Lassiter and Overbrook partner Jada Pinkett Smith are executive producing the project, written/executive produced by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski and financed by Georgeville Television, the independent TV studio co-founded earlier this year by producer Marc Rosen and Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment. The untitled project is described as a high-octane pandemic thriller that combines closed-ended procedural and serialized elements
Like with all Georgeville projects, the ABC drama has a script-to-series commitment, meaning that if ABC likes the script, that will trigger a 13-episode series order. Georgeville employed the same model with its first series, Neil Cross’s Crossbones, which will premiere on NBC in midseason, and with its reboot of the classic British sci-fi series Blake’s 7, which just landed at Syfy. Jim Goodman, who recently joined GVTV as EVP of Business Affairs, was instrumental in brokering the deal with ABC. The pandemic thriller genre had success on the big screen recently with Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion.
In addition to creating/executive producing and writing most episodes of space opera Babylon 5, which ran for five seasons, CAA-repped Straczynski created Jeremiah. His feature credits include Thor and Underworld: Awakening. Overbrook’s next feature, After Earth, is set for a June 2013 release. The company also is producing Queen Latifah’s syndicated daytime talk show with Sony Pictures Television that will launch in fall 2013.