ABC captures Hunt as Fuqua finds ‘Vanished’

Web also greenlights 'Small Town' sudser

ABC is getting back in business with Bonnie Hunt, while helmer Antoine Fuqua has come on board Fox’s “Vanished.”

In another busy day of pilot pickups, Alphabet also greenlit the sudser “Secrets of a Small Town,” while NBC gave thumbs-up to Candace Bushnell’s “Lipstick Jungle” (Daily Variety, Nov. 15).

On the Hunt front, ABC has greenlit production on a half-hour laffer from the thesp-scribe, whose last ABC laffer “Life With Bonnie” ran for two seasons. Touchstone Television is once again set to produce, with Don Lake reteaming with Hunt to write and exec produce.

Untitled single-camera project has Hunt starring as a newly divorced woman who works as a detective. Hunt also will direct the pilot.

Hunt, currently on the bigscreen opposite Steve Martin in “Cheaper by the Dozen 2,” just wrapped writing (with Lake) “Mrs. Doubtfire 2” for Robin Williams. She recently starred in indie feature “Loggerheads” and lends her voice to Disney/Pixar’s summer release “Cars.”

Touchstone also is behind “Secrets of a Small Town,” which scribe Chuck Pratt (“Melrose Place”) is exec producing with Chris Brancato and Bert Salke. Project’s about the murder of a teenage girl and the disappearance of her sister. Crimes kick off a chain reaction that leads to both emotional and humorous discoveries that have been long buried.

Pratt has a good pedigree when it comes to pilots: He teamed with Marc Cherry to exec produce the original seg of “Desperate Housewives.” Pratt has been a consultant on the series, focusing on his role as co-head writer of “General Hospital.”

“Secrets” is the first project from Brancato and Salke to snag a greenlight since the duo inked their rich new overall deal at Touchstone (Daily Variety, June 2).

As for Fuqua, he’s signed on to direct “Vanished,” the 20th Century Fox TV-produced drama from “CSI” exec producer Josh Berman about a woman who goes missing (Daily Variety, Aug. 25). Fuqua, who has an overall deal at 20th, also will serve as an exec producer of the pilot.

Fuqua’s last pilot was Brancato and Salke’s Fox project “Murder Book.”

Over at the Peacock, “Lipstick Jungle” reps the first pickup for NBC’s recently established New York development office. Gotham-based NBC senior VP Katie O’Connell aggressively pushed “Lipstick,” which comes from “Sex and the City” creator Bushnell.

Scribe Robin Schiff is penning “Lipstick” with Bushnell. Comedy revolves around a trio of power-hungry, rich women who do everything in their power to maintain their status in New York.

NBC Universal TV Studio is behind the project.

(Michael Schneider contributed to this report.)

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