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E! Picks Up Scripted Drama Pilot from ‘Mad Men’ Producer

Following the success of E!’s first scripted series, “The Royals,” the cable net has picked up another scripted pilot, “The Arrangement.”

From Jonathan Abrahams, who won an Emmy for his work as a producer on “Mad Men,” the Universal Cable Productions project is described as a modern-day Cinderella story with a Hollywood twist.

The drama follows Megan Morrison, a young actress who auditions for the female lead in a summer blockbuster to star opposite the hottest male actor of the moment, Kyle West. After Megan’s amazing audition segues into a dreamlike first date, her situation takes bizarre turn when she is presented with a contract that details an entire relationship with Kyle, forcing her to choose whether she will accept “The Arrangement.”

Abrahams, whose credits also include “Murder in the First” and “Perception,” wrote the script. He’ll also serve as an exec producer alongside Jimmy Fox of All3Media’s Objective Productions USA, who first pitched “The Arrangement,”to which Abrahams then added his own take, as he penned the pilot. Stephen Lambert and Eli Holzman of All3Media America are also exec producers.

“Jonathan has written a terrific script that juxtaposes a very public Hollywood romance with darker, more nefarious elements. We are excited to work with Universal Cable Productions and Objective to make this pilot and bring the story to life,” said Kevin Plunkett, senior VP of scripted programming at E! “‘The Arrangement’ is the perfect follow-up to the success of ‘The Royals,’ taking the E! brand further into the scripted space with young skewing, escapist stories.”

“The Arrangement” marks the third-ever scripted pilot E! has ordered, following “The Royals” and “Songbyrd.”

“The Royals,” which was handed an early renewal for season two, has held steady through its freshman run, bringing in nearly 2 million overall viewers each week in live-plus-three ratings, and about 1 million in the 18-49 demo. The dramedy, starring Elizabeth Hurley as the queen of a modern-day chaotic royal family, ranks second to AMC’s “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul,” among new basic cable scripted series introduced this year.

E! recently announced Bruce Jenner’s docu-series, which will follow his transgender transition this summer, debuting July 26. The cabler also picked up three new reality projects, “WAGS,” “Stewarts & Hamiltons” and “Dash Dolls,” exec produced by the Kardashian/Jenner clan.

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