ABC finds ‘Fault’ line with Schindel project

'T3's' Mostow will helm crime drama pilot

ABC has picked up a crime-oriented put pilot from former “Law & Order” exec producer Barry Schindel and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” director Jonathan Mostow.

Schindel, Mostow and “T3” producer Hal Lieberman will exec produce the drama, tentatively titled “Fault Line.” Mostow will helm the pilot.

Project revolves around a former federal agent who’s partnered with a female detective in Los Angeles. She’s a by-the-book investigator, while he’s interested in figuring out why a crime has been committed — not just the who and how.

“We’re trying to find that particular place in a perp’s life when they made the decision to commit a particular crime,” Schindel said. “It’s something of a fascinating subject to me. It’s the nature vs. nurture debate.”

Schindel spent several years as a criminal defense attorney, asking that very question to his clients — none of whom ever had a good enough answer. The scribe-producer has also been inspired by his wife, a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s Office whose traits may be applied to the female cop.

“I’ve been approached with a lot of opportunities in TV before, but this spoke to me, as I was looking to do something Hitchcockian in TV,” Mostow said. Universal TV Prods. Prexy David Kissinger called “Fault Line” a “tentpole project for both Universal and ABC.”

“This project teams one of the most exciting filmmakers working today with one of television’s most brilliant showrunners,” he said. “It’s a perfect one for their combined talents, in that it draws on the taut storytelling and flair for suspense that both Mostow and Schindel have exhibited so successfully in their work.”

Schindel first joined “Law & Order” as a producer in 1999, moving up to exec producer the following season. He also served as an exec producer on the pilot to last season’s CBS drama “Robbery Homicide Division.”

Mostow’s other credits include “Breakdown” and part 12 of HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.”

“When Barry and Jonathan came in to pitch, they had a real sense of where they wanted this show to live, and their fresh take on the crime genre really excited us,” said ABC drama senior VP Thom Sherman.

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