Wietz brothers set up half-hour laffer with ABC
Chris and Paul Weitz are reteaming with scribe Lorene Scafaria for a half-hour comedy about teachers set up at ABC via Touchstone Television.
Scafaria is adapting the novel “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” for Focus Features and Depth of Field, the Universal-based shingle run by the Weitz brothers and partner Andrew Miano (Daily Variety, March 8). Relationship on that project led the Weitzes and Scafaria to work together on the TV idea.
Depth of Field earlier this week inked a rich two-year overall deal with NBC Universal Television Studio (Daily Variety, Aug. 24). ABC-Touchstone project was carved out in advance of the Peacock deal.
Touchstone topper Mark Pedowitz said he was glad to get the chance to develop and produce with the Weitz brothers “as they continue their expansion into television. They have a creativity and a style that we look for in our collaborators.”
Weitz brothers will exec produce the laffer, with Miano on board as co-exec producer. Depth of Field VP Kerry Kohansky, who first brought Scafaria into the company, will also be involved in supervising the production.
According to Scafaria, her Alphabet script “is essentially ‘Scrubs’ set in the faculty room of a New Jersey public high school.”
“I’d like to think it’s more ‘Election’ for TV,” Jersey-born scribe added.
Single-camera laffer will be an ensembler, with one of the central characters a young English teacher who’s returning to the school from which she graduated eight years earlier.
After seeing Scafaria’s take on the “Nick and Nora” screenplay, “We were eager to get into business with her again,” Chris Weitz said.
Miano added, “Having all been through high school, the show presents a very relatable world that will also allow us to comment on current events.”
Scafaria wrote “The Mighty Flynn” for Warner Independent; in June, she was tapped one of Daily Variety‘s “10 Screenwriters to Watch.”