ABC gives series order to 'The Gates'

Crime drama from Fox TV Studios gets 13-episode pickup

ABC is opening "The Gates," handing a 13-episode order to a crime drama set in a gated suburban community.

Fox TV Studios will produce the series under its international co-production model; the green light is contingent on the production company securing foreign financing.

Written by Richard Hatem and Grant Scharbo, "Gates" centers on a big-city cop who becomes chief of police in a seemingly sleepy planned community only to discover there's much more to the residents than meets the eye.

Scharbo and Gina Matthews are executive producing through their Little Engine production banner alongside Hatem.

Production on the series is slated to begin in early to mid-2010, with South America among the locations considered for the shoot.

In the initial stage of its international co-production model, FtvS shot three 13-episode series -- "Defying Gravity," "Persons Unknown" and "Mental" -- with international partners and sold them in the U.S. to ABC, NBC and Fox, respectively.

In Phase 2, which started with the Matt Nix-penned drama "Jack and Dan" that landed at Fox with a 13-episode pickup, the projects are set up at U.S. broadcast outlets early in the development process so networks can have creative input.