Alphabet, Rake make progress

ABC cops a drama pilot

The network of “NYPD Blue” is looking to return to the cop beat — this time on the left coast.

ABC has snatched up an untitled character-based procedural drama about rookie cops from scribe Jeff Rake (“Boston Legal”). Sony Pictures TV-based 25C Prods. is producing, with Rake, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly aboard as exec producers.

Alphabet has made a put pilot commitment to the project, according to two people familiar with the sale. An ABC rep described the net’s commitment to the project as a script order with penalty attached.

Ensemble drama, set in the Los Angeles Police Dept.’s Pacific division (think Venice or Palms), will have a “comedic edge,” according to Rake.

“I’m planning to keep the pilot very character-focused, to write about what it means to be a cop not only on the beat, but also in the locker room, after hours at the bar, at home with friends and family, etc.,” Rake said. “The work stories in each episode will be closed-ended and run the gamut from big and suspenseful to small and absurd, like I (imagine) the job is every day.”

Plots focusing on the cops’ personal lives will be serialized.

Rake’s script was bought by ABC late last week, just as Fox made a put pilot commitment to a rookie cop hour from scribe Neil Tolkin and helmer Brett Ratner (Daily Variety, July 21). Final negotiations on the deal held up an official confirmation of the ABC script.

In addition to exec producing Fox’s short-lived “Head Cases,” WMA-repped Rake created the NBC dramedy “Miss Match” and Fox hour “The $treet.” He recently left longtime home 20th Century Fox TV for a rich overall deal with Sony (Daily Variety, March 15).

Scribe said he’s been toying with the idea of a cop show for some time.

“Whenever I drive by a police car, in addition to slowing down, hanging up the cell and putting down my bagel, I always find myself wondering who’s driving that squad car, why they joined the force, what their life must be like,” Rake said.

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