September 04, 2013 4:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Joshua Safran Reunites With 'Gossip Girl' Producers, Sells Dramas to ABC, Fox
Following a brief run atop NBC's Smash, Joshua Safran is reuniting with two familiar faces.
The former Gossip Girl showrunner is reteaming with Josh Schwartz's and Stephanie Savage's Fake Empire banner for a drama set up at ABC. Additionally, Safran has sold a second project, with a drama set up at Fox.
First, ABC's Social Circle hails from ABC Studios and Fake Empire, marking the banner's second sale under the three-year overall deal the company inked in January with the Disney-owned unit.
Social Circle is described as a high-concept thriller about how well people really know their friends. In the age of incessant texting, tweets, status updates and Instagram photos, people have become their own publicists, massaging their image. The drama will follow a group of friends from college, now in their late 20s, as they regroup and discover that they don't really know each other well at all.
Social Circle reunites Safran with Fake Empire, where he served as exec producer/writer on Gossip Girl and co-wrote the Universal feature Endless Love (which is currently in production).
"Gossip Girl and Endless Love were such fun to work on together; we're thrilled that Social Circle has us all partnering once again," Fake Empire partner Savage said. "Joshua has a strong, sophisticated voice and a real feel for this world. The show is the perfect expression of the twisty storytelling he excels at."
Second, Safran has Royal set up at Fox via 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment. The drama is a sexy and sophisticated soap about a Kate Middleton type who, after she's caught having an affair, is thrown out of the royal family and forced to take the only job she can get: an assistant and minder to the temperamental, suicidal, drug- and sex-addicted up-and-coming designer Thomas King, who is also running from his own past. Worth noting, the Fox drama is in first position.
Safran, repped by UTA, took over as showrunner on NBC's pricey Broadway drama Smash after creator Theresa Rebeck parted ways with the series. NBC canceled Smash in May.