USA Orders Political Drama Series From Greg Berlanti, Laurence Mark

Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark Split - H 2012
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Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark Split - H 2012

The cable network will add "Political Animals," about former first family in turmoil, to its schedule this summer.

USA is getting political with Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark.

The network has ordered a six-hour drama event series, Political Animals, slated to launch this summer. The truncated series, from Berlanti Productions and Laurence Mark Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television, is about a former first family in turmoil.

The project centers on the character of Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady and current Secretary of State, who is struggling to keep her family together while simultaneously dealing with the crises of the State Department. She finds an unlikely ally in a famous D.C. journalist who has spent her career tearing Elaine down.

Berlanti wrote and will direct the pilot as well as serve as an executive producer with Mark. Melissa Kellner Berman of Berlanti Productions is attached as a co-executive producer.

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"We're ecstatic to collaborate with Greg and Larry, a writing and producing dream team of this magnitude,” said co-president Chris McCumber. Added his counterpart Jeff Wachtel:Political Animals truly raises the bar as the network continues to push the boundaries in storytelling.”

Animals is one of several high profile projects set up by McCumber and Wachtel, who were promoted to co-presidents last spring. In addition to their first reality foray with Kurt Warner-hosted The Moment, the No. 1 network is developing a Nathan Lane-lead comedy pilot Local Talent and Jeff Eastin’s hour-long drama Graceland. The network is adding Common Law to its batch of dramas this summer.

What's more, Animals joins a growing cadre of political themed projects emerging across the TV dial. Among the others: HBO’s vice presidential comedy Veep, NBC’s first family development project 1600 Penn and Hulu’s political campaign-centric Battleground.

For his part, Berlanti has proved particularly prolific in recent months, having multiple projects from an untitled comedy and drama Golden Boy at CBS to Guilty and Arrow at Fox and the CW, respectively. Over on USA’s sister network Syfy, Berlanti is developing Booster Gold.

Mark, whose past credits include Dreamgirls, Jerry Maguire and As Good As It Gets, is repped by Jackoway Tyerman; Berlanti is repped by WME and Felker Toczek.

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