EXCLUSIVE: In the highest-profile migration of feature talent to television so far this development season, Oscar-winning filmmakers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen are set to executive produce an hourlong single-camera comedy for Fox, which the two co-created with another feature writer, Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids). The project, titled HarveKarbo, has received a script commitment with significant penalty from Fox. It hails from Imagine TV, whose principal Brian Grazer is credited with luring the Coen brothers to television. (Ethan and Joel Coen did their 2003 feature Intolerable Cruelty with Imagine). HarveKarbo, which will be written by Johnston, features the type of quirky, offbeat characters that have become a staple of the Coen brothers’ movies. It follows the title character — an ill-tempered LA private investigator whose cases frequently involve the depraved doings of the Hollywood elite — and his deadbeat friends in Los Angeles’ El Segundo. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Johnston, Grazer and Francie Calfo are executive producing for Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV.
The Coen brothers have won 4 Academy Awards: 3 in 2008 for No Country For Old Men (best picture, writing and directing) and one in 1997 for Fargo (writing). They have a total of 13 Oscar nominations, including 3 this past year for True Grit, and most recently wrote the upcoming caper comedy Gambit, directed by Michael Hoffman. Johnston recently wrote Disney Animation’s Wreck It Ralph, which will be released in November 2012, and is currently writing Reply All for DreamWorks with Zach Galifianakis attached. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen are with UTA, Johnston is with CAA.