High school cop drama gets early go-ahead

Fox continues to make good on its promise to order pilots early this season, greenlighting on Wednesday a youth-oriented cop drama from Barry Schindel and Rob Port.

The Universal Network TV project, “Hollywood Division,” revolves around detectives who infiltrate a Hollywood high school as well as go undercover inside the seedy side of young show business. Studio calls it a cross between “21 Jump Street” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

Schindel (“Law & Order”) and Port (“Twin Towers”) will co-write and co-create; Schindel will exec produce, while Port will serve as supervising producer.

“(Fox) should be acknowledged for their quick and sure response to the material, as well as all of their — including Sandy Grushow’s — thoughtful insight,” Schindel said. “None of it of course would have been possible without David Kissinger and the support of his team at Universal.”

Project is Fox’s second drama pilot greenlit for fall 2004 consideration; net ordered the Rene Echevarria/Jeff Kline drama “Ricochet” last week.

Fox drama development senior VP Peter Johnson said he thought the show’s mix of young characters and procedural crime-oriented storylines would resonate with the network’s audience. The exec said the project promises to mix ripped-from-the-headlines cases with the world of young Hollywood.

“You look at the current TV environment, and there isn’t a great, quintessential youth-driven cop show,” Johnson said. “What I loved about the pitch and script that we got is it delivered on both worlds in the show: It’s equal parts police cases and Hollywood.”

Schindel also has the put pilot “Fault Line,” which he’s writing with Jonathan Mostow, set up at ABC (Daily Variety, Oct. 2).

Schindel first joined “Law & Order” as a producer in 1999, moving to exec producer the following season. He also served as an exec producer on the pilot to last season’s CBS drama “Robbery Homicide Division.”

Port, meanwhile, won an Academy Award for directing the documentary “Twin Towers.” He exec produced the FX telepic “44 Minutes,” the cabler’s highest-rated program ever, and is a consulting producer on ABC’s “10-8.” Port’s credits also include stints as a exec producer of Dick Wolf’s “Arrest & Trial” and he was president of Maury Povich’s MoPo Entertainment.

Both scribes boast legal backgrounds: Schindel was a criminal defense attorney in New York City while Port is a deputy in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.

Schindel is repped by CAA and Tom Hoberman, Port by CAA and Jeanne Newman.

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