Fox has picked up two more drama pilots, Controversy, an investigative thriller written by Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner, directed by This Is Us’ John Requa & Glenn Ficarra and executive produced by Scandal co-executive producer Judy Smith; and The Resident, a dark medical drama written by Amy Holden Jones (Mystic Pizza), Hayley Schore & Roshan Sethi (Code Black) and executive produced by Antoine Fuqua. Both projects are from 20th Century Fox TV.
Like the upcoming Fox limited series Shots Fired, which deals with police shootings, Controversy is tackling a hot-button and timely topic: college rape. The project, which had a put pilot commitment, hails from Turner and Jennifer Klein’s Vendetta Productions.
Written by Turner, Controversy centers on the Junior Counsel of a prestigious Illinois university who must deal with an out-of-control scandal when a young co-ed accuses several star football players of sexual assault. From the football coaches and boosters who wield outsize influence, to a university administration under siege, the series explores the type of high-profile controversy all-too familiar on today’s college campuses, as well as the corrosive, dangerous nature of institutional power.
Smith, who was the inspiration for the lead character in Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, is a real-life top crisis-management consultant who has worked with a number of high-profile clients, including universities. She executive produces Controversy alongside Turner & Klein via Vendetta and Requa, Ficarra & Charlie Gogolak via Zaftig Films. Both companies are under deals at 20th TV.
The Resident (fka The City) was originally developed at Showtime. Fox bought the project as a spec in a turnaround two months ago.
The idea for The Resident originated with Fuqua, who then brought the project to Jones. The Black Box creator in turn brought in Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi, who had worked on her ABC medical drama series in a research/consulting capacity, to co-write the script with her.
The Resident centers on an idealistic young doctor who begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident who pulls the curtain back on all of the good and evil in modern day medicine. Lives may be saved or lost, but expectations will always be shattered.
The project’s take on the medical drama genre is being compared to what The Shield did for police procedurals. Fuqua and Jones executive produce with 3 Arts’ Oly Obst. Schore and Sethi co-executive produce. David Boorstein, President of TV at Fuqua Films, will oversee for the company.
Sethi, a Harvard-trained physician, and Schore, who worked as a development executive, are writers on CBS’ medical drama Code Black.
Today’s pickups bring the number of Fox’s 2017 drama pilots to five, including a Behind Enemy Line reboot, The Passage and the Marvel X-Men-themed project.