This year’s slow pitch season is getting into gear with the first pilot production commitment. CBS has handed it out to Austen’s Razor, a drama from Legendary Television, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura executive producing. After spending its first year mostly on internal development, Legendary TV is getting out there, with the Austen’s Razor production commitment coming a week after the company’s first scripted pilot order, for The Colony at USA. Like The Colony, which is a co-production with USA sibling UCP, Austen’s Razor will be co-produced with CBS’ sister studio CBS TV Studios, an indication of Legendary’s strategy of partnering with the networks it sells to and its willingness to go through the traditional pilot process versus pursuing the straight-to-series model exclusively. Austen’s Razor centers on a character inspired by Arthur L. Caplan, an authority on bioethics, who works for the NYU Langone Medical Center and consults for companies and organizations around the globe. Caplan will co-write the script for the project — about a brilliant bioethicist called in at crisis moments to solve the most complicated, dynamic and confounding medical issues imaginable — with David Klass and Perri Klass.
Feature writer David Klass (Kiss The Girls) and his sister Perri, a screenwriter and well known New York pediatrician, have an affinity for TV writing and previously penned another medical drama project for CBS, Golden Hour. It was Perri who became interested in the area of bioethics and made the introduction to Caplan, with the Klasses immediately sparking to the idea of a series loosely based on Caplan’s experiences. The three developed the concept and met with several high-level producers, ultimately going with di Bonaventura, who had an existing relationship with David Klass on the feature side. Di Bonaventura’s company has a deal at Legendary, which took the project out, garnering multiple bids and ultimately setting it up at CBS. Di Bonaventura, Dan McDermott, David Klass and Perri Klass executive produce, with Caplan serving as a consulting producer. The Klasses and Caplan are with Circle of Confusion, Innovative and Jackoway, Tyerman; di Bonaventura and McDermott with CAA.