Fox scripts deals with Spielberg


Steven Spielberg, executive producer of Fox's upcoming reality series "On the Lot," is expanding his relationship with the network to the scripted side.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker is spearheading two drama projects for the network, one to be written by Ed Burns and Christy Turlington and produced by DreamWorks Television and the other penned by R. Scott Gemmill and produced by 20th Century Fox TV.

Based on an idea by Spielberg, the project being written by actor-filmmaker Burns and his wife, supermodel Turlington, is set in the world of high fashion and follows five twentysomething friends who work behind the scenes of the industry.

Burns and Turlington also are executive producing the untitled project with DreamWorks TV co-heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.

Falvey said Spielberg immediately identified Burns -- his "Saving Private Ryan" star with whom he has a long-standing relationship -- and Turlington as the perfect creative team for the project.

"They bring a unique combination of authenticity and relatability to it with Ed's brilliant writing skills and his wife's inside knowledge of the industry," Falvey said.

Burns also is attached to direct the drama if it gets to pilot.

Spielberg is no stranger to fashion as he and Turlington appear in Gap's current Red campaign.

This is the second project set in the fashion world that Fox is developing for next season, along with a half-hour comedy based on the hit feature "The Devil Wears Prada."

Meanwhile, the untitled Scott Gemmill project is described as a one-hour drama that combines action and time travel with an epic love story.

It revolves around two young physicists during the early part of World War II who find a way to "pinch" time and travel to 2007 to try to bring back modern technology and help the war effort. While in the future, one of them falls in love with a woman whose mother hasn't been born yet.

"They deal with the complications and replications of messing with the future," Gemmill said. "It's a great opportunity to work with Steven, and it's a project that we both get excited about."

The project's period setting has proven successful for Spielberg in the action-adventure genre. His hit Indiana Jones trilogy takes place in the years leading to WWII.

Fox approached Spielberg with the idea to do a time-travel show based on his experience in the genre with such features as the "Back to the Future" trilogy, "Minority Report" and the upcoming "Interstellar," as well as the filmmaker's interest in the subject. Spielberg has talked to some of the leading scientists in the field and is working with theoretical physicist Kip Thorne on "Interstellar," based on the Caltech professor's theories of gravity fields and wormholes.

Gemmill got Spielberg's attention through his work on "ER," which is co-produced by Spielberg's Amblin Television. Gemmill is executive producing the veteran medical drama, in its 13th season on NBC.

Frank said he and Falvey had been fans of Gemmill for a while.

"He seems the perfect fit for this project," Frank said.

Frank and Falvey are executive producing the drama with Gemmill.