Joan Rater & Tony Phelan Sell ‘Council Of Dads’ & ‘Trust’ Drama Projects To NBC

Joan Rater Tony Phelan
Courtesy of UTA

Doubt creators Joan Rater and Tony Phelan have sold two dramas to NBC, Council of Dads, inspired by Bruce Feiler’s book, with Jerry Bruckheimer Television producing, and Trust, based on an European format Banking District, with Keshet Studios producing. Both projects hail from Universal TV where Rater and Phelan have an overall deal and Keshet Studios is based.

Written by Rater and Phelan, Council of Dads is inspired by Feiler’s bestselling memoirThe Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness and the Men Who Could Be Me. It is the story of Scott Perry, who assembles a unique group of carefully chosen male friends to help his family adjust to a new normal after receiving a potentially terminal diagnosis.

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.

Also written by Rater and Phelan, Trust, based on the French-language format Banking District, is described as part thriller, part family drama. It follows psychology professor Michaela Murphy as she unexpectedly takes over her family’s banking business when her brother suspiciously falls into a coma. In order to save her brother’s life, the bank and her family’s legacy, Michaela must contend with her estranged family and in doing so begins to uncover a host of long-buried secrets.

Rater and Phelan executive produce with Keshet Studios’ Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan. Universal Television produces in association with Midwest Livestock and Keshet Studios.

The original series, Quartier des Banques, distributed by French company About Premium Content, was produced by Point Prod & Panache Productions and premiered last year on RTS, RTBF and Teleclub in Switzerland. You can watch a trailer with English subtitles here.

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.

Feiler, 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.

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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