NBC has given a pilot green light to Council of Dads, a drama inspired by Bruce Feiler’s book from Doubt creators Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Universal TV where Rater and Phelan have an overall deal.
Written by Rater and Phelan, Council of Dads is inspired by Feiler’s bestselling memoir The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness and the Men Who Could Be Me. It is the story of Scott Perry and his family, whose lives are thrown into upheaval when he gets a potentially terminal diagnosis. Facing his mortality, he and his wife, Robin, assemble a unique group of carefully chosen friends to support his family and guide them through the ups and downs of life’s many challenges.
Rater and Phelan executive produce via their Midwest Livestock Productions with Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed of Jerry Bruckheimer TV. Feiler and JBTV’s James Oh serve as producers. Universal TV produces in association with Midwest Livestock and JBTV.
Feiler’s The Council of Dads was published in 2010 by William Morrow & Company. It chronicles the real-life experiences of bestselling author Feiler (Walking the Bible), who in 2008 was diagnosed with rare, life-threatening cancer. Fearing what the absence of a father figure would do to the lives of his young twin daughters, he looked at his male fiends and realized that there was no one person perfectly suited for the job. So he formed a Council of Dads, which consisted of six of his closest friends who agreed to help him raise his daughters. Each had his area of expertise: homework dad, outdoors dad, etc., so the girls knew who to turn to for a specific issue when their mother’s help was not enough. Feiler’s story has a happy ending – he made a full recovery, and the council was never fully activated.
The book was first adapted for TV eight years ago as a half-hour comedy by Peter Tolan, which sold to Fox with a big commitment and went to pilot starring Kyle Bornheimer.
Council of Dads was one of two sales at NBC for Rater and Phelan this season, along with Trust, based on the French-language format Banking District.
Feiler, who also wrote and presented PBS miniseries Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler, is repped by CAA, Hansen, Jacobson, and David Black Literary Agency.
Veteran writing and producing duo Rater and Phelan most recently created and executive produced the CBS legal drama series Doubt. Under their previous deal with CBS TV Studios, they also served as consulting producers on CBS’ Madam Secretary. The duo previously served as executive producers/showrunners on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Rater and Phelan are repped by UTA and Myman Greenspan.
JBTV, which has series Lucifer on Netflix, The Amazing Race on CBS and L.A.’s Finest on Spectrum, is repped by CAA.
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