Ilene Chaiken FBI Drama & Erin Foster Comedy Get Fox Pilot Orders As Chaiken Exits As ‘Empire’ Showrunner

Photo: Ricky Middlesworth

Fox has ordered two more pilots — a drama from Empire executive producer/showrunner Ilene ChaikenRosewood writer-producer Melissa Scrivner Love and Scandal co-executive producer Judy Smith, and Daddy Issues, a single-camera comedy from actress-writer Erin Foster, who is set to star, and New Girl creator Liz Meriwether. Both hail from 20th Century Fox TV and 3 Arts Entertainment and both had received put pilot commitments.


The untitled drama was one of two projects Chaiken sold to Fox this cycle. She stepped back from showrunning Empire — which she had done since the series’ start — in midseason to focus on development while remaining an executive producer on the hip-hop-themed family soap. In the interim, Brett Mahoney has stepped in to help lead the series, which is set to return in March from a winter hiatus.

In addition to Empire, Chaiken also serves as an executive producer on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and The L Word reboot at Showtime.

The untitled FBI drama (fka Mrs. Otis Regrets), written by Chaiken and Love, centers on FBI Special Agent Clementine Otis, who’s in the midst of investigating a domestic terrorism threat when a personal indiscretion – an affair with a prominent general – shatters her life and threatens her career at the FBI. Now labeled “the mistress,” Clementine Otis – wife, mother, patriot – begins to rebuild her personal life and professional reputation.

Chaiken and Scrivner Love executive produce with Smith, who also is under a deal at 20th TV, and 3 Arts’ Oly Obst (The Mick, Ghosted and The Resident).

20th Century Fox TV

Comedy Daddy Issues, written by Foster and loosely based on her life, revolves aroundsingle, 30-something Andi (played by Foster), who refuses to settle down, and her friendship with her playboy dad. Andi’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her dad has fallen in love with her best friend.

Foster, whose father is music producer David Foster, and Meriwether executive produce with 3 Arts’ Oly Obst and Josh Lieberman. She originally was not attached to star in the project, but the Andi role always was earmarked for her as the character is loosely based on her.

Foster’s series credits include VH1’s reality parody Barely Famous, which she co-created, executive produced and starred in alongside her sister Sara. She previously wrote for the NBC comedy The New Normal.

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