ABC has 'Smith' pilot in cross hairs


ABC has given the green light to "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," a one-hour pilot based on the hit feature.

The film's writer, Simon Kinberg, penned the pilot script, about John and Jane Smith, a married couple who both work as assassins.

The film's director, Doug Liman, is on board to helm the pilot and executive produce with Kinberg and Dave Bartis.

"Smith" hails from Regency TV — a co-venture of Fox TV Studios and the film's producer, New Regency — and Liman and Bartis' Dutch Oven. The project originally was picked up by the network in January 2006 with a put pilot commitment (HR 1/31).

Kinberg describes the series project as " 'Married … With Children' with guns."

The pilot takes place about six months after the events in the 2005 feature starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, which grossed more than $186 million in North America. The Smiths have bought a new house in a new suburb and have re-established their businesses, but the attraction and sexual spark they had found at movie's end has dwindled, and they are back dealing with marital issues.

"In a way, the show is all about the marriage," Kinberg said. "It is a show about any married couple trying to balance professional and home life."

For Kinberg, the pilot marks a return to television, where he began his writing career with the 2002 UPN pilot "The Legacy," from Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Warner Bros. TV.

Kinberg went on to pen or co-pen such features as "X-Men: The Last Stand," "XXX: State of the Union," "Smith" and the upcoming "Jumpers."