Nyswaner to pen pilot for fall 2004

Feature scribe Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”) is moving into series television, pacting with Warner Bros. TV-based producer Tony Krantz (“24”) and helmer Rodrigo Garcia (“Carnivale”) to produce a medical drama for CBS.

Nyswaner, who snagged an Oscar nom for “Philadelphia,” will write the pilot and exec produce with Garcia and Krantz via the latter’s Flame Television. Garcia, who directed the “Carnivale” pilot for HBO, is set to direct the project should it get ordered to pilot.

Eye has made a premium script commitment with a penalty attached; project is being developed for fall 2004.

“It’s the other side of ‘ER,'” said Krantz, who in his former life as an agent put together the package for the hit skein. “If ‘ER’ dealt with a single outpost, this show deals with the largest of frontiers in medicine.”

Nyswaner, who penned this summer’s Emmy-nominated Showtime pic “A Soldier’s Girl,” said his untitled CBS skein would be set in a kind of “hospital you haven’t seen on television before.”

“It’s an adventurous medical drama, and obviously we’re going to try to separate ourselves from our illustrious predecessors, like ‘ER,’ ” he said. “We’ve found one or two elements that set us apart.”

Citing the Eye’s desire to keep its development under wraps as much as possible, Nyswaner declined to offer further specifics.

Nyswaner has worked with Garcia before, teaming on a script when Nyswaner was an adviser at the Sundance screenwriting lab.

“It was very natural for my first adventure in (series) television to go to someone I knew and really liked and who was extremely talented like Rodrigo,” he said.

Nyswaner said he’s been talking to Krantz about TV for some years, but only now did the project come together. “Ideas just fly out of Tony’s head, and I’m trying to catch a few and create a TV career,” he quipped.

Like many feature scribes who’ve jumped into TV, Nyswaner said the medium’s ability to let writers grow and evolve characters is what attracted him to take a stab at a series.

“If we hit the lottery and clear all the hurdles there are to making a series and getting it on the air, I’m intrigued by the idea of being able to stick by characters for days and months, and really discover them,” he said.

In addition to “Philadelphia” and “A Soldier’s Girl,” Endeavor-repped Nyswaner wrote “Trial by Jury,” a project in the works at Intermedia with Sam Raimi attached to direct. He also penned “The Monk Downstairs,” a romantic comedy being produced by Julia Roberts that’s in the works at Revolution.

Garcia’s small-screen credits include episodes of “Six Feet Under” and “Boomtown.” He directed the Showtime pic “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her.”

Project was packaged by Endeavor, which reps Nyswaner and Garcia.

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