Writer-director Jeff Wadlow has teamed with helmer Chris Columbus to develop the offbeat detective drama “Brickhouse” for CBS and CBS TV Studios.

Project revolves around a 1940s-era detective named Frank Brickhouse who works on homicide cases in contemporary San Francisco. Wadlow is writing the pilot script and exec produces with Columbus, who will direct if “Brickhouse” goes to pilot.

The procedural centers on a former S.F. police officer who believes

he is a 1940s detective a la Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. After he’s released from a mental institution into the custody of his younger brother, also a homicide detective, his Brickhouse alter ego begins nosing around on his brother’s murder cases.

Wadlow brainstormed the concept and was quickly paired with Columbus, who inked a hefty deal with CBS last spring that calls for him to develop and direct at least one pilot for the Eye in the coming development season.

In addition to the CBS project, Wadlow is fielding an hourlong action-comedy for Fox, Warner Bros. TV and McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision banner. That project, tentatively titled “Cockfight,” is a spy vs. spy buddy vehicle revolving around two male roommates who work for rival espionage orgs (Daily Variety, Aug. 10).

CBS has been high on Wadlow’s potential as a series creator for the past few years. Working with producer Joel Silver, he fielded the Minnie Driver pilot “Hail Mary,” which was a strong contender for a drama slot earlier this year, and in 2010 he delivered another CBS drama pilot, “The Odds.”

After making some noise with 2002 short film “The Tower of Babble,” Wadlow got his start in the biz as a feature helmer of such pics as 2005’s “Cry Wolf” and 2008’s “Never Back Down.” Once he turned his attention to television, he teamed with Silver, who championed Wadlow’s pitches for “Odds” and “Hail Mary” despite his lack of prior experience as a TV scribe.

Even as Wadlow juggles two projects for pilot season, he’s also aboard to direct a feature for Silver’s Dark Castle banner, the airplane thriller “Non-Stop.”

Wadlow and Columbus are repped by WME. Wadlow’s also repped by attorney David Matlof of Hirsch Wallerstein.