EXCLUSIVE: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are behind NBC‘s upcoming live staging of The Sound Of Music, are developing another ambitious event program for the network. The duo has teamed with NBC for Nemesis, an eight-hour miniseries about famous Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who was portrayed by Kevin Costner in Brian Fe Palma’s Oscar-winning The Untouchables. The project, from Sony Pictures TV — where Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment has a long-form deal — is based on the book Nemesis: The Final Case Of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt. It tells the true story of Ness in 1935, post-Untouchables, as Cleveland’s newly appointed Director of Public Safety. Bodies have started turning up — each one decapitated and dissected with a doctor’s skill and a madman’s bent. The police are baffled and the population is terrorized over America’s first serial killer, the so-called “Torso Killer.” Though it’s not his turf, Ness is forced to take over the case, but the more energy he pours into the investigation, the more it takes over and threatens to destroy his life.
Nemesis is being written by Benjamin Brand (IFC’s Bollywood Hero), who is executive producing with Zadan, Meron and Aperture Entertainment’s Adam Goldworm (Masters Of Horror). Storyline’s VP Development Mark Nicholson, who brought the project to the company and developed it, will serve as a producer. This is a big week for Zadan and Meron, who have two high-profile event projects premiering: The Sound Of Music on Thursday and the four-hour miniseries Bonnie & Clyde on Sunday on History, Lifetime and A&E, the latter also produced by Sony TV. This marks a reunion for Zadan and Meron with NBC’s long-form executive Quinn Taylor, with whom the duo last worked on the 2008 TV movie Raisin In The Sun while Taylor was still at ABC. Brand, repped by Gersh, Aperture and Barnes Morris, has comedy project Speak American in development at Fox with Royal Pains co-creator Andrew Lenchewski and producers Ben Silverman and Sofia Vergara. Goldworm is currently producing feature The Prince starring Bruce Willis and exec producing The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel.