Elizabeth Banks’ Brownstone Prods. Makes Mark on TV, Developing With ABC, CW, CBS and NBC (EXCLUSIVE)

Elizabeth Wagmeister
Variety

Following their box-office success with the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions is now making a splash on the small screen.

Brownstone Prods., founded by the husband-and-wife team, inked an overall television deal at Warner Bros. last summer, and has since sold projects to four different broadcast networks this development season.

The booming shingle is developing new series with ABC and the CW, plus is negotiating another unannounced series with a cable network, Variety has learned exclusively.

ABC bought a script for a buddy cop action comedy, “The Trustee,” hailing from “Smurfs” and “Baywatch” scribes Jay Sherick and David Ronn, which will be executive produced by Banks and Handelman. The project follows a very good, but slightly reckless narcotics detective who finds out that her police station’s “trustee” — a nonviolent felon assigned to help cops with odd jobs, filing, custodial work — has insight into a case she’s trying to crack, and the two women are forced to team up.

Brownstone is also developing “Feral” at the CW from writer Daegan Fryklind. The drama centers around 20-year-old Trident Marven, who steps out of the woods after years of isolation, unaware that she carries a secret which puts her at the center of an unfurling conspiracy.

The two new development projects mark an expansion into new genres for the banner, following work in the comedy space. Last year — which was Brownstone’s first development season after the Warner Bros. TV deal — Fox gave a hefty pilot production commitment to a comedy from “Suburgatory” writer Emily Kapnek, though it never went to series. This year, Brownstone’s chances for getting a show on the air are far greater, with four projects across broadcast, including previously announced comedies “Something to Celebrate” at CBS and “Everybody Knows Best” at NBC.

The company is also branching out beyond broadcast. Aside from the in-the-works cable project, the company has optioned the rights to this year’s novel “Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman” and intends to develop the feminist story as a half-hour series, Variety has learned.

The growing development slate comes more than a year after Brownstone expanded their staff, bringing on new hires to both the film and television divisions, which is led by Renate Radford. She will shepherd all of the TV projects currently in the works, all of which are being produced by Warner Bros. TV and will be exec produced by Banks and Handelman.

Brownstone’s film side is also staying busy. The company has a handful of movies in various stages, including the hotly anticipated “Pitch Perfect 3” and the “Charlie’s Angels” reboot, which Banks is directing. While Banks is gearing up to star in the “Power Rangers” revival, the multi-hyphenate has no current plans to appear on-screen in any of her TV projects.

Banks, Handelman and Brownstone are repped by UTA, Untitled and Ziffren Brittenham.

Related stories

Wally Lamb Digital Book 'I'll Take You There' to Feature Elizabeth Banks Short Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Elizabeth Banks Developing Family Comedy 'Something to Celebrate' at CBS

'Pitch Perfect 3' Finds New Director in Trish Sie

Get more from Variety and Variety411: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter