David O. Russell Drama Lands Series Order at ABC

David O. Russell Directors Future - P 2013
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David O. Russell Directors Future - P 2013

American Hustle's David O. Russell is heading to TV.

Fresh off SAG Award and Golden Globe wins for American Hustle, the prolific producer is attached to executive produce an untitled soap for ABC that the network has picked up straight to series.

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ABC has handed out a 13-episode order to the untitled drama that's described as an upstairs/downstairs soap centered on a private country club.

Russell will executive produce; he co-wrote the story with Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant, who penned the script. Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman (Justified, Masters of Sex, Elementary, Unforgettable) also will exec produce the CBS Television Studios (where the duo's banner is based) and ABC Studios co-production. The deal comes the same day that ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee told The Hollywood Reporter that Russell was the showrunner he most hoped he would wind up doing business with.

The drama marks Russell's first TV drama series. He was previously attached to a 2011 drama set up at FX as a starring vehicle for Connie Britton that did not move forward. In addition to Hustle's SAG and Golden Globe wins, Russell is nominated for two Academy Awards -- for directing and penning the original screenplay. Last year, his Silver Linings Playbook earned two Academy Award noms -- for directing and for adapted screenplay; he also picking up a helming nomination in 2011 for The Fighter.

For ABC, meanwhile, this marks the network's second straight-to-series order of late. The Russell drama joins Secrets & Lies, which the network picked up with a 10-episode commitment. The move comes as broadcast and cable networks have been increasingly handing out larger commitments in a bid to lure high-profile producers and talent as the traditional broadcast calendar shifts to more year-round original programming. 

Russell is repped by CAA and Gang Tyre; Grant is with CAA and Kleinberg Lange.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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