Kauffman, CW in step with dance pilot


Marta Kauffman is writing her first pilot script since "Friends."

The CW has given a put pilot commitment to a one-hour project from the "Friends" co-creator and Warner Bros. TV. Tentatively titled "Steps," it is set at a family-run dance studio.

"It's really about dancers," Kauffman said. "They're desperate to find grace and beauty in an otherwise ugly world. They are very special people."

While the show is not based on any particular family, dance has always been a major part of Kauffman's family.

Her mother was a dancer. During the Depression, when she was 16, she would go to school during the day and dance at a Mafia-owned nightclub to support her family. After the Depression, she opened a dance studio. Kauffman grew up among dancers and could do an arabesque before she could walk.

"Dance is very close to my heart," she said.

Kauffman describes the genre of "Steps" as "comedrama" or "dancedy," a one-hour drama with comedic elements and a lot of dancing.

Choreographer Mia Michaels is in talks to come on board as a consultant on the show, which Kauffman is writing and executive producing.

Kauffman said she decided to go with CW for her first series creation since "Friends" after several meetings with the network's entertainment president, Dawn Ostroff.

"I adore her," Kauffman said. "I think she is the kind of people I want to work with."

Additionally, because "Steps" is "a quiet show, not a huge adventure show," she said she feels it would get the kind of support it needs at CW. Working at the smaller, less established CW will also help her keep "Steps" "a little bit under the radar" and avoid the scrutiny associated with having a show on one of the major networks, Kauffman said.

Kauffman created NBC's blockbuster comedy "Friends" with David Crane. The show won a comedy series Emmy in 2002.

Kauffman,who most recently was an executive producer on WB Network's comedic drama "Related," is repped by Endeavor and attorney Sam Fischer.