Brothers & Sisters writer-producers Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin left the long-running ABC drama to focus on development. And this summer, they inked a two-script deal with CBS TV Studios. In a development season in which the medical genre has been hot, Cooper and Levin are now 2-for-2. They’ve sold two medical dramas: one to CBS with director-producer Richard Shepard attached, and another to the CW with Carol Mendelsohn on board as executive producer.
The untitled CBS project is described as an emotional, funny and real drama about a forty-five-year-old mom of three whose neurosurgeon husband kills himself, leaving her in financial ruin and forcing her to go back to complete the surgical residency she never finished, only now her oldest son is her supervising resident. Cooper and Levin are executive producing with Shepard, who may also direct, and Ole’s Sean and Bryan Furst.
The CW project, titled Squirrels, centers on Nicole who, following a whirlwind affair over graduation weekend with the hottest guy in her med school class, makes a radical decision to give up a plum surgical residency in Chicago in order to be near him, and takes the only remaining spot at UCLA — psychiatry, a field which she has no belief in, officially making her a “Squirrel,” the inside term for psych residents – they’re known to be a little nuts. Cooper and Levin are executive producing with Mendelsohn and former WME agent Julie Weitz who joined Mendelsohn’s CBS Studios-based company as president in August.
This is WME-repped Cooper and Levin’s first crack at development since they met and became a writing team on Brothers & Sisters. Both have solid pedigree: Cooper comes from the Greg Berlanti camp having worked under him on Everwood before he brought her over to Brothers & Sisters, while Levin cut her teeth as a writer under the tutelage of J.J. Abrams on Felicity. Levin has medical drama background – her first writing job was on Chicago Hope where she spent a year before segueing to Felicity. And Cooper has written about surgeons – Treat Williams’ character on Everwood was a brain surgeon.