Network picks up hourlong legal thriller pilot

NBC has given an early go to an untitled legal thriller from helmer Barry Sonnenfeld and scribe Luke Reiter.

Universal Media Studios is producing the hourlong drama, which has been greenlit to production. Sonnenfeld– who recently made a huge pilot sale to CBS with “Kingdom”– is on board to direct and exec produce the Reiter-penned pilot.

Potential skein will revolve around a well-respected Gotham legal firm that handles civil cases. Its take-no-prisoners lawyers will, according to the studio, “do whatever it takes to win their high-profile cases and outmaneuver each other.”

Greenlight comes in the wake of the critical success of FX’s “Damages,” which revolves around a group of high-priced Gotham lawyers who go to extremes to win their cases.

NBC, of course, has its history with legal dramas, from the sudsy 1980s hit “L.A. Law” to the “Perry Mason” and “Matlock” franchises.

Sonnenfeld is prepping future episodes of “Pushing Daisies,” the heatseeking ABC pilot bowing next month. He’s exec producing “Kingdom,” the Chad Hodge-penned hour recently snapped up by CBS following a fierce bidding war among several nets (Daily Variety, July 18).

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