Ahern, Todd team for ABC comedy


Best-selling Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern has teamed with American producer Don Todd for a single-camera comedy project set up at ABC and Touchstone TV.

Todd has a second project, a dramedy, in the works at ABC and Touchstone TV.

Barely 25, Ahern has four popular novels under her belt. Published when she was only 21, Ahern's first book, "PS, I Love You" became an instant international best-seller and is being made into a feature by Warner Bros. Pictures starring Hilary Swank.

The TV project for ABC -- tentatively titled "The Memory Trace" -- centers on a 30-year-old psychiatrist who, after becoming the victim of a hit and run, develops amnesia and has to rediscover her life, her relationships and herself.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be a part of this exciting project," Ahern said.

She sold her show idea to ABC, which lined up meetings with potential writers. Among them was Touchstone TV-based Todd, who loved the theme of reinvention and starting from scratch.

"It had a great twist and offered enormous possibilities," he said of the pitch.

Ahern, who lives in Dublin, and Todd are penning the outline for the script via e-mail, and Todd will write the teleplay. The project, which has received a script commitment from the network, is produced by Touchstone TV and studio-based Brillstein-Grey Entertainment. Todd and BGE's Peter Traugott are executive producing, with Ahern serving as producer.

Todd's dramedy project, which has a script commitment, also deals with starting anew. Tentatively titled "Occupied," it's in the tone of "M*A*S*H" and "Catch-22" and chronicles the efforts of a U.S. transitional team that acts as a provisional government in an African country.

Todd is writing the Touchstone/BGE show and is executive producing with Traugott.

Ahern's published novels also include "Where Rainbows End," "If You Could See Me Now" and "A Place Called Here." She is the daughter of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

Todd most recently wrote and executive produced the Touchstone TV/BGE single-camera comedy pilot "Girls on the Bus," which was in fall 2006 consideration at ABC this past development season.