Storyline tracks Warren

Songwriter script among 4 projects

A drama inspired by the life of hit songwriter Diane Warren is one of four projects that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's Storyline Entertainment has set up at broadcast and cable networks under its overall deal at Touchstone Television.

Lifetime Television has given a script order to the untitled Warren project, originally developed for ABC (HR 10/7/05). The one-hour project centers on a fictional female songwriter who is in the midst of trying to start her burgeoning career and has to deal with her large, overbearing and dysfunctional family.

The project will feature music from Warren's catalog, including her most recognizable hits as well as new tunes that she will write for the series. Warren's catalog includes such songs as LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live," Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me," Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart" and Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."

Toni Kalem is the creator of the project. Kalem's credits include the film "A Slipping-Down Life," which she wrote and directed, as well as a role as Angie Bonpensiero on HBO's "The Sopranos."

Warren is the executive consultant on the project, while Zadan, Meron and Kalem are the executive producers.

Meanwhile, ABC has ordered a script for "The Box," a one-hour drama focusing on a legal case that takes place over the course of one season. The project follows the 12 jury members, who are faced with deliberating a high-profile murder trial as they uncover truths about the case, their fellow jurors and themselves.

Michael MacLennan, whose credits include Showtime's "Queer as Folk," and Paul Davidson, author of such books as the recent "The Lost Blogs," are writing. Fred Gerber (Fox's "House") is attached to direct.

Zadan, Meron, MacLennan and Gerber are executive producing, while Davidson is co-executive producing.

At NBC, Storyline has been given a script order for a half-hour comedy titled "The Family Game," from British writer Alex Spiro. The single-camera project centers on a fortysomething man who, after being fired from his respectable job, discovers that by taking his life in a new direction, he has a newfound freedom that begins to cause huge problems with his well-bred wife and conservative family.

Zadan and Meron are executive producers. Spiro, whose comedy script "Ben" is being adapted to U.S. television at NBC, is co-executive producer.

For ABC Family, Storyline is developing a pilot for a variety show that is described as "a unique and new approach for a variety series for a new generation." The project is structured as a youthful "house party" with young and fresh talent, featuring anchor hosts and showcasing performances from the newest musical, comedy and dance acts.

Zadan and Meron are executive producing.

All four projects are produced by Touchstone and Storyline. Royce Bergman, vp development/production, will oversee the projects for Storyline.

In addition to their series development, Zadan and Meron are executive producing the adaptation of "A Raisin in the Sun" for ABC and Sony Pictures Television, where the company also has a deal for telefilms, and are developing and prepping the movie musical "Peter Pan," also for ABC and Sony. They recently completed the comedic movie "Wedding Wars," also from Sony, which airs Dec. 11 on A&E Network.

On the feature film side, the duo, who were executive producers on the Oscar-winning "Chicago," are producing the musical "Hairspray" for New Line Cinema and shooting "The Bucket List" for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Zadan and Meron recently signed with CAA (HR 9/8). Gerber also is repped by CAA. MacLennan, Davidson, Spiro and Kalem are repped by WMA.
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