January 17, 2014 9:16am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Fox Picks Up Dramas 'Red Band Society,' 'Runner' With Eye Toward Series Commitments
Days after Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced he was abandoning the traditional pilot process, the network has picked up two drama projects with an eye toward series commitments.
The network announced Friday that it has added Red Band Society with a "go" on a series prototype and additional backup scripts; and Runner, which has received an off-cycle commitment with an eye toward series production in the summer.
Red Band Society, which received a script commitment in November, explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. The depth of the unexpected friendships allows them to survive the challenges of growing up under such intense circumstances. It's based on the acclaimed Spanish series Polseres Vermelles.
Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire) will pen the script and executive produce the Amblin Television and ABC Studios entry. Y Tu Mama Tambien's Sergio Aguero will executive produce alongside Amblin's Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.
Runner is based on the Turkish series Son and hails from writer Michael Cooney (Identity), with Peter Horton directing and exec producing the 20th Century Fox entry alongside Ian Sander and Kim Moses. The drama, which is to guns what Traffic was to drugs, centers on the traditionally masculine world of arms dealing through the unexpected lens of a woman. After a simple twist of fate, Lauren Marks learns her husband is not the person she believed him to be. Faced with the harsh reality that her life is forever changed, she goes on a truth-seeking journey that entrenches her in a U.S.-Mexican war over weapons and terrorism.
This marks the second Traffic-like project set up this season. NBC's drama pilot Odyssey -- which also hails from Horton -- is described as a Traffic-like thriller that is pulled into an international military conspiracy.
The pickups come as Fox is shifting to year-round scheduling and breaking out of the traditional window of pilot season, when broadcast networks and premium and basic cable networks all compete for writers, producers and showrunners. Reilly noted that the move will allow the network more time to produce better products for year-round scheduling.