CBS Developing Legal Drama From ‘American Pastoral’ Writer & Joel Silver

Concept Arts

CBS has put in development Southern/Eastern, a legal drama from American Pastoral writer John Romano and producer Joel Silver (Veronica Mars). Lionsgate TV, where Silver’s Silver Pictures Television has a first-look deal, is the studio.

Written by Romano, Southern/Eastern is based on the upcoming nonfiction book of the same name by Johnny Dwyer (American Warlord). It centers on the young and ambitious Assistant U.S. Attorneys of the Southern Federal Court District as they duke it out with their rival Eastern District for the most high-profile federal criminal cases in New York City. Romano is executive producing with Silver and Rodney Ferrell, president of Silver Pictures Television.

Romano recently wrote American Pastoral, the Ewan McGregor-directed feature book adaptation starring McGregor, Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Connolly, which just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Romano’s TV series credits include Cinemax’s Banshee, AMC’s Hell On Wheels and USA’s In Plain Sight.

This is the second broadcast sale for Silver Pictures Television through Lionsgate TV this season. The company also has NBC drama script Twist, written by Chad Damiani and J.P. Lavin. It is a gender-bending, sexy contemporary take on Oliver Twist with a struggling twentysomething female lead.

Additionally, Silver Pictures TV also has family drama New People set at Freeform with feature writer-director Don Roos (The Opposite Of Sex) attached to write and executive produce. It is inspired by the bestselling novel Becoming Nicole: The Transformation Of An American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt, which tells the true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother and their family’s journey.  

In features, Silver most recently produced The Nice Guys, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling for Warner Bros. He also is producing the George Clooney-directed Suburbicon, written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac.

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