‘Nine’ adds up for ABC

ABC banking on 'Nine'; Fox to remake Brit hit

As pilot season gets under way, ABC has already greenlit the Hank and K.J. Steinberg drama “Nine Lives,” while Fox has ordered a U.S. version of Britcom “Worst Week of My Life.”

The high-concept “Nine Lives,” from Warner Bros. TV, follows nine strangers who share a bond after experiencing a bank robbery gone bad.

“It’s like ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ bad,” said Hank Steinberg, who began work on the skein after his sister K.J. (“Judging Amy”) pitched him the concept. “They all end up being trapped in there, and there’s a tense, dramatic hostage crisis for 52 hours.”

“Nine Lives” picks up after they’re released, depicting how the nine re-enter their lives and are affected by what happened. One character quits his job, another might leave his wife. “It’s timely, with the world being so fragile right now,” Steinberg said.

Throughout the season, information about what actually happened during the hostage standoff will be revealed, slowly explaining why the nine survivors react the way they do.

K.J. Steinberg said she came up with the idea after a friend told her he was robbed at gunpoint while on a date. “The first question I thought to ask him was, ‘Are you still seeing her?’ ” she said.

Turns out they were.

“They bonded further because of that experience — I was fascinated by that,” she said.

“Nine Lives” reps the first project for Hank Steinberg after leaving day-to-day oversight of CBS’ “Without a Trace.” He continues on that show as an exec producer, however. K.J. Steinberg, meanwhile, is working on the ABC Family skein “Beautiful People.”

As for “Worst Week of My Life,” Ed Decter and John Strauss (“There’s Something About Mary”) will adapt the skein for Fox auds and exec produce. Regency TV and Hat Trick are aboard to produce the show, which begins by chronicling the week leading up to a couple’s wedding — in which everything that can go wrong does. Each episode will chronicle a day in that week, and every seven days will follow another hair-pulling week in the couple’s lives.

Decter and Strauss’ other TV credits include “Odd Man Out,” “The Closer,” “Too Something” and “Boy Meets World.”

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