Scribes in 20th club

'Murder' mavens ink rich overall deal

Rising scribes Liz Craft and Sarah Fain (“The Shield”) have sealed a seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Craft and Fain are behind the ABC pilot “Women’s Murder Club,” which they’re exec producing with James Patterson, Brett Ratner (who’s also directing), Joe Simpson and their “Shield” boss Shawn Ryan.

Twentieth Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden said she’s been impressed so far with Craft and Fain’s work on “Women’s Murder Club,” and that the relationship led to the overall deal.

“We have a lot of faith in these two women. They’ve dealt with everything in such a smart way,” she said. “If I hadn’t known previously that this was their first pilot, I would have never guessed that. This is my favorite way to come about making an overall deal, having an opportunity to work with them a little bit prior to a commitment.”

On “Women’s Murder Club,” Walden said “every decision they’ve made has been thoughtful and always in the best interest of the project.”

Craft and Fain spent last week scouting out exterior locations in San Francisco for the show, which revolves around four women who join forces to track down Bay Area killers. (It’s based on the James Patterson book series of the same name.)

“Doing a deal with 20th is a perfect situation for us,” Craft said. “They’re people who we know we want to work with for many years to come. Creatively, we’ve all been on the same page.”

Craft and Fain are no strangers to 20th, having worked on the studio’s WB drama “Angel.”

New 20th deal encompasses both “Women’s Murder Club” and future development at the studio. For now, the scribes are focused on making “Women’s Murder Club” shine.

“We feared early on that it might be a more difficult process than it has been,” Fain said of the pilot process. “In fact, it’s been very smooth and everyone has been functioning in supportive ways.”

The duo phoned their “Shield” mentor Ryan soon after “Women’s Murder Club” was ordered to pilot.

“When it came up that he’d be interested in coming on as an exec producer, we were incredibly excited — we all share a similar sensibility,” Craft said.

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