In a competitive situation, WGN America has bought Debt, a spec script written by Ian MacDonald, which has Mad Men alum WGN AmericaVincent Kartheiser set to star and Neil LaBute to direct. The project, from Endemol Shine Studios and Christina Wayne’s Assembly Entertainment, is for straight-to-series consideration, with penalty attached if it doesn’t get a green light.

Image (1) labute__130905183247.jpeg for post 579075Debt centers on a man who, having lost everything important to him, decides to partner with the head of a somewhat-fraudulent collection agency and get back at the rich who steal from the poor.

LaBute, Kartheiser, Wayne and MacDonald executive produce with Jennifer Kennedy and Bradley Walsh. The project stems from Wayne’s pod deal with Endemol Studios (now Endemol Shine Studios). Her Assembly Entertainment just received a pilot order from Showtime fendemol shine naor the Dave Flebotte-Jim Carrey 1970s-set comedy I’m Dying Up Here. The company has eight other cable dramas in development at Cinemax, Amazon, USA, WGN, A&E and BBC America, with Barry Pepper, Catherine Hardwicke and Johan Renck among the talent attached to them.

Full Circle and Billy & Billie creator LaBute has directed multiple episodes of Endemol’s AMC drama Hell On Wheels. MacDonald and Kennedy are repped by APA and Echo Lake Management.