Diane Keaton is attached to star in a series project in development at HBO revolving around a feminist icon who launches a sex mag for women.
The untitled series is among the first projects to come from Grady Twins Prods., the production company formed earlier this year by TV vets Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Dawn Parouse Olmstead (“Prison Break”).
The Keaton project stems from Noxon and Parouse Olmstead’s interest in exploring the legacy of the feminist movement of the 1970s. Keaton was taking meetings for a TV series project, and she responded to Noxon and Parouse Olmstead’s vision for a show featuring a Gloria Steinem-type character who tries to reignite interest in femme-centered activism by launching a porn mag for women.
Noxon is writing the script and will exec produce along with Parouse Olmstead. After Keaton signed on, the lead character was tailored to the thesp’s background and experiences.
“We really value her experience and outlook on the world,” Noxon said. “She’s incredibly frank and honest as an actress and as a person, yet she’s also extremely private. We really want to capture that in the show.”
The “Strain” book trilogy is a bioterror thriller with fangs, telling the story of an outbreak in the U.S. of a virus that either kills those who are exposed to it or turns them into vampires. The first of the series came out in June. The plan is to shop the TV project, envisioned as an event series unfolding over three seasons, early next year after the second book is released.
Noxon and Parouse Olmstead have long been friends and occasional collaborators on such projects as the 2004-05 season Fox mystery drama “Point Pleasant.”
With help from their reps at WME, the two decided to go it alone as partners in Grady Twins after years of working for large production entities. (The Grady Twins moniker is a nod to the murdered twin girls who haunt the Overlook Hotel in “The Shining.”)
The two put up their own coin for office space in L.A.’s Larchmont Village and got busy setting up projects. “We both felt like it was a good time to strike out and not be committed to any one place,” Parouse Olmstead said. “The business models for network TV and cable TV are changing. We see this as a moment of opportunity for a company like this.”
The duo’s first series to go into production is “Gigantic,” a drama set for debut in January on the Viacom-owned cabler TEENick (the new name for the N as of September). Show examines the world of celebrity culture by focusing on high-school age children of fictional celebs.
As evidenced by Grady Twins’ initial batch of projects, Noxon and Parouse Olmstead aim to cast a wide net as producers. And they’re committed to live by the maxim that “we don’t want to be doing anything that we don’t have a passion for,” Noxon said.
Noxon’s recent primetime credits include “Private Practice,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Mad Men.” Separate from her Grady Twins labors, she’s set to make her directing debut on the indie feature “Box City” for Mockingbird Pictures.
Parouse Olmstead is also working on a feature project, reuniting with “Prison Break” creator Paul Scheuring for “The Experiment,” a U.S. adaptation of the Teuton pic “Das Experiment.” She’s serving as producer on the pic for Magnet Media and Inferno Entertainment.