‘Kennedys’ elected as ABC drama

Net makes premium script commitment, orders 22-segs

Camelot could be coming to ABC.

Net is pairing with Touchstone Television-based Tollin/Robbins Prods. for “The Kennedys,” an hourlong period drama that will revolve around multiple generations of America’s most famous political dynasty. Peter Buchman (“Jurassic Park III”) is writing and exec producing, with Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola on board as exec producers.

Project is the first major drama to emerge from Tollin-Robbins’ new deal with Touchstone. Alphabet has made a premium script commitment to the project and ordered a 22-episode bible, Robbins said.

“The Kennedys” will begin in 1959 and, during the show’s first season, follow John F. Kennedy as he battles through a controversial campaign for the presidency. Skein will then explore the Camelot years through the eyes of multiple Kennedys, including patriarch Joe, brother Bobby and wife Jackie; it’ll also use flashbacks to tell stories from the early days of the clan.

“This country is just amazingly obsessed with this family,” Robbins said. “Part of the reason behind this show is to figure out why, to get under that mystique. It’s just this fascinating family with fascinating family dynamics.”

Robbins was born on Nov. 22, 1963 — the day JFK was shot. As a result, he’s always been interested in the Kennedy clan and wants to make a show that’s about more than “who’s sleeping with whom.”

“This is something we want to treat with great class and respect, and really make a quality show,” he said. “If you do this right, you’re going to bring a big audience to the screen.”

Touchstone Television prexy Steve McPherson, usually not one for overstatement, was anything but reserved in his assessment of the project.

“Brian, Mike and Peter’s vision for this groundbreaking show is astonishing,” he said. “We couldn’t be more excited to be involved with such an amazing piece of business.”

ABC Entertainment prexy Susan Lyne said the network is particularly excited by the UTA-packaged skein because “it allows for both micro and macro stories: the intimate dynamics of family against the backdrop of events that shaped the country.”

Buchman recently adapted David Fisher’s “The War Magician” for Cruise-Wagner Prods. and Paramount.

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