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The Disney-owned network, following a lengthy casting search, has handed out a straight-to-series order for Take Two, a procedural starring Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian from Castle creators Andrew Marlowe and his producing partner (and wife), Terri Edda Miller.
The drama hails from Tandem Productions, StudioCanal and ABC Studios in what is said to be a groundbreaking co-production structure. The series has been prepackaged with worldwide rights and will air on ABC in the U.S., RTL/Vox in Germany and France Television in France. StudioCanal will serve as the lead studio. ABC Studios affiliate Disney Media Distribution will handle international sales.
Take Two revolves around Ella (Bilson), the former star of a hit cop series who is fresh out of rehab following a bender of epic proportion. Desperate to restart her career, she talks her way into shadowing rough-and-tumble private investigator Eddie (Cibrian) as research for a potential comeback role. Although lone wolf Eddie resents the babysitting gig, high-spirited Ella proves herself to be surprisingly valuable, drawing on her acting skills and 200 episodes of playing a detective. When the press touts Ella’s role in solving a high-profile case, Eddie finds his phone ringing off the hook with new clients looking to hire the pair.
The premise has strong parallels to ABC’s Castle, which starred Stana Katic as a homicide detective who was paired with a best-selling mystery novelist played by Nathan Fillion. The drama was a reliable performer for ABC and a money maker in multiple territories internationally. Despite being owned by its sibling studio, Castle — which went through the pricey process of re-signing Fillion and publicly firing Katic — was canceled after eight seasons.
“Terri and Andrew have created wonderful characters and a lighthearted yet strong drama that has excited leading networks on both sides of the pond,” StudioCanal TV managing director Rola Bauer said. “This is a new paradigm for network co-productions with the anchor networks being in the U.S. and Europe. To be here now with ABC, RTL/Vox and France 2 is a testament to Terri and Andrew’s creative vision. We are all thrilled that Rachel and Eddie will join this journey.”
Miller and Marlowe will exec produce via their ABC Studios-based Milmar Pictures banner alongside StudioCanal’s Bauer and Tandem’s Tim Halkin.
“Andrew and Terri are wonderful storytellers, and this is the perfect project for their return to ABC,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said. “We’re excited to see Rachel and Eddie bring these characters to life.”
Cibrian’s TV credits include Rosewood, Third Watch, CSI: Miami and Sunset Beach. He’s repped by Gersh and Media Four. Bilson, meanwhile, counts Hart of Dixie, Nashville and The O.C. among her TV roles. She’s repped by CAA. Miller and Marlowe are with CAA, which helped broker the deal, Management 360 and Lichter Grossman. Tandem and StudioCanal are with CAA and Loeb & Loeb.
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