EXCLUSIVE: ABC brass love Dutch formats. After ordering Melissa Rosenberg’s drama pilot Red Widow to series and putting the David Zabel-written Betrayal in development, the network has bought another drama project based on a format from the Netherlands, Sea Of Fire. Steve Maeda (The X-Files) will write the adaptation and executive produce the drama, produced by Sony Pictures TV. Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya of Scripted World, who brought in the format, also executive produce.
Sea Of Fire is set in a small town. When three teenage girls star in a pornographic film, it tears their families apart and leads to a disappearance, a murder and host of other secrets boiling under the surface. The original series, Vuurzee, was set in a fictional resort town and centered on the disappearance of a young woman during a birthday party celebration. (Watch opening credits below.) The series, which drew comparisons to Twin Peaks, was produced by and aired on pubcaster VARA and ran for two seasons that aired four years apart, in 2005 and in 2009.
Scripted World’s Aranya and Golenberg are behind the three Dutch formats that found their way to U.S. TV in the past year: Red Widow, Betrayal and Sea Of Fire. The two also have Ritter, a legal drama at NBC from Homeland‘s Howard Gordon and Alex Cary, which was inspired by an Icelandic series. Additionally, Aranya co-executive produces the CBS/Jerry Bruckheimer drama Hostages, which has a pilot production commitment with Jeffrey Nachmanoff writing. The project is based on an Israeli format Aranya co-developed. UTA-repped Maeda served as executive producer/showrunner on the CBS series Miami Medical and Fox’s Lie To Me.