Dan McDermott back at Fox

Sets family adventure 'Ravens Parish' at network

Dan McDermott is returning to television with "Ravens Parish," a family adventure at Fox.

The project from the TV executive-turned-feature writer is being produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Generate, which has a first-look deal at the studio.

"Parish" revolves around a man and his teenage son who return to their rural Mississippi hometown in search of a fabled cavern hidden beneath a nearby swamp that allegedly holds hidden treasure.

"I spent the past couple of years in features, and I came up with the idea to do a four-quadrant show for television that would appeal to everyone," McDermott said. "Television has become so fragmented, while the most successful movies appeal equally to youngsters and older viewers."

In addition to writing, McDermott is executive producing the show, which has received a script commitment, with Generate's Peter Aronson and Jordan Levin.

"Parish" reunites McDermott with Fox, where he was head of current programming before becoming president of DreamWorks TV. After six years there, McDermott left in 2002 to pursue a screenwriting career.

He had been focused primarily on films since: He penned the DreamWorks thriller "Eagle Eye," recently finished writing the new take on "Romancing the Stone" for Fox and is attached to adapt the graphic novel "Three Days in Europe."

McDermott's only TV stint came in 2006 with the Lifetime drama series "Angela's Eyes," which he created.

But though he wanted to take time to reinvent himself as a writer, his return to television is permanent.

"I'll still be working on movies, but I'll be firmly entrenched in the TV business in a meaningful way," said McDermott, repped by UTA and Media Talent Group. "There are a couple of other shows I'm working on, and I'm very hopeful that I'll have a series on the air in the next 12-18 months."

Fox has been looking to complement its tentpole reality show "American Idol" with a scripted show that has a similarly wide appeal. In addition to "Parish," the network is developing another family adventure show, the Tom Wheeler-penned "The Mysteries of Oak Island," about a mom and her kids searching for buried treasure.