Sony, Sonnenfeld: a developing story

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Barry Sonnenfeld is staying put at Sony Pictures TV. His new one-year pact is exclusive for Sonnenfeld's scripted development and gives the studio first look at his unscripted and digital projects. Additionally, Sony TV has Sonnenfeld in first position for directing.

Development is a priority for Sonnenfeld this year. He is busy prepping several projects expected to be taken out to the networks shortly, including the comedy "Things a Man Should Never Do Past 30" and a high-concept drama from Jeff Rake.

"Things" is based on the book by Esquire articles editor David Katz. Katz and Esquire editor at large A.J. Jacobs are attached to write, with Jay Scherick and David Ronn supervising.

Rake's project is described as a legal drama with a supernatural twist.

On the digital front, Sonnenfeld is mulling an online series based on his monthly "Digital Man" Esquire column as well as an interview show. (He showed off his interviewing skills as the moderator of the network chiefs HRTS luncheon last fall).

After spending the past year at Sony TV, Sonnenfeld was eager to extend his stay there.

"I really respect (co-presidents) Jamie (Erlicht) and Zack (Van Amburg)," he said. "I have a very good working relationship with them, and I wanted to be at a studio that is independent of any specific network. I want to be able to sell to anyone."

At Sony, Sonnenfeld, repped by WMA and attorneys Melanie Cook and Stephen Espinoza, is attached to medieval drama "The Kingdom," which is being reworked by British writer Tony Jordan.

Outside of the deal, he serves as an exec producer on the ABC/Warner Bros. TV series "Pushing Daisies," which is returning for a second season in the fall.

Sonnenfeld said he may direct more episodes of the critically praised show, probably in the second half of the season, as his attention in the next few months will be focused on his development for Sony TV. (partialdiff)
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