NBC locks up ‘Law’ man

Peacock makes commitment to Bochco project for fall 2004

Steven Bochco is returning to NBC for the first time since “L.A. Law,” teaming with feature scribes Jay Lavender and Jeremy Garelick on an hourlong dramedy.

Paramount-based Bochco will exec produce the untitled hour, with Lavender and Garelick writing and exec producing. Peacock has made a premium script commitment to the project, being developed for fall 2004.

Skein will focus on rookie cops in a suburban college town who spend much of their time handling bizarre, generally non-life-threatening crimes. Most of the officers grew up in the town they’re now policing.

“It’s a very nifty idea,” Bochco said. “Unlike ‘NYPD Blue,’ this won’t be about life-and-death stuff most of the time. It’s going to be very comedic, and it’s sort of small enough that you can have a little quieter fun with it.”

Project was originally intended as a half-hour, but NBC execs believed it worked better as an hour. “When you do these kinds of shows in a half-hour, you can’t develop character and story in a way that’s satisfying,” Bochco said.

Lavender and Garelick said that with urban cop shows already successfully populating primetime, they wanted to go in a different direction and adopt a comedic tone. While Bochco struck gold with “L.A. Law” at NBC, he spent the 1990s developing for ABC and CBS. Last year, Bochco developed a cop show for Fox and a drama for HBO about marriage that did not move forward.

Bochco is teamed with scribes Matt Olmstead and Nicholas Wootton on a cop drama being developed by ABC (Daily Variety, Aug. 14). He’s also promoting his new novel “Death by Hollywood.”

Lavender and Garelick inked a three-script deal with Dimension Films earlier this year and are writing and will produce with Todd Phillips the comedy “The Man From Nantucket” (Daily Variety, Jan. 30). Duo are repped by the William Morris Agency and Principato-Young.

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