Romano, Connelly to pen script for Lionsgate TV

EXCLUSIVE: ABC has ordered a script from Lionsgate that could convert “The Lincoln Lawyer” feature into a drama series, the network and studio confirmed.

Lionsgate will co-produce with Lakeshore Entertainment, which was also behind the film. “Lawyer” screenwriter John Romano and Michael Connelly, the novelist who created the property adapted to film, will co-write the pilot script and exec produce along with Joel Gotler and Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg.

Pic featured Matthew McConaughey as a criminal defense attorney who does business from the back of a chauffeured Town Car. “Lawyer” was a solid performer at the box office for Lionsgate when it was released in March. With a production budget estimated at $40 million, it brought in $58 million domestically and an additional $17 million overseas.

Protagonist Michael “Mickey” Haller is a character in five different novels by Connelly, presumably giving producers a lot more material to mine.

It wouldn’t be the first time a legal-themed movie was made into a TV show, with NBC set to bring an adaptation of “The Firm” to the small screen in the midseason.

Having a so-called “pre-sold” concept could provide a marketing hook for “Lawyer,” a value-add ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee just talked up at TCA press tour on Sunday when discussing “Charlie’s Angels” and “Pan Am.”

The project could fit into ABC’s ambition to add more procedurals to its schedule, with “Castle” and “Body of Proof” currently the only hours it has in stock that could fetch top coin in syndication.

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