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'Fringe' Producers, 'Shield' Scribe Sell Western to Fox

John Hlavin, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will team for the drama project revolving around the life and battles of Wyatt Earp.

John Hlavin Headshot - P 2011
John Hlavin

Hot writer John Hlavin is boarding the small screen's Western train.

Fox has picked up an untitled Western script from The Shield scribe Hlavin that will explore the origins of Wyatt Earp, chronicling the well-known incidents in his life -- including the Gunfight at the OK Corral -- as well as details about his brothers bringing order to a lawless frontier.

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Hlavin has sold the project to the network through 20th Century Fox Television, which brought in Fringe's Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci through their studio-based K/O Paper Products to executive produce the project. K/O Paper Products president Heather Kadin will also executive produce alongside Hlavin, whose TV credits include Trust Me, Daybreak and E-Ring.

Hlavin, who has the Western The Gunslinger in development at Warner Bros. Pictures, is currently penning Risk for Sony Pictures and working with DreamWorks on his untitled heist film. His big-screen credits also include penning the fourth installment in the Underworld franchise for Screen Gems.

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Kurtzman and Orci inked a three-year overall deal with 20th Television last year and had drama pilots Locke & Key and Exit Strategy set up at Fox that didn’t get the series pickup in May. This is their second project this development season; CBS picked up a female-fronted drama revolving around a congresswoman who fights for the underdog.

Overall, the Hlavin project continues the Western trend this development season.

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TNT recently gave pilot orders to Gateway, an action-adventure set in 1880s Colorado from The Pacific’s Bruce C. McKenna. ABC is developing Gunslinger from Detroit 1-8-7’s David Zabel and Hogtown, a procedural pitch set in the Wild West from Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore.

CBS and GoodFellasNicholas Pileggi also are prepping Ralph Lamb based on the 1960s adventure of the cowboy-turned-Las Vegas sheriff; while NBC has Shaun Cassidy’s 1840s-set The Frontier as well as a Western project told from a female perspective from Friday Night Lights’ Peter Berg.

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AMC’s Union Pacific Railroad 1860s Western Hell on Wheels, meanwhile, is first out of the gate, premiering Nov. 6.

Hlavin is repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit