11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Katherine Heigl CIA Drama Lands at NBC
NBC is getting into the Katherine Heigl business.
The network has landed a CIA drama with the former Grey's Anatomy star attached, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The untitled CIA project is being developed at Universal Television with Alexi Hawley (The Following) on board to pen the script and executive produce. Heigl will star and exec produce alongside Robert Simonds, her mother/manager, Nancy Heigl, Hawley, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz.
The drama, described as Scandal meets The West Wing, revolves around a maverick CIA officer (Heigl) who was plucked from the field to become the president's daily briefer, assuming responsibility for targeting America's most critical threats while navigating the unique lifestyle that comes with such a high-powered job.
"I have been passionate about, and enthralled by, this project from the moment Hank, Rodney and Bob brought it to me over a year ago," Heigl said. "The story is not only compelling and intelligent but a look behind the curtain at the CIA we haven't seen before in film or television. I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to be a part of developing these stories and this character and bringing it all to life. NBC has been a true partner in their passion and support for the show that we've dreamed of making, and I could not be happier about joining forces with them. Together, with our brilliant writer Alexi Hawley, I believe we are going to make great television!"
The drama marks the first in a joint venture between film and TV production company Aardwolf Creative and film producer Simonds. Aardwolf Creative is overseen by two former CIA officers: chairman and CEO Crumpton and Faraon, who serves as president. The company in 2012 formed a joint venture with Simonds' STX to develop film and TV projects.
Katherine and Nancy Heigl exec produce via their Abishag Productions banner.
For the actress, the drama -- should it go to series -- would mark her return to the small screen following her breakout role as Izzie on ABC's Grey's Anatomy. Heigl left the drama in 2010 to pursue other opportunities following a creative clash with producers.
Heigl (27 Dresses, Knocked Up) is repped by CAA and Morris Yorn. Hawley (Castle) is with CAA, The Shuman Co. and Hansen Jacobson.