EXCLUSIVE: Rescue Me co-creator/executive producer Peter Tolan has sold his 4th project to the broadcast networks this pitch season: The Council of Dads, a half-hour comedy based on the non-fiction book by Bruce Feiler. In doing so, Tolan landed one of the biggest commitments so far this year. I hear that, after bidding from multiple networks, The Council of Dads, which Tolan will write and executive produce, has been given a $1.5 million pilot production commitment by Fox. Sony TV, where Tolan is based, is producing.
Memoir The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me chronicles the real-life experiences of bestselling author Feiler (Walking the Bible) who in 2008 was diagnosed with rare, life-threatening cancer. Fearing what the absence of a father figure would do to the lives of his young twin daughters, he looked at his male fiends and realized that there was no one person perfectly suited for the job. So he formed a Council of Dads, which consisted of six of his closest friends who agreed to help him raise his daughters. Each had his area of expertise: homework dad, outdoors dad, etc., so the girls knew who to turn to for a specific issue when their mother’s help was not enough. Feiler’s story has a happy ending – he made a full recovery and the Council was never fully activated. But in the series, the dad dies, and the show chronicles how the kids are raised with the help of the Council. Feiler will serve as a consultant on the adaptation.
The Council of Dads is Tolan’s second project at Fox this year. He also executive produces a medical drama written by Glen Mazzara. Additionally, CAA-repped Tolan landed a put pilot commitment at NBC for workplace comedy Brave New World, which he is writing/exec producing, and he also is exec producing an untitled half-hour from writer DJ Nash set up at ABC. Rescue Me recently wrapped production, with its final seventh season slated to run on FX next summer.