Network aligns with Ryan for 'Confessions'

CBS has hammered out a deal to develop “Confessions of a Contractor,” an hourlong drama from Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) and scribe Richard Murphy.

Eye has made a put pilot commitment to “Confessions,” which is based on Murphy’s book of the same name. Putnam releases the novel on Aug. 14.

“Confessions” revolves around Henry Sullivan, a blue-collar Los Angeles contractor who oversees high-end renovations for wealthy clients. In the book, Henry winds up falling for two of his female clients, who happen to be former best friends.

Twentieth Century Fox TV is the studio attached. Ryan will exec produce and be showrunner; Murphy is set to write the script and serve as co-exec producer.

Project is based loosely on Murphy’s own experience remodeling homes in L.A. off and on for 12 years, a job he gave up when he began writing screenplays for a living. (Murphy has penned scripts for Revolution, New Line, Disney, Universal and others.)

“I saw a lot of crazy stuff when I was working on other people’s houses,” Murphy said. “Every house has a story and every homeowner has a secret.”

Murphy kicked around the idea of writing a TV project about his home-remodeling experiences but faced resistance from network execs who didn’t find the idea of a show centered on a contractor appealing. His manager, Anonymous’ Jeff Okin, suggested he write a book proposal instead, and that led to the novel.

The “Confessions” tome has already received strong reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. Now, things are coming full circle for Murphy, who has again drawn up blueprints for “Confessions” as a TV series.

“We thought about doing it as a movie, and had some interest from filmmakers, but we decided the best thing for the property was to do it as a series,” said Murphy’s manager, Jeff Okin.

Simultaneously, Marney Hochman Nash — who heads up development for Ryan’s Midd Kid Prods. shingle — had been tracking the evolution of “Confessions”; as a result, Ryan signed on and brought the project to 20th, where he’s based. Ryan also exec produces “The Unit” for CBS.

Besides Ryan, exec producers include Jeff Okin and Anonymous’ Paul Green.

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