EXCLUSIVE: David O. Russell is coming to television. ABC has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to a drama project from the American Hustle writer/director and Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant. The series, developed by CBS TV Studios and studio-based Timberman/Beverly, is an upstairs/downstairs soap set at a private country club. Russell and Grant co-wrote the story, with Grant writing the teleplay. The two are executive producing with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly; CBS Studios is co-producing with ABC Studios. This marks the first TV series for Russell, the hottest filmmaker at the moment with rare back-to-back Best Picture Oscar nominees — American Hustle this year and Silver Linings Playbook last year accompanied by best writing and directing nominations both times. Russell is on a streak, with his previous film, The Fighter, also earning a Best Picture and Best Director nominations in 2011.
The ABC drama also marks the first series for an outside broadcast network for CBS Studios in its first season opening up its development to broadcast nets besides siblings CBS and the CW. Grant previously created and executive produced the CBS/CBS Studios supernatural medical drama A Gifted Man. This is Timberman/Beverly’s fifth on-air series, joining Justified, Elementary, Unforgettable and Masters Of Sex. Straight-to-series orders have been on the rise at ABC, including Mistresses, the upcoming Black Box as well as Secrets & Lies, which is now casting. Russell, Grant and Timberman/Beverly are with CAA.