In a competitive situation, NBC has landed Closure, a legal procedural drama from Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman, Underground executive producer John Legend and Sony Pictures TV Studios with a put pilot commitment.
Written by Berman, Closure is based on the inspiring story of Serena Nunn, who at 19 learned about the criminal justice system first-hand after being sentenced to 15 years for conspiracy to distribute drugs, despite her being a star student and her negligible role in the crime as the girlfriend of a drug dealer. Nunn became victim of the mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes, and, eight years into her jail term, she was featured in a newspaper article about the controversial practice. It got the attention of a young lawyer, Sam Sheldon, who filed a petition for a presidential commutation on her behalf. Supported by the governor of Minnesota, where Nunn had been raised, and Nunn’s sentencing judge, the petition was granted by then-President Bill Clinton.
When Nunn’s sentence was commuted after 11 years, she went on to earn a college and law school degrees. She started working in the public defender’s office in Atlanta assisting other lawyers because, despite her commutation, her conviction prevented her from admission to the state bar. That changed when Nunn was pardoned by President Obama last December. Nunn is now a practicing lawyer using her unique perspective to defend her clients.
Closure is executive produced by Berman via his Osprey Productions and the company’s head of production & development Chris King as well as Get Lifted Film Co. principals John Legend, Mike Jackson and Thais Stiklorius. Nunn and Sheldon are executive consultants.
Closure stems from Berman’s overall deal with Sony TV, where Get Lifted recently inked a first-look deal.
Berman began his career as a junior writer on the first season of CBS’ CSI. He remained on the long-running procedural for six years, rising to executive producer. He went on to create the Fox drama Vanished and spent four years on the network’s veteran procedural Bones. At Sony TV, where he has been fore more than a decade, Berman created/co-created three series, Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime, The Mob Doctor on Fox and Notorious on ABC. He also worked on the studios’ The Blacklist and Daytime Divas.
In addition to WGN America/Sony TV’s praised Underground, on the feature side, Get Lifted recently executive produced the Oscar-nominated La La Land and the Barack and Michelle Obama date pic Southside with You.
Osprey Productions is repped by CAA and attorneys Ken Richman and Jason Hendler. Get Lifted is with WME and Nina Shaw.