Berman, repped by CAA and attorneys Ken Richman and Jason Hendler, began his career as a junior writer on the first season of CBS’ CSI, eventually rising to executive producer. He went on to create the Fox drama Vanished and worked on the network’s veteran procedural Bones before creating Drop Dead Diva for Sony TV and Lifetime. Under his current, fourth consecutive Sony overall deal, Berman has been serving as a consulting producer on the studio’s The Blacklist, where he got to work with Margolis and Sonnier.
Drama Sawyer & Huck, a modern-day take on the classic Mark Twain characters, has landed at CBS with a put pilot commitment. The project comes from Sony Pictures TV, studio-based Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman and CBS TV Studios.
Penned by The Blacklist writers Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier and to be directed by Anthony Hemingway (Shameless, Treme), Sawyer & Huck is described as a reimagining of the iconic characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as adults in modern day America at a time that harkens back to the racial and class divides that inspired Mark Twain’s books. After a murder case brings them together in St. Louis, Tom Sawyer hires his previously estranged boyhood friend Huck Finn as an investigator for his foundering one-man legal firm and together they take on cases for people who don’t have anywhere else to turn.
Twain’s novels, especially The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, deal with issues of race and identity in the segregated US. In a comic sequel, Tom Sawyer, Detective, Twain’s grown-up hero Tom attempts to solve a murder with the help of his best friend, Huck.
Executive producing Sawyer & Huck are Margolis & Sonnier, Berman, Marc Taylor and Hemingway.
The characters of Sawyer and Finn have been the subject of numerous screen adaptations. Three years ago, ABC developed a Tom Sawyer-Huckleberry Finn drama featuring the duo as 20-something investigators in a steampunk New Orleans. And this summer, comedic feature Band Of Robbers reimagined Sawyer and Finn as modern-day grownups on a crime spree.
Margolis and Sonnier, for whom The Blacklist was their first TV writing jobs, are repped by CAA, Tantillo Entertainment and attorney Stephen Clark.