Ilene Chaiken Developing Medical and FBI Dramas at Fox

Ilene Chaiken - Publicity - H 2017
Ricky Middlesworth

Ilene Chaiken is lining up two new projects at Fox.

The Empire showrunner and L Word creator is developing a medical drama and an FBI drama at the network as part of her overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

The first, titled Triage, is described as a medical drama with a This Is Us-esque multiple timeline twist. (This Is Us is also produced by 20th TV.) The project follows two women's lives during three distinct periods: in 2008, when they're surgery interns at Stanford, and in 2018 and 2028, as they explore cutting-edge medical techniques and face both professional and personal challenges. But despite many obstacles, their epic friendship is the one constant in each other's lives they can count on.

Chaiken is writing the hourlong, which has landed a script plus significant penalty commitment, based on material by David Cornue. Cornue is on board as a consulting producer, while Chaiken will executive produce with Tom Lesinski, David Ellender, Jenna Santoianni, Steven Marrs and Courtney Hazlett. Sonar Entertainment and OutEast Entertainment will produce in association with 20th TV.

The second drama, Mrs. Otis Regrets, centers on FBI Special Agent Clementine Otis — wife, mother, patriot — who is in the midst of investigating a domestic terrorism threat when an affair with a prominent government official shatters her life and career at the Bureau. While her former lover endures little blowback from the revelation, Otis is publicly shamed and loses her job, her reputation, her credibility, potentially her family and even her access to the one person that could help her thwart a huge violent incident. 

Landing a put pilot commitment, Mrs. Otis Regrets hails from Chaiken and Melissa Scrivner Love (Person of Interest). The two will exec produce with famed crisis expert (and Scandal co-executive producer) Judy Smith and Oly Obst. 20th TV will produce.

Both projects fall under Chaiken's multiyear overall deal with 20th TV, which she re-upped in July. Chaiken has served as showrunner on the studio and Fox network's hip-hop drama Empire since season one. While ratings have cooled since its breakout first season, Empire remains Fox's biggest hit in its current fourth season.

Before Empire, Chaiken served as creator and showrunner on the Showtime drama The L Word, and she also is attached as an exec producer to the reboot currently in the works at the pay cabler. Chaiken is repped by WME and 3Arts.