The ABC Studios project is described as a drama with musical elements — it will be set in the modern-day music biz — but it is not a rendition of the Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner that has been a legit B.O. dynamo worldwide for nearly 30 years.
Cherry and his team are tapping the original 1909 novel by Gaston Leroux, which has been adapted many times by Hollywood, most famously in the 1925 Lon Chaney starrer. Plot involves a ghost who haunts an opera house and helps a budding singer before jealousy gets the better of him.
The ABC rendition is billed as revolving around the cutthroat world of the music biz and will incorporate musical moments into story lines in the same vein as the ABC drama “Nashville.”
Cherry is exec producing with Sabrina Wind through the duo’s Cherry/Wind Prods. Legit scribes Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner are writing the teleplay and exec producing. Zachary and Weiner penned the Broadway musical “First Date,” which ran on the Main Stem last year. The pair also wrote the tuner adaptation of the 2003 pic “Secondhand Lions,” for Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, which is aiming for the Rialto after opening last year in Seattle.
The deal brings Cherry back to ABC for the first time since the Alphabet passed on his 2012 drama pilot “Devious Maids,” which landed as a series at Lifetime and was recently renewed for a third season.
Cherry is also working on a high-concept pilot for CW, “Cheerleader Death Squad,” in tandem with fellow showrunner Neal Baer.
Paradigm reps the “Phantom” foursome. Cherry is also with attorneys Jon Moonves and Jean Tanaka at Del Shaw. Wind is with attorney Michael Gendler. Zachary and Weiner are repped by attorney Michael Schenkman.