Brit soldier's misadventure, 'Global' actioner developed
“Survivor” exec producer Mark Burnett has gone scripted, landing a pair of projects at the WB — including one based on his past life as a military commando-turned-nanny.
The Frog was smitten by Burnett’s nanny story, handing him a put pilot commitment to develop the half-hour comedy. It’s inspired by Burnett’s experience as a 22-year-old moving to America straight from the Falklands War, where he handled secret missions as a member of the elite British Army Parachute Regiment.
When he arrived in Hollywood, where he promised his mother he wouldn’t take on any more security-related jobs, Burnett answered an ad and moved in with a Beverly Hills family as their nanny.
“I was a commando, literally a couple of weeks beforehand a paid military killer, and then suddenly I’m changing diapers,” Burnett said. “And despite the fact that I reassured the family that I’d be good at cleaning and laundry, I was awful. They basically inherited another 22-year-old kid.”
Warner Bros. TV, where Burnett is in the midst of a two-year overall deal, is behind the sitcom. No writer is attached yet to the put pilot, which remains untitled — but is unofficially referred to as “Commando Nanny.”
WB comedy development co-chief Mike Clements said he’s been taken with Burnett since developing the scripted/nonfiction hybrid project “Are We There Yet?” with the reality guru last spring.
“He wins you over with his smart and charismatic personality,” Clements said. “Given his vision for the show, we felt like this was a great shot for us. Just take the elements that make Mark an unusual and charming character, and place that in a dysfunctional, wealthy American family, and then have this character go through unconventional situations.”
Burnett said the project will have a “fish out of water” storyline, as the character based on him — having been raised in an industrial English town — suddenly finds himself living the posh life in a Beverly Hills mansion.
“Living in a big, ‘Osbournes’ style house, there are even elements of ‘Down and Out in Beverly Hills,’ ” Burnett said.
As pitched by Burnett, the project will open with the nanny’s interview: The father is unconvinced, but his wife takes a shine to the young man and hires him to look after the couple’s three young children.
“The commando nanny becomes the glue, as everyone in the family starts getting along better,” Burnett said. “But the dad, like the one in ‘Mary Poppins,’ is on a mission to make the commando nanny quit or be fired.”
Meanwhile, the CAA-repped Burnett also has sold hourlong script “Global Frequency” to the WB.
Actioner, from Warner Bros. TV and sibling DC Comics, revolves around a shadowy figure named Miranda Zero who starts a top-secret worldwide independent defense intelligence organization.
John Rogers (“The Core”) has been tapped to write “Global Frequency,” based on the DC Comics series by Warren Ellis.
“The WB’s the perfect place for it,” Burnett said. “These are superheroes, but they don’t have superpowers. My kids are already in love with this.”