Warren Leight's in for 'Lights Out'

9:03 PM PST 07/23/2009 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

Showrunner will co-run FX series if picked up

"In Treatment" executive producer/showrunner Warren Leight has joined FX's drama "Lights Out."

He will serve as an executive producer and showrunner alongside creator Justin Zackham if the pilot, executive produced by Phillip Noyce, is picked up to series.

With Leight aboard, that now appears likely.

Additionally, Leight has inked a script deal with Peter Chernin's recently launched TV production company run by former Universal Media Studios president Katherine Pope.

Meanwhile, a third-season pickup for "Treatment" remains in consideration at HBO, but if that happens, the therapy-themed drama starring Gabriel Byrne will have a new showrunner following Leight's departure.

Complicating the pickup decision is that the Israeli series on which the HBO show is based only ran for two seasons, so a third season must be written from scratch.

Fox TV Studios/FX Prods.' "Lights" centers on Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany), an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife (Melora Hardin) and three daughters after his fighting days are over.

Trying to figure out his next gig, Leight said he read all of this year's pilots, but only one, "Lights Out," made him think, "I wish I'd written this one."

"I've always been fascinated by what happens to athletes when the game is over, how they make the adjustment to a life after the crowds are gone," he said. "The (protagonist) also is a father struggling to keep the standard of living he's set for his family, and that is something a lot of people are going through right now."

On the potential series, Leight would join Zackham, Noyce and Ross Fineman, who exec produced the pilot, directed by Clark Johnson.

Leight was in a similar position a year ago when he inked an overall deal at HBO and was attached to join "Treatment" as exec producer/showrunner before it was picked up for a second season. A renewal for the series followed shortly.

Before "Treatment," Leight spent six years on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," rising to exec producer/showrunner.

After "Law & Order" and "Treatment," which the WME-repped Leight compared to "going through TV college and TV grad school," he said he feels ready to run his own show, which he hopes will be the project he is hatching with Pope, who oversaw "Criminal Intent" at UMS.

Although there is no concept yet, he is looking to do an hourlong show that might have a complicated character at its center, similar to those played by Vincent D'Onofrio and Byrne on "Criminal Intent" and "Treatment," respectively.

At FX, "Lights" is one of two drama pilots in contention for a series order, along with a Sony TV-produced drama based on an Elmore Leonard story starring Timothy Olyphant that recently has been delivered to the network.
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