Mamet, Peacock nest

Author inks with Pariah to create NBC action skein

Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe David Mamet (“Glengarry Glen Ross”) has pacted with NBC-based Pariah Television to create an hourlong drama series for the Peacock.

Skein, targeted for a fall 2003 launch, will be a sort of ” ‘Robin Hood’ meets ‘Mission: Impossible’ meets ‘The A-Team,’ ” according to NBC senior VP for drama Chris Conti. Mamet will earn a mid-six-figure sum for writing the script and will serve as exec producer of the project, which Conti described as one of the net’s major development priorities.

Pariah will produce the untitled skein via its overall deal with NBC, with Gavin Polone serving as exec producer.

“It’s a thrill to be in business with someone of the stature of David Mamet,” said NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker. “It’s clear we have the best writers working on NBC shows. And we couldn’t have a better writer than David Mamet.”

Pariah development/production co-topper Jessika Borsiczky noted many previous TV efforts have tried to duplicate Mamet’s knack for creating “characters and intrigue that always take you someplace you never expected to go.

“There are a lot of Mamet imitators,” she said of the Oscar-nominated scribe-helmer. “We’ve got the real thing. And NBC’s a great network for it. They have the reputation for quality drama and the kind of schedule that can really launch a sophisticated drama like this.”

Con comes first

Conti said each episode of the Mamet skein would open up as the show’s core group — likely four men and a woman — are attempting to pull off a con. As the episode progresses, viewers will learn what led to the con and how the group became involved.

“These guys are private sector,” he said. “We don’t know why they exist; they just do. But they do cons to bring down bad guys. When the system screws you over, they’re the guys who get you back what you deserve.”

The cons will be a big part of each episode, with Conti expecting “wildly imaginative scenarios from the mind of David Mamet” every week.

Mamet continues to be busy on the feature front, recently inking a seven-figure deal with Warner Bros. to pen a pic about legendary gangster John Dillinger. Studio is talking to Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”) about directing (Daily Variety, Sept. 4).

Scribe also has completed directing “Diary of a Young London Physician,” based on his own scripted take of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. Jude Law and Penelope Cruz star.

Mamet’s other feature credits include “Heist,” “The Spanish Prisoner” and “Wag the Dog.”

Deal was brokered by ICM’s Scott Arnovitz and John Burnham, along with lawyer Stan Coleman.

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