EXCLUSIVE: ITV Studios America is making a move into the scripted arena, optioning Brian Panowich’s debut novel Bull Mountain to adapt as a series. Former Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero is attached to pen the pilot script and showrun if it goes to series.

Bull Mountain is described as a multi-generational saga of crime, family and vengeance, centering on a modern-day small-town sheriff who is trying to distance himself from his family’s criminal empire.

Panowich, currently working as a firefighter in East Georgia, released the novel last month with Putnam Books. His previous stories, If I Ever Get Off This Mountain and Coming Down The Mountain, were nominated for Spinetingler Awards.

ITV Studios America’s other scripted series include Good Witch (Hallmark Channel), now in production for a second season, and Texas Rising (History).

The deal was brokered by Joel Gotler of Intellectual Property Group, who represents Panowich.