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Fox net goes undercover

Bigelow, Kesslers head back to high school for drama

Fox has ordered a put pilot from helmer Kathryn Bigelow and scribes Todd and Glenn Kessler about a woman who goes undercover inside a high school.

Untitled project from Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV is loosely inspired by a Playboy magazine article from reporter Mark Boal.

One-hour drama will revolve around a 23-year-old woman who poses as a 16-year-old high school student in order to investigate a drug ring.

Complications arise as she has to navigate the world of high school all over again and slowly becomes emotionally attached to the person she’s supposed to be investigating.

“This is an incredible character piece, which is what drew us to this,” Fox exec VP Craig Erwich said. “Kathryn is a great director who seems to have a real keen sense of this material, and how to translate it, and we’ve been trying to get into business with the Kesslers as well.”

Bigelow is attached to direct the project, while the Kesslers will write.

Imagine’s Brian Grazer and TV prexy David Nevins will exec produce, alongside Bigelow and Todd Kessler. Glenn Kessler will co-exec produce.

Imagine and 20th secured a substantial six-figure penalty for the project, which reps one of Fox’s larger commitments.

“This is a slice of Middle American life, with the social structure of high school, teenage cliques and how people relate to their parents — all under the filter of a really interesting law enforcement story,” Nevins said.

Everyone involved was careful to avoid comparing the project to a certain other show about cops posing as high school students that helped launch the Fox net.

Bigelow directed last year’s feature “K-19: The Widowmaker,” as well as “Point Break,” “Blue Steel” and “Strange Days.” She also helmed several episodes of NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

Todd Kessler’s credits, meanwhile, include last season’s “Robbery Homicide Division,” as well as “The Sopranos.” Glenn Kessler also worked on “Robbery Homicide Division.”

Bigelow and the Kesslers are repped by CAA; Boal is repped by CAA and Kuhn Projects.