ABC takes a ‘Leap’

Network nabs rights to Hawn, Kauffman drama

ABC is taking a big “Leap” with Goldie Hawn and “Friends” creator Marta Kauffman.

After intense interest from multiple nets, the Alphabet has won the rights to the Kauffman-Hawn collaboration, a one-hour drama from Warner Bros. Television that will be based on Sara Davidson’s recently published nonfiction tome “Leap! What Will We Do With the Rest of Our Lives?”

Kauffman and Hawn will exec produce the project, with Kauffman writing the pilot and Hawn attached to appear as part of the ensemble cast. Davidson also will serve as exec producer.

ABC has made a seven-figure put pilot commitment to the tentatively titled “Leap,” which will expand the book’s premise of how people approach various crossroads.

“What Marta and Goldie did was take the simple premise of the book and put together this really insightful look at how two different generations deal with the big moments we all face in our lives,” ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson said.

Exec said he had long wanted to be in business with Kauffman, and that her pitch with Hawn cinched the deal.

“Everything she said felt so true and honest and compelling,” he said. “A lot of people try to do these multigenerational ‘thirtysomething’-like shows, but they’re never about anything. This is about something: What you’re going to do with the rest of your life.”

While Hawn is attached to a key role in “Leap” — in what would be her first regular TV gig since “Laugh-In” — McPherson said ABC is most interested in Hawn for her role as a producer. Hawn produced the 2001 NBC telepic “The Matthew Shepard Story.”

“The intent is to get the highest caliber ensemble cast we can assemble,” he said. “It’s a true multigenerational drama that’s got a number of great roles in it.”

As for the genesis of the project, “Nancy Josephson was instrumental in putting this together,” McPherson said, referring to the Endeavor partner.

Davidson is no stranger to TV — or ABC. She was a creator of the 1988 Alphabet skein “HeartBeat,” a femme-led ensemble medical drama about a progressive medical clinic.

Before that, Davidson helped create the short-lived ABC skein “Jack and Mike,” and during the 1990s, she was a co-exec producer on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”

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