Fox Developing ‘No Ordinary Time’ Limited Series With Stephen Frears & Bob Cooper

Fox has put in development No Ordinary Time, a 10-hour limited series based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book chronicling President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term during World War II.

Stephen Frears (The Queen) is attached to direct the project, which will be written by Paul Webb (Selma). Landscape Entertainment’s Bob Cooper and Tyler Mitchell will executive produce with Alan J. Pakula‘s widow, writer Hannah Pakula, and Entertainment One Television. Alan Pakula, long a respected writer/director, was working on a feature adaptation of Goodwin’s 1995 book when he was killed in a car accident in 1998.

“It was nearly two decades ago that Alan Pakula acquired the rights to No Ordinary Time, shortly after the book was published, and it was the last project he was working on before his untimely death,” Goodwin said. “He loved this project — this era, the people, the drama – as do I, and I am so glad that it will now be brought to life through his wife Hannah Pakula and this remarkable circle of talented people.”

BobCooper Headshot(1) frearsThe Fox limited series will be a new take on the material, with no elements of Pakula’s adaptation. Cooper’s Landscape tracked down and acquired the book rights, setting up the project at eOne, where Landscape has a first-look deal. eOne and FX Prods. will produce the series, with eOne handling international distribution.

No_Ordinary_Time_book_cover_1995No Ordinary Times weaves several story lines from one of the most important periods in U.S. history and one of its most revered presidents: a man crippled by polio; a marriage crippled by betrayal; a country crippled by economic disaster; a world crippled by war – and how leadership and forgiveness triumph over all those daunting challenges.

The nerve center of a global war, FDR’s White House was transformed into something of a vibrant boarding house, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since. With the president unable to venture widely across the war-torn world, he and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt sought to bring the world to them. The result was a close circle of confidantes, ranging from the Princess of Norway to Winston Churchill to FDR’s own mother, who lived, loved, conspired, betrayed and collaborated to save America and the world from tyranny. The deal was brokered by ICM Partners and Paradigm.

Fox’s push into the limited-series format started with 24: Live Another Day, with two more limited-run series, Gracepoint and Wayward Pines, slated for this coming season.

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