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CBS Orders James Patterson's 'Zoo' Drama Straight to Series

Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg will co-write the script for the thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans.

Zoo James Patterson Book Cover - P 2014

CBS is continuing to build up its summer scripted bench.

The network on Tuesday ordered an adaptation of James Patterson's thriller Zoo straight to series for summer 2015, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The network has picked up 13 episodes of the drama, whose script was co-written by Jeff Pinkner (Fringe), Josh Appelbaum (Life on Mars, Star-Crossed), Andre Nemec (Star-Crossed) and Scott Rosenberg (Life on Mars). The four will exec produce the CBS Television Studios drama alongside James Mangold (Walk the Line), Cathy Konrad (Girl, Interrupted), Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen. CBS TV Distribution will distribute the series domestically, with CBS Studios International handling worldwide rights.

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Zoo is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans across the planet. As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, a young renegade biologist is thrust into the race to unlock the pandemic's mystery before there's no place left for people to hide.

Patterson's novel was published in September 2012 by Little Brown and Co., and was a No. 1 New York Times best-seller. The book has been translated into six languages and has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.

The deal comes after Pinkner, Appelbaum, Nemec and Rosenberg's Midnight Radio banner (Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol, The Amazing Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) recently inked a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios. Mangold and Konrad's Tree Line Films banner is also based at the studio.

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Zoo will join a summer lineup that currently features scripted dramas Extant, Under the Dome, Reckless and Unforgettable as well as unscripted hit Big Brother. The network has found continued success with its pricey scripted forays, with Under the Dome returning for its second season this week to win the night, despite a 30 percent dip. Both Extant and Dome were, like Zoo, straight-to-series orders.

Zoo was first put in development in October, with the network giving a production commitment to the drama. Konrad acquired the rights to the book shortly after it was published for a feature film and later approached Patterson about adapting the property as a TV series. The drama marks a reunion for Mangold and Konrad with the network following their short-lived dramas Vegas and NYC 22.

The series marks Pinkner's return to TV following Fringe's five-season and 100-episode run, which ended in January 2013. He, Appelbaum, Nemec, Rosenberg, Konrad and Mangold are repped by WME; Patterson is with CAA.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit