ABC pilot model woman
Courtesy of Harper

ABC has picked up a pilot for “Model Woman,” which is inspired by Robert Lacey’s book of the same name, Variety has learned.

Inspired by the 2015 biography of Ford Models co-founder Eileen Ford, the pilot is a fictionalized family soap set in the late 1970’s during the notorious “model wars.” The show is centered on a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman at the helm of an internationally renowned modeling agency.

Hailing from TriStar Television, Helen Childress (“Reality Bites”) is the writer and will also exec produce with Rosalie Swedlin and Scarlett Lacey, the author’s daughter who’s a writer on “The Royals.”

Published last year, “Model Woman: Eileen Ford and the Business of Beauty” revolves around Ford as she launched the twentieth century’s largest and most successful modeling agency, which rose to the top of the fashion and beauty industries. The agency represented Suzy Parker, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Lauren Hutton, Rene Russo, Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, and the book tells a tale of determined female entrepreneur and the empire she built.

“Model Woman” is a departure for ABC’s current slate of drama pilots, which includes political, legal, detective and superhero projects.

The pilot strikes a similar note to another broadcast project in the works, NBC’s “Icon” from Cindy Crawford, though that ’80s-set modeling wars drama still stands in the development stage and has not landed a pilot order.

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