EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate Television and Tandem Communications have set crime drama Sex, Lies And Handwriting at ABC. The project, now in development, is intended as straight-to-series, with a fall production start in Vancouver eyed should ABC move to greenlight the pilot script.
Sex, Lies And Handwriting is the first project to come out of the joint venture Lionsgate Television and Tandem Communications, a Studiocanal company, launched last year to co-finance and distribute hourlong dramas using the straight-to-series model Tandem employed for its first drama series, Crossing Lines, as well as its miniseries including The Pillars Of The Earth and its follow-up World Without End. As expected, the partners tweaked Tandem’s existing approach, in which the Munich-based company financed its series (mostly though international pre-sales) and completed the projects before taking the finished product to the U.S.. With Sex, Lies And Handwriting, an American network, ABC, is brought in much earlier in the process for more simultaneous sales in the U.S. and Europe and Canada. Other network development partners already on board for the potential series include Bell Media (Canada), TF1 Network (France) and ProSiebenSat.1 (Germany). The series would be produced in Canada by Sea To Sky, the Canadian studio joint venture between Lionsgate and Thunderbird Films.
Inspired by Michelle Dresbold’s book of the same title, Sex, Lies And Handwriting is a witty take on the crime series that follows the exploits of Leslie Bold, an accomplished artist and handwriting expert — with her own newspaper column on the subject — who is unexpectedly drawn into the world of crime-solving because of her extraordinary skills. Annie Brunner (Saving Grace) will write the script and co-executive produce the series, with fellow Saving Grace alum Nancy Miller onboard as executive producer and showrunner. Tandem’s Rola Bauer as well as Jeff Sagansky, Sunta Izaccupa and Chris Barrett also executive produce alongside Sea to Sky’s Ivan Fecan and Brett Burlock.