The TV Column

Can 'Georgetown' bring a bit of the 'O.C.' to D.C.?

sage: Kelly Cutrone had plenty to say at a reality-TV conference.
sage: Kelly Cutrone had plenty to say at a reality-TV conference. (David Giesbrecht)
By Lisa De Moraes
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Add "The O.C." 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.

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 have watched a couple of 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 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-naive-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. And 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" (gack) and that starred That Guy From "Twilight," a.k.a. Robert Pattinson, and "Lost's" Emilie de Ravin as, respectively, 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, by the way, hit a 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, as the show's producer said in an interview, Washington is "ripe" for this reality show.

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