'Law & Order: SVU' producer to write forensic series

“Law and Order: SVU” exec producer Neal Baer has cut a three-book deal with Kensington Publishing for a novel series about a femme forensic psychiatrist on the hunt for a serial killer.

Baer is writing the books with his longtime “SVU” colleague Jonathan Greene, a co-exec producer on the series. The feature rights to the property will be shopped soon, well before the first book, “Kill Switch,” is released in January.

Project began as a detailed outline for a feature that Baer and Greene wrote about eight years ago. Last year, the pair’s mutual agents at Paradigm asked Baer if he had any ideas for a medical thriller. He showed them the outline, and they suggested it be turned into a book series.

Novels revolve around the character of Claire Waters, a forensic psychiatrist who teams with an ex-cop to hunt a serial killer who’d been her patient.

After so many years in TV, Baer said he’s enjoying the process of writing in the novel form. “In TV you’re writing dialogue,” he said. “Here you can present what the character is thinking in a way that you can’t really do on TV. It gives you a freedom that is quite exhilarating.”

The novel series comes as Baer plans to wrap up his 11-season run as the helm of “SVU” this spring. In November he signed a big development pact with CBS Television Studios (Daily Variety, Nov. 24).

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