EXCLUSIVE: Solidifying this buying season as one of the strongest ever for spec scripts, another script from an up-and-coming writer with big auspices attached has sparked a bidding war, landing a big commitment. Allegiance, written on spec by Sue Chung, with Chris Morgan executive producing, Len Wiseman directing and executive producing and Jennifer Johnson showrunning and executive producing, has gotten a put pilot commitment at ABC. It hails from 20th Century Fox TV where Morgan, Wiseman and Johnson are under overall deals. Allegiance centers on a young female FBI agent who, after a series of devastating, high-tech attacks on the government, pursues the smartest and deadliest domestic terrorist in American history: her own mother. Allegiance marks the first project for Morgan’s Chris Morgan Prods. and Wiseman’s Sketch Films under the companies’ deals at 20th TV. Chris Morgan Prods.’ Emile Gladstone is also executive producing, with Chung co-executive producing and Sketch Films’ David Bernardi possibly getting a credit.
Chung is a brand new voice. Since graduating from Harvard a couple of years ago, she worked as a news editor for various Time Inc. magazines in Manhattan and recently graduated from the Harvardwood Writer’s Program. Allegiance has been very competitive every step of the way. A number of non-writing producers and studios pursued the spec, with Chung opting to go with Morgan and 20th TV. After the project was packaged with Wiseman and Johnson coming on board, it received multiple network offers, ultimately going to ABC. The overnight success of Chung’s spec is reminiscent of that of another young writer with no previous credits, Mickey Fisher whose drama spec Extant attracted Steven Spielberg as executive producer and, with Greg Walker as showrunner, sparked a huge bidding war, landing at CBS with series order and recently getting Halle Berry for the lead. On the comedy side, Dan Kopelman’s spec The Henchman landed a put pilot commitment at Fox.
Morgan, repped by ICM Partners and Jeff Frankel, is executive producing the upcoming Fox series, Gang Related, while Wiseman, repped by CAA and Howard Abramson, is executive producing another freshman Fox drama, breakout Sleepy Hollow. Lost alumna Johnson, repped by WME and attorney Matt Johnson, created Chase, served as showrunner on Alcatraz and Cold Case and is currently working on Gang Related. Chung is with ICM Partners, Benderspink and Morris Yorn.