EXCLUSIVE: Director Charles McDougall has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the seven-figure pact, McDougall will direct and executive produce ABC Studios’ ABC drama pilot The Returned this season. The Returned, co-produced by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Brad Pitt’s Plan B, is based on the upcoming novel by Jason Mott. Written by Aaron Zelman, it chronicles how the lives of the people in Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. (The project’s original location, Aurora, was changed out of respect for the victims of the Aurora, Co. shooting)
Most of the pilots McDougall has directed have gone to series. What’s more, most of those series have gone the distance, including ABC/ABC Studios’ Desperate Housewives, whose pilot earned McDougall a directing Emmy Award, Showtime’s The Tudors and CBS’ The Good Wife. Last season, he helmed the pilot for Fox’s The Mindy Project. WME-repped McDougall most recently has directed episodes of Mindy, NBC’s The Office and Parks & Recreation and Netflix’s House Of Cards. The deal with McDougall is part of ABC Studios’ strategy to beef up its talent roster with top-tier showrunners and directors. The studio recently signed a multi-year pact with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire.