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ABC adapting Austrian hour-long

Broadcast network ABC is adapting an Austrian comedy, Braunschlag, for the US market.

The deal is a script commitment with a significant penalty attached – meaning ABC will have to pay out if it does move forwards with the project.

This is the second pilot from the commercial arm of Austrian pubcaster ORF, ORF Enteprises, that ABC is working up for the new pilot season, with EuropaCorp Television Studios working up a version of crime drama Janus.

The American version will be a half-hour, single-cam comedy from Sony Pictures Television and Intrigue. Fox has previous attempted to work up a version, but this did not go ahead.

Intrigue’s Tariq Jalil, The McCarthys creator Brian Gallivan and The Goldbergs’ Seth Gordon are executive producing the project with ORF Enterprises, which controls rights to the format.

The Austrian show follows a small-town male mayor who pretends to be a woman to avoid a dysfunctional family, financial problems and an angry mafia. It ran to eight episodes on ORF in 2012

The US version will have a female lead, with Gordon to potentially direct should the project go to pilot.