Two networks, two Beauties & two Beasts

From Deadline – We have a small screen fairy tale face-off on our hands. Two networks – ABC and the CW – are simultaneouly developing TV pilots based on that tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast.

In one corner, we have ABC, who (spurred on no doubt by the success of Once Upon A Time) has picked up Beauty and the Beast, a pilot from Jonathen E. Steinberg (Jericho). The project is a full on fairy tale drama, set in a mythical, dangerous world wherein a beautiful and tough Princess discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast. Steinberg will produce, along with Gary Fleder.

And in the other corner, we have…you guessed it, Beauty and the Beast. Only this pilot is not only a modern retelling, it’s also a reboot of the 80’s TV series (which starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Pearlman). Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper wrote the pilot and will produce, along with Ron Koslow, the original series creator. This project is being called a loose retelling of the original; a romantic love story with a procedural twist (always with the procedural twists…) Paul Junger Witt, C. Anthony Thomas, and Bill Haber will also produce.

As for these projects’ prospects, I’d say ABC has a strong incentive to find a companion show for Once Upon A Time on Sunday night – but on the flip side, the CW’s version is going to be wildly cheaper to produce, so it’s really six on one, half a dozen on the other.

So may the best fairy tale retelling win. Of course, if neither pilot ends up going, we’ll still have about a gazillion fairy tale movies to console ourselves with (Snow White, anyone?)

Oh, Hollywood. You do so love to beat a trend to death…