EXCLUSIVE: Gaumont International Television, the independent TV studio behind upcoming series Hannibal on NBC and Hemlock Grove on Netflix, has signed a deal with ABC for another potential straight-to-series project, James Patterson’s Bennett. The drama, based on bestselling author James Patterson’s character Michael Bennett, has received a script- to 13-episode commitment, meaning ABC has ordered a script and if the network brass likes it, it will trigger a 13-episode order. Gaumont used the same model for Hannibal, which was written by Bryan Fuller.
James Patterson’s Bennett will be written by Ildy Modrovich (Necessary Roughness), who will executive produce with Patterson. Patterson’s Bennett novels center on New York Detective Bennett, a character Patterson says was “inspired by the brave heroes of the NYPD”. The top-selling New York detective series of all time, it consists of five novels so far: Step On A Crack (2009), Run For Your Life (2009), Worst Case (2009), Tick Tock (2010) and I, Michael Bennett (2012).
Gaumont International TV, the Los Angeles-based TV production division of European movie studio Gaumont, is run by CEO Katie O’Connell. Since launching last fall, the company has landed two series orders — for Hannibal starring Hugh Dancy and Eli Roth’s Hemlock Grove — and also has a high-profile Barbarella series in the works. The company is at MIPCOM this week selling its shows, including a deal with France’s Canal Plus for Hannibal. Many of Patterson’s books have been adapted to the screen, most recently his Alex Cross novels into the movie Alex Cross, which opens next week. Patterson is repped by CAA; Modrovich is repped by CAA and attorney Sean Marks.