EXCLUSIVE: The CW is finalizing a deal to pick up Danni Lowinski, an hourlong dramedy pilot based on the German series of the same name. Jennie Snyder Urman (90210) has been enlisted to write the adaptation, which is being produced by CBS TV Studios. While the script is yet to be written, the project is being fast-tracked for midseason consideration with a pilot order based on extensive source material – 13 produced episodes of the original series – and a writer whom the CW has an established relationship with. Feelers have already been sent out to talent agencies for the lead whose casting is considered key to the project. UPDATE: Richard Shepard, who won an Emmy for directing another dramedy pilot, that for ABC’s Ugly Betty, is in talks to direct.
Danni Lowinski is named after the series’ central character: a scrappy hairdresser who has worked her way through law school and finally graduates only to be brushed off by law firms that aren’t interested in her type. Determined to make her way in the professional world, she sets up her own practice in a shopping mall kiosk. The first season of the German series, which stars popular German comedy actress Annette Frier, premiered in April on Sat.1 and earned Frier a couple of national acting awards. In May, the series was renewed for a second season, which will launch next spring.
90210 co-executive producer Snyder Urman has emerged as a key writer on the CW soap. She wrote or co-wrote 8 episodes last season and recently penned this season’s opener. Snyder Urman, who has 4 series credits, has the perfect resume for writing a female-centered dramedy: the 3 shows she worked on before 90210 were Gilmore Girls, Men In Trees and Lipstick Jungle.
The CW is the only broadcast network that doesn’t have a scripted series in store for midseason. For awhile, the CW’s medical drama pilot HMS was in serious contention but the options on its actors eventually expired and its star Megan Boone joined NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles. The CW, which for the first time in its history is airing an all-original lineup, launched 4 series with 13-episode orders this fall that could need a replacement: freshmen Hellcats and Nikita, veteran One Tree Hill and sophomore Life Unexpected. Hellcats and OTH have already received orders for 6 additional scripts, usually a precursor to an episodic pickup. Nikita also appears on track for a back order, but LUX, despite its warm critical reception, is in danger as the lowest-rated series on the CW this fall. Additionally, given the serialized nature of most CW dramas, the network may want to avoid long stretches of reruns by bringing in a fresh series in the spring.