EXCLUSIVE: Glenn Gordon Caron spent the past 7 years on a show about a woman whose visions helped people reconnect with their deceased love ones. Now the Medium creator is taking on a hourlong project about a woman who helps people reconnect with love ones they have lost touch with. The CBS TV Studios-produced drama, which was bought by CBS, hails from James Mangold and Cathy Konrad’s company Treeline, which has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS Studios. It centers on an Erin Brockovich-type woman from Queens who searches for her own identity while reuniting others. Like Medium, which was based on the experience of psychic Allison DuBois, the new project too is inspired by a real person, licensed New Jersey investigator Pamela Slaton who solves unique missing persons’ cases.
The untitled drama is a longtime passion project for Konrad. Years ago, she enlisted the help of Slaton to find her birth parents and has been trying to bring Slaton’s stories to scripted television ever since. When she and Mangold made their deal at CBS TV Studios, Konrad found a kindred spirit in studio-based Caron, who recently inked a new overall deal there. Caron will write and direct the potential pilot and will executive produce with Mangold and Konrad. Slaton will consult. Slaton, who describes herself as a professional investigative genealogist, stay-at-home mom and New Jersey housewife, specializes in finding missing family/friends with adoption work as her area of expertise. An adoptee herself, Slaton’s passion for reuniting people was born out of searching for her own mother. Slaton has made numerous TV appearances and headlined her own series, Searching For…, on OWN earlier this year.
This is the second sale for Treeline this development season. The company recently set up 1960s Las Vegas Western Ralph Lamb at CBS. Originally submitted as a feature written by Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and produced by Artur Sarkissian, the project is now being developed as a drama series, with TV showrunner Greg Walker collaborating with Pileggi. Mangold is set to direct the drama, which is based on the true story of Ralph Lamb, a cowboy-turned-Las Vegas sheriff. Mangold and Konrad, who have extensive feature resume, including Walk the Line, which Mangold directed, first ventured into TV series with the 2006 ABC dramedy Men In Trees. Mangold most recently directed the pilot for CBS’ upcoming cop drama series The 2-2. Treeline is repped by WME and Management 360; Caron, whose docu-comedy project with Andrew Gurland is eying a pilot pickup at Showtime, is with WME; Slaton is with APA.