Fox paging ‘Black Book’

Bidding for project fierce

Fox has landed the single-camera comedy “The Black Book: Diary of a Teenage Stud,” ordering a pilot from Storyline Entertainment and the Greenblatt/Janollari Studio.

The project is based on a series of young adult novels written under the pen name Jonah Black and released by HarperCollins. Recent NYU Film grad Laura Wolf is attached to adapt the series, which is described as a cross between “Sex and the City” and “Malcolm in the Middle” (Daily Variety, Sept. 6.)

Sources said bidding grew fierce on the project, with networks such as ABC and the WB interested as well as Fox. ABC and Fox both offered blind pilot commitments.

“ABC was passionate about this project and their offer was head-turning,” said Greenblatt/Janollari partner Bob Greenblatt. The exec said Storyline and Greenblatt/Janollari ended up going with Fox because “Black Book” seemed more compatible with series such as “That ’70s Show” and “Malcolm in the Middle.”

‘Dream come true’

“Fox stepped up with a personal commitment from Sandy (Grushow), Gail (Berman) and David (Nevins), as well as a production commitment we couldn’t refuse,” Greenblatt said. “To be part of a comedy line-up that includes ‘Malcolm,’ ‘That ’70s Show,’ ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Titus’ and the midseason ‘Grounded for Life’ is a dream come true. We think we truly have the perfect FBC comedy, and it is such a good feeling to know that they realize it too.”

Sources say “The Black Book” could begin production soon for midseason or as a strike-contingent project for fall 2001.

“Black Book” is one of a number of series projects that Storyline’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, best known for their lush longform productions, have in development.

“The Black Book” deals were brokered by William Morris.

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