Sonnenfeld makes it legal with NBC


NBC will have a Barry Sonnenfeld-directed drama pilot after all.

After losing out on the Sonnenfeld-directed medieval fantasy "Kingdom" last month to CBS, NBC has lured the director to helm a legal thriller penned by Luke Reiter.

The project, from Universal Media Studios, had been in fast-track, off-cycle development at NBC. The network approached Sonnenfeld shortly after the pitch for "Kingdom" — to be written by Chad Hodge and directed by Sonnenfeld — landed at CBS with a rich put-pilot commitment July 17. Sonnenfeld read Reiter's script and committed to the project. With Sonnenfeld on board, NBC picked it up to pilot.

Set at a prestigious New York civil firm, the untitled drama revolves around unapologetic lawyers who will do whatever it takes to win their high-profile cases and outmaneuver one another.

For Sonnenfeld, who is exec producing the pilot with Reiter, the project is in second position to "Kingdom."

Sonnenfeld is hot after directing one of the most buzzworthy pilots for upcoming series, ABC's "Pushing Daisies." The director, who is executive producing "Daisies," also is helming the high-concept series' Episodes 2, 3 and 5.

Additionally, Sonnenfeld, who has a first-look deal at Sony Pictures TV — the studio behind "Kingdom" — is attached to direct SPT's single-camera comedy pilot "Hackett" for Fox.

Former ADA Reiter, who is under an overall deal at UMS, has worked on such legal series as NBC's "Law & Order," ABC's "The Practice" and "Boston Legal" and CBS' "Close to Home."

Sonnenfeld and Reiter are repped by CAA.

Sonnenfeld is additionally repped by attorney Melanie Cook.