Eye spies ties with Circle clients

CBS Corp. is getting its geek on.

Eye’s studio unit, CBS Paramount Network Television, has inked a first-look deal with Circle of Confusion, the management/production shingle that reps a number of clients with roots in the sci-fi/comicbook/videogame universe, including the Wachowski brothers.

Company was founded in 1990 by Lawrence Mattis, with David Alpert and David Engel joining as partners in 2002. Deal with CBS Par is designed to give the studio — as well as chief buyers CBS and the CW — access to nontraditional properties via Circle.

“The world they live and breathe in everyday isn’t one that we’re usually exposed to,” CBS Par prexy David Stapf told Daily Variety. “They come from a completely different creative space.”

Circle’s relationship with CBS Par was born out of its deal to produce “Ultra,” the one-hour pilot from scribe-showrunner Barbara Hall that’s set up at CBS. There’s been buzz the project could move to the CW.

Under its new deal at CBS Par, Circle is also developing a TV version of “Split,” an unpublished manuscript by Joe Schreiber that Jed Weintrob is adapting. Project, seen as a twist on the buddy cop formula, focuses on a police officer with a split personality.

Circle has a first-look feature deal at Columbia Pictures. Since beginning its production division four years ago, company has put more than two dozen feature projects in development, including “Jinx” (with Charlize Theron attached) and “Magic Kingdom for Sale” (a potential project for “Mummy” helmer Stephen Sommers).

Circle also has a movie/videogame development deal with Foundation 9, the indie company behind games including “Death Jr.”

Engel said the goal of the pact with CBS Par is to develop “cutting-edge projects, whether they originate from graphic novels, original ideas, blogs, nonfiction books, videogames or wherever.”

“We bring a different point of view in how we approach television because we’re primarily genre-based and younger-skewing,” Engel added.

While “Threshold” didn’t last, CBS Par has a solid track record on the sci-fi/spooky front.

“Medium” is headed for its third season on NBC, while “The 4400″ returns to USA this summer and “Ghost Whisperer” is coming back on CBS in the fall. Studio is also home to the “Star Trek” franchise, which it could choose to resurrect for the small screen.

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