TNT, Sony join Zadan, Meron for 'Boy'

TNT and Sony Pictures Television are teaming up with “Chicago” exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on a telefilm adaptation of the novel “The Boy Next Door.”

The book, set in the world of New York City tabloid journalism, marked the debut adult novel by Meggin Cabot, following the author’s young-adult fiction series “The Princess Diaries,” which Walt Disney Pictures released as a feature.

TNT’s senior VP of movies and minis Michael Wright describes the project as a “romantic dramedy” involving two competing columnists.

“It would be off-strategy for us to do straight comedy,” said Wright, whose network’s slogan is “We Know Drama.”

“This is a love story with a sense of humor at its heart,” he told Daily Variety. “We want movies that are going to move people, make them think and entertain them.”

Zadan and Meron will exec produce the two-hour telepic for their Storyline Entertainment and Sony Pictures TV. David Mace will produce, and a writer, director and cast are all to be determined. Project would likely make it on Turner Network Television’s sked sometime next year.

Project marks Storyline’s first collaboration with TNT, although the duo has collaborated with Wright over the years, when he was at CAA and CBS.

“We’ve wanted to break through in cable with TNT for a long time,” Zadan told Daily Variety. “Hopefully this will be the first of many, many projects we do with them.”

When Wright landed at TNT last spring, he said he met with Zadan and Meron in the first week to determine how they could work together again.

“I’ve known these guys a long time, and know their unique ability to bring top talent to the table,” Wright said. “You know you will get something at the end of the process that’s elevated. You know you’re doing something that will be a real gem.”

Added Helen Verno, exec VP of movies and minis for Sony Pictures TV: “Craig and Neil, with whom we have made so many wonderful films, are the perfect producers for a romantic movie, and TNT is the right home for this material.”

Previous credits for Zadan and Meron include “Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows” and “Martin and Lewis.”

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