EXCLUSIVE: ABC is developing Only To Deceive, a contemporary TV series adaptation of Tasha Alexander’s bestselling novel And Only To Deceive. The project comes from writer Paul Sciarrotta (BH90210), This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff and the duo’s DiVide Pictures. 20th TV, where DiVide is under a deal, is the studio.
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Alexander’s And Only To Deceive, the first in the Lady Emily Mysteries, is set in Victorian England. The Only To Deceive TV series adaptation, written by Sciarrotta, is set in modern-day America.
As Lady Emily Ashton, the toast of New York City’s high society, tries to make sense of her late husband’s mysterious death, she stumbles into a secret career as a private investigator alongside her polar opposite, Long Island ex-cop Colin Hargreaves.
Sciarrotta executive produces with Ventimiglia and Cundiff of DiVide. Deanna Harris, Director of Development at DiVide, serves as producer.
This is Sciarrotta’s second sale with DiVide Pictures and 20th TV after teaming on drama The Farm, which was set up at Fox a year ago.
Sciarrotta is currently the creator, executive producer and showrunner of Lifetime’s Flowers in the Attic: The Origin prequel miniseres. A producer on the original Beverly Hills, 90210, Sciarrotta served as showrunner on reboot BH90210, which aired on Fox. Before that, he worked on all five seasons of the CW’s Jane the Virgin, rising to executive producer for the final two seasons. His other credits include The Fosters, Reckless and Emily Owens, M.D., among others. He’s repped by Verve.
Ventimiglia has earned three Emmy nominations for lead actor in a drama series for his portrayal of Jack on NBC/20th TV’s praised series This Is Us, which is heading into its sixth and final season.
DiVide is repped by Verve and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
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