LONDON — Kay Mellor, writer of the hit British TV drama “Band of Gold,” has been commissioned to create the second American series under ITV producer Granada’s recent deal with ABC Television.

Granada and ABC have also hired Jim Sadewith, writer of ABC’s six-part series “Gun,” to script the first project under their recent deal, an American version of Granada’s British psychodrama “Cracker.”

The American “Cracker” pilot is skedded for next spring on ABC, while the Mellor project, as yet untitled, is scheduled for 1998.

ABC has struck a deal for Mellor to write two scripts, for the pilot and a subsequent episode. The project is based on an original concept about two women, a prostitute and a private investigator, who become soul mates when they flee Chicago for Los Angeles in an attempt to escape their old lives.

This bears a close similarity to “Band of Gold,” a hard-edged series about a group of prostitutes caught up in a murder hunt, produced by the Granada-owned station LWT for the ITV network. The show was a big hit in the U.K. and was shown subsequently by HBO in the U.S.

Regarding the American project, Granada’s controller of drama, Gub Neal, said, “The central characters are two very assertive women. It’s very sexy, very Kay, with a lovely combination of eccentricity and accessibility. Kay seems to have cracked intuitively what the Americans are looking for.”

Granada, one of the U.K.’s biggest producers, is determined to produce directly for the U.S. networks following the success of its British shows such as “Cracker,” the Emmy Award-winning “Prime Suspect” and costumer “Moll Flanders” on cable and PBS.

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