ABC Signature Lands Julia Child As CIA Agent Dramedy Spec By Benjamin Brand

ABC Signature, the cable/digital division of ABC Studios, has landed the hot hourlong spec Julia, a darkly comedic dramedy about celebrity chef Julia Child from writer Benjamin Brand and ABC Signature Studios.

The fictional project is based on a true fact: before she was the world’s first celebrity chef, Julia Child was an agent for the OSS, the precursor to the CIA, during World War II. Extrapolating from that, Julia imagines a world where the CIA takes advantage of Julia Child’s newfound celebrity status and drags the French Chef back into action as a covert operative.

Brand executive produces with Aperture Entertainment’s Adam Goldworm.

Brand drew inspiration for Julia from a 1990s PBS program titled Cooking for the C.I.A. “I was disappointed when I learned that in this case, the C.I.A. stood for the Culinary Institute of America,” Brand said. “Cooking Secrets of the Central Intelligence Agency always seemed like a more interesting show to me. Many years later, when I read a biography of Julia Child and learned about her experiences during World War II, working for the Office of Strategic Services — the precursor to the C.I.A. — the story of Julia quickly fell into place.”

Brand recently developed The Italian Job and Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness at NBC. He’s repped by WME, Aperture Entertainment and Morris Yorn.

Aperture Entertainment’s My Friend Dahmer is being released theatrically this fall. The company is also producing the Vince McMahon biopic Pandemonium at Tristar with John Requa & Glenn Ficarra directing.

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