CBS has wrapped up the rights to David E. Kelley's next series, an hourlong drama about three brothers living in a small New Hampshire town.
Under a lucrative pact inked in 1999, just after his short-lived "Snoops" debuted on ABC, Fox Broadcasting gets a first-look option on all Kelley's TV scripts. But Fox executives allowed Kelley to shop the untitled series after reading a first draft of the pilot script and decided the show's tone didn't meet their development needs. CBS president Leslie Moonves quickly made a play for the project.
The pilot script has already been written, with casting set to begin shortly. Unlike some of his recent projects, Kelley is expected to have a pilot ready for screening before CBS presents its fall schedule to advertisers in May.
In addition, Kelley is also working on ideas for a new Fox Broadcasting project that could be ready by midseason 2004.
CBS and Kelley previously collaborated on "Chicago Hope" and "Picket Fences." Kelley is currently represented on the airwaves by ABC's "The Practice" and Fox's "Boston Public ( news - Y! TV)."