EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, ABC has bought a primetime soap from Oscar-winning writer Callie Khouri and TV producer/documentary filmmaker RJ Cutler with a script commitment plus penalty. Thelma & Louise scribe Khouri will write the project, which is set in Nashville against the backdrop of the country music world. Cutler (The September Issue) is set to direct. The two will executive produce with Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment, which is being represented by SVP of Media and Entertainment Steve Buchanan. The drama is produced by leading cable producer Lionsgate TV, which is having its most active broadcast development season ever under new head of development Chris Selak. This marks Khouri’s return to ABC where she wrote, directed and executive produced the 2006 pilot Hollis & Rae. Khouri and Cutler are with CAA. There have been a few TV projects set in Nashville over the past couple of years, including Epix’s pilot Tough Trade, which also was produced by Lionsgate TV, and FX’s pilot Outlaw Country, which is in contention for a series pickup.