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Posted at 4:08 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

ABC orders 'Georgetown' pilot from 'OC' creator Josh Schwartz

By Lisa de Moraes

Add "OC" creator Josh Schwartz to the list of Hollywood producers looking for a way to do a scripted drama that taps into the Washington political scene.

"The O.C." creator Josh Schwartz's next project will be set in Washington. (Fox)

ABC has ordered from Schwartz a pilot episode to be made for a possible TV series for next season, called "Georgetown." You know what would be a fresh take? A drama series about young people who come to Washington and discover it's everything they thought it would be because they've actually studied Washington before deciding to move here and break into the political scene - or at least watched a couple episodes of some Sunday Beltway shows and know how the town rolls? This is not that show.

This one is another in the litany of sexy soaps that have been developed over the years about idealistic 20-something aspiring politicos who come to Washington to juggle their personal and professional lives, and discover along the way that the ideals that brought them to our nation's capital don't always match up to Washington reality.

Yes, Wednesday's news moved this project ahead incrementally from the reports last August that ABC had given Schwartz, and producing partner Stephanie Savage, a "put pilot order" on this hot-young-naïve Washington-politicos project.

A "put pilot order" means the network has to pay a certain penalty if it does not order a script to pilot. A pilot order is, well, a pilot order.

Oh - and the name has changed. The pilot was going to be called "The Inner Circle" but that had too many syllables.

The pilot episode is being written by the same guy who wrote last year's glutinous date flick "Remember Me" - remember it? It's the flick that instructed us to "live in the moments" - gak--and starred That Guy From "Twilight," aka Robert Pattinson, and "Lost's" Emilie de Ravin, as - respectively -- as a guy whose brother committed suicide and a chick who lives each day to the fullest after witnessing her mom's murder.

Broadcast TV has been trying for years, since "The West Wing" really, to get political D.C. right on TV - with usually disastrous results. The country's most popular TV series, CBS's "NCIS" (which, BTW, hit a new record 23 million viewers this week) is set in Washington, as is Fox's "Lie to Me" and Fox's "Bones," etc., But they're not really about politics.

Most recently, NBC's Jimmy Smits-as-renegade-ex-Supreme-Court-justice drama "Outlaw" was put out of its misery quickly. A while ago, Dick Wolf took a stab at a WB series called "D.C." which was also short-lived. We could go on and on.

Meanwhile, "The West Wing" alum Rob Lowe -- who's now playing an unbalanced government auditor on NBC's low-rated "Parks and Recreation" -- is executive producing a new E! reality series called "Potomac Fever" about -- you'll never guess -- young wannabe politicos who "live and love at the center of world power," as Lowe put it a while back. Because, the show's producer said in an interview, Washington is "ripe" for this reality show.

Recent history would seem to disagree with Mr Lowe. So far: Bravo's Washington edition of "Top Chef" opened with the smallest crowd since the first season in March 2006; MTV's long-running "Real World" franchise limped out of Washington with the lowest-rated season in the show's history; TLC's "D.C. Cupcakes" was no ratings barn-burner; and while Bravo noted that "Real Housewives of D.C." enjoyed the biggest audience for a "Real Housewives" first season, it's far from a slam-dunk for renewal.

"Georgetown" is one of at least two Washington-based scripted dramas in various stages of development for next season at ABC alone. "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes has a pilot order for a series about a professional "fixer" in Washington, to be loosely based on former White House press aide and NBC corporate PR suit Judy Smith, who is also known for her crisis management work shepherding the likes of Monica Lewinsky and Michael Vick through their particularly interesting times.

By Lisa de Moraes  | February 2, 2011; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Local TV  
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Next: Reality TV execs: It's all about the casting

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