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CW Developing Drama Series Based on Female Gladiator Novel ‘The Valiant’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The CW is developing a one-hour drama series based on Lesley Livingston’s novel “The Valiant,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The series would follow a Celtic princess on the run from an arranged marriage and a sheltered life who is captured and forced into slavery under Julius Caesar. She ends up training among the first wave of female Gladiators to compete in the Colosseum for fame, fortune and, ultimately, her freedom.

Laurie Arent will write and executive produce, with Mary Beth Basile also executive producing. Warner Bros. Television will produce. Arent most recently wrote and produced for “NCIS: New Orleans,” and has also worked on NBC’s “Life” and Lifetime’s “The Client List.” Basile was an associate producer on ABC’s “October Road” and most recently executive produced the pilot “Evil Men” for USA Network. Arent is repped by CAA and Madhouse Entertainment, and Basile is repped by WME. Livingston was repped by Paradigm and Foundry Lit + Media.

Should the project get ordered to series, it would join the lineup of strong female-led programming already in place at The CW. The network currently airs “Supergirl” with star Melissa Benoist, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” starring Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom, “Jane the Virgin” starring Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez, and “iZombie” starring Rose McIver. They will also debut a female-centric reboot of “Dynasty” this fall.

Earlier this week, Variety exclusively reported that “Agent Carter” writer and co-executive producer Andi Bushell is developing a new workplace drama at The CW. Currently titled “The She Word,” the series would follow four driven female assistants who discover they have been victims of gender discrimination at their boys’ club of a company. They vow to work together to take over by whatever means necessary.

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