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The Sopranos creator David Chase has lined up his next project — and it’s not for HBO, the home of his seminal drama and with whose parent company he has a first-look deal.
Instead, Chase is teaming with the Disney-backed FX for a previously unproduced drama of his that sources describe as being about the witness protection program.
Chase is in the second of a five-year, first-look deal with Warner Bros. Discovery. The pact gives HBO and HBO Max first rights to anything that their treasured showrunner wants to do. Given the agreement and Chase’s long and celebrated history with HBO, it begs the question of why the premium cable network/streamer and even Warner Bros. Television aren’t connected at all with the new (er, recycled) Chase project?
Sources say HBO/HBO Max passed on Chase’s drama, which is definitely not the 2009 miniseries A Ribbon of Dreams about the evolution of Hollywood’s film industry. The cabler/streamer passed on the project after reviewing Chase and Hannah Fidell’s story area for the drama and its larger concept, as sources say the outlet wasn’t keen on attempting a show about the witness protection program after a few other busted attempts at similar ideas.
UTA, which reps the award-winning Chase, initially paired him with fellow client Fidell (FX’s A Teacher), who at the time was pitching a similar idea to her agents. UTA paired Fidell with Chase and the project was updated with a contemporary spin.
Considering Chase’s deal is a first-look pact and not a wholly encompassing overall deal, UTA then took the drama to FX, where the A Teacher creator is based with a deal of her own. The John Landgraf-led basic cable network snapped up the untitled drama with a pilot order and Fidell on board to direct.
Reps for Chase, FX and HBO declined to comment.
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