EXCLUSIVE: It’s an O.C. reunion at NBC! The O.C. creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz has a hot new hourlong project in the works, which will star O.C. alumna Rachel Bilson. After a heated bidding, the show, a supernatural romantic comedy titled Ghost Angeles, has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment, a rare feat for a project that has not been written yet. Schwartz and Henry Alonso Myers (Ugly Betty) co-created Ghost Angeles and will write it together. Details on the project are being kept under wraps but, according to a concept circulated around, it centers on a young woman in Los Angeles who can talk to the dead, helping the spirits as much as they are helping her. Ghost Angeles hails from Fake Empire, Schwartz’s recently launched company with Stephanie Savage, and Warner Bros. TV where the company is based with a five-year deal. Schwartz, Myers, Savage and Fake Empire’s Leonard Goldstein are executive producing. In its first development season, Fake Empire has already sold 2 projects, Ghost Angeles and an ensemble show about young people in DC from writer Will Fetters, which is set up at ABC. Ghost Angeles marks the first hourlong project created by Schwartz in 4 years, since he sold Chuck, co-written with Chris Fedak, to NBC and Gossip Girl, co-penned with Savage, to the CW in 2006. It also extends Schwartz’s relationship with NBC where Schwartz’s spy dramedy Chuck just kicked off its fourths season.
The O.C. marked a career breakthrough for both Schwartz, who at the time became the youngest TV series creator, and Bilson, who had only done small guest roles until then. Bilson’s character on the show, Summer Roberts, was also originally written as guest star but, after it popped, she was made a series regular, and Summer’s romance with Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) became one of O.C.‘ key plotlines. Bilson, who is friends with Schwartz and his wife (she served as maid of honor at their wedding), did an arc on the first season of Schwartz’s NBC dramedy Chuck. Bilson, whose feature credits include Jumper and New York I Love You, guest starred on the season premiere of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother last week, reprising her role as a love interest for Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) from the show’s 100th episode last season. Myers is currently a consulting producer on Chuck.