Balcer books crime dramas with NBC, Fox


"Law & Order" veteran Rene Balcer is busy with two projects targeted for fall 2007. He has received a put pilot commitment from NBC for a crime drama as well as a script commitment with penalty from Fox for a cop show that Jonathan Mostow is on board to direct and executive produce. Both projects hail from NBC Universal TV Studio, where Balcer and his Mattawin Co. have an overall deal.

The NBC drama, which Balcer is writing and executive producing, centers on a bipolar forensic psychiatrist. It is inspired by the work of well-known forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz, who has served as a consultant on the "Law & Order" series.

A frequent witness for the prosecution at high-profile criminal trials, Dietz is described in a magazine profile as "part medical examiner, part private detective, part scholar of the bizarre."

The Fox drama revolves around NYPD detectives who are stationed abroad. Balcer is writing the project with Cyrus Nowrasteh (ABC's "The Path to 9/11"). The two are executive producing with Mostow.

Balcer has been with the "Law & Order" franchise for 16 years. He serves as a consulting producer on the spinoff "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," which he developed and ran for the first five seasons.

He was executive producer/showrunner on the mothership series in 1997, when the show won a best drama series Emmy and a Peabody.

Balcer also won a WGA Award in 1998 for co-writing the "Entrapment" episode of "Law & Order."