September 24, 2013 9:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Robert Zemeckis, 'Glades' Creator Team for Fox Family Drama
Robert Zemeckis is heading to Fox.
The mega-producer behind hits including Flight, Castaway, Forrest Gump and Back to the Future scored a put pilot commitment for a family drama at the network.
Titled Billy Ray, the character-driven drama centers on a family thrown into chaos when the child who was stolen from them as a baby is returned 16 years later after being raised in rural Alabama by someone with a questionable past.
Zemeckis will direct and executive produce the project alongside writer Clifton Campbell. Zemeckis' longtime producing partner, Jack Rapke, and Jackie Levine are also on board as EPs on the Compari Entertainment entry.
For Campbell, Billy Ray marks his follow-up to A&E's The Glades, which was canceled after four seasons. The ax came after the Aug. 26 season finale delivered a season-best 3.4 million viewers for the cable network.
For Zemeckis, the drama comes a year after he and Rapke signed an overall development deal with Fox's cable-leaning sibling Fox TV Studios, which in addition to The Glades also produced AMC's recently canceled The Killing. The Academy Award-winning director and the former CAA co-chairman inked the August 2012 pact with an eye toward developing and producing TV series for cable.
Zemeckis, Rapke and partner Steve Starkey formed ImageMovers in 1998. The company -- which inked a two-year first-look film producing deal with Universal in 2011 after its exit from Disney -- has been primarily focused on film fare, including Tom Hanks’ Cast Away, Harrison Ford’s What Lies Beneath and motion-capture effort The Polar Express. On the small screen, the company was behind Showtime’s The Borgias, which recently ended its run after three seasons. Zemeckis and Rapke served as executive producers.
Zemeckis is repped by Gang Tyre. Campbell is with CAA and Jackoway Tyerman.