet as young men in their 20s and form an investigative firm in a bustling and steampunk New Orleans.
Richman and Zabel (ER) will write and executive produce the project from ABC Studios and Temple Hill Entertainment.
Finn & Sawyer is the latest adaptation of the famed novel, which was first published in 1884. Coincidentally, ABC adapted the material for a 1975 TV movie that starred Happy Days duo Ron Howard and Donny Most as Huck and Tom, respectively, and again in 1985 with Drew Barrymore as Hucklemary Finn for another movie of the week.
In addition, the network has picked up The Outsiders, a family drama pitch from Smallville's Ken Biller. The project is inspired by a true story and revolves around a woman who moves with her family from Atlanta to New York to start a new life and ends up becoming the de facto mother to nine underprivileged kids.
Biller, whose credits include TNT's recently renewed Eric McCormack drama Perception, will write and executive produce the project for ABC Studios.
Lastly, Race to Witch Mountain's Matt Lopez has sold Gothica, a supernatural mystery drama to the network.
The project, which is not related to the 2003 Halle Berry feature Gothika, centers on a woman searching for her own identity in modern San Francisco who delves into a world of supernatural mystery and horror, guided by an enigmatic playboy named Dorian Gray.
Lopez (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) will write and executive produce alongside the Mark Gordon Co.'s Mark Gordon (Grey's Anatomy) and Nicholas Pepper, whose ABC pilot Americana failed to move forward last season.
Richman is repped by WME, Zabel is with WME and Hansen Jacobson. Biller is with CAA and Lopez is at ICM Partners and Lichter Grossman.