Former Cougar Town star Dan Byrd has lined up his follow-up series project, signing on for a co-starring role in the drama pilot Model Woman at ABC, the network where comedy Cougar Town started before migrating to TBS.

The project, from Sony TV’s TriStar Television and ABC Studios, is a fictionalized family soap inspired by Robert Lacey’s book Model Woman: Eileen Ford And The Business Of Beauty, the recently published biography of the outspoken and controversial woman who started as a model and went on to co-found the famous Ford Modeling Agency with her husband Jerry.

Written by Reality Bites scribe Helen Childress and directed by Richard Shepard, Model Woman is set in the late 1970s during the notorious Model Wars and centers on Bertie Geiss – a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman at the helm of an internationally renowned modeling agency. Byrd will play Bertie’s oldest son, Lonnie Geiss, SVP of Geiss Agency, who makes the trains run on time but longs to prove himself in other ways, and wants to find the next new face.

For six seasons, Byrd played Travis Cobb on Cougar Town. He is repped by Gersh, Dan Spilo at Industry and attorney Rick Genow.