Law & Order Legend Joins TV Team

Emmy Award-winning writer and producer René Balcer, the longtime showrunner of Law & Order and creator of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, is now part of the team developing a dramatic series based on the Jonah Geller novels.

As co-executive producer, he’s been working with writer Avrum Jacobson and producer Rob Cohen, who has a development deal with CTV to create the pilot of a series featuring Jonah, Jenn Raudsepp, Dante Ryan and other characters who appear in my books. Rene helped Avrum create a pilot outline this fall, which the network enthusiastically approved, and a full script was submitted in late February. After one rewrite, we are now awaiting further news.

René is one Hollywood’s most accomplished writers and producers. He spent two decades writing, producing and showrunning three different Law & Order franchises, known as “Dick Wolf’s right hand man.”* There is almost no award he has not won, if you count his Edgars, Emmy, Peabody Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, Silver Gavel Awards, and Career Awards from the Reims International Television Festival and the International Mystery Writers Festival.

Avrum Jacobson is a great choice to write the pilot. He’s also a native Montrealer, and was a year ahead of me at the same school. He got Jonah instantly and brings great wit to his work, along with compassion and drama. He’s helped create and run shows like ReGenesis and Endgame and spent a season on another Canadian P.I. show, Republic of Doyle, which hired me the following year as a story consultant.

I hope to hear more good news soon.

*One of Rene’s most unusual forms of recognition came in Season Five of The Sopranos, when Christopher confronts J.T., a TV writer and degenerate gambler who owes him money. Desperate to save himself, the writer (played by Tim Daly) tells Chris things are about to turn around for him: “I got a meeting next week with René Balcer. Dick Wolf’s right-hand guy!”

I only hope things turn out better for me than they did for J.T. He gets whacked by a drunken Christopher—while working on his Law & Order script.

Jonah Geller On Screen

UPDATE:

Emmy Award-winning writer and producer René Balcer, the longtime showrunner of Law & Order and creator of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, is now part of the team developing a dramatic series based on the Jonah Geller novels.

As co-executive producer, he’s been working with writer Avrum Jacobson and producer Rob Cohen, who has a development deal with CTV to create the pilot of a series featuring Jonah, Jenn Raudsepp, Dante Ryan and other characters who appear in my books. Rene helped Avrum create a pilot outline this fall, which the network thoroughly approved, and a full script was submitted in early February.

René is one Hollywood’s most accomplished writers and producers. He spent two decades writing, producing and showrunning three different Law & Order franchises, known as “Dick Wolf’s right hand guy.”* There is almost no award he has not won, if you count his Edgars, Emmy, Peabody Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, Silver Gavel Awards, and Career Awards from the Reims International Television Festival and the International Mystery Writers Festival.

Avrum Jacobson is a great choice to write the pilot. He’s also a native Montrealer, and was a year ahead of me at the same school. He got Jonah instantly and brings great wit to his work, along with compassion and drama. He’s helped create and run shows like ReGenesis and Endgame and spent a season on another Canadian P.I. show, Republic of Doyle, which hired me the following year as a story consultant.

I hope to hear more good news soon.

*One of Rene’s most unusual forms of recognition came in Season Five of The Sopranos, when Christopher confronts J.T., a TV writer and degenerate gambler who owes him money. Desperate to save himself, the writer (played by Tim Daly) tells Chris things are about to turn around for him: “I got a meeting next week with René Balcer. Dick Wolf’s right-hand guy!”

I only hope things turn out better for me than they did for J.T. He gets whacked by a drunken Christopher—while working on the Law & Order script he actually landed.

***

Toronto-based production company Media Headquarters has optioned the film and television rights to Buffalo Jump and the sequel, High Chicago. The contract—which happened to arrive on November 13, my birthday—was negotiated by literary agent Helen Heller and entertainment agent Carl Liberman, head of the literary department at The Characters Agency—with help from entertainment lawyers Norm Bacal and Paul Chodirker of Heenan Blaikie.

Media Headquarters, headed by partners Rob and Shari Cohen, has produced award-winning drama, documentary, reality and children’s programming, including the recent miniseries The Summit, starring Bruce Greenwood and Christopher Plummer. Broadcaster and distributor partners have included CBC, CTV, CanWest, PBS, NFB and many others. You can read their news release here:

http://www.mediahqs.net/2008/11/media-headquarters-options-award-winning-debut-novel-by-howard-shrier/

As of spring 2011, a Canadian network was funding development of a pilot script. More information will be made available as the project progresses.