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Burroughs partners with Katalyst

Duo to develop TV projects beyond 'Sellevision'

Author Augusten Burroughs has partnered with Katalyst Films to develop TV projects, including a drama at CBS and a Showtime comedy based on his book “Dry.”

Both projects were set up through CBS TV Studios, where Katalyst is based. Burroughs, the author of bestsellers such as “Running With Scissors,” “Magical Thinking” and “Possible Side Effects,” will write both projects himself.

TV has recently taken a keen interest in Burroughs. Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer are separately adapting another Burroughs book, “Sellevision,” for NBC. (Burroughs is not actively involved in that project, however.)

“I’m a chimpanzee stepping behind the wheel of a Ferrari,” Burroughs said of his move into the smallscreen world. “As long as somebody from Katalyst, CBS or Showtime is there to shout, ‘Red means stop,’ we should all be fine and come out of this with some very nice television.”

“Dry” is based on Burroughs’ experience as an advertising exec struggling toward sobriety. Showtime Entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt suggested that Burroughs adapt the book for the cabler.

A feature adaptation of the tome was originally in the works — but when the rights became available, Katalyst grabbed them for TV.

At CBS, “The Nature of Fire” will center on a group of male firefighters whose world is rocked when they’re joined by a female arson investigator.

CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler is a “huge fan of his books and encouraged us to bring him in,” said Katalyst’s Karey Burke. “He came up with the idea, which was very much in the CBS wheelhouse.”

Katalyst’s Burke, Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg will exec produce both projects, along with Created By’s Vince Gerardis (“FlashForward”).

“We’re hopefully just scratching the surface of what we’re going to be doing together,” Burke said of Katalyst’s relationship with Burroughs.

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