Marc Cherry Sets Up Drama ‘Jenny Is A Weapon’ At Fox As ‘Desperate Housewives’ Creator Returns To Broadcast With Direct Network Deal

Marc Cherry is returning to broadcast TV.

The Desperate Housewives creator has struck a direct talent deal with Fox and has set up his first project at the network – psychic-fueled spy drama Jenny Is A Weapon.

The project has landed a script commitment from the network and is being eyed for a potential straight-to-series order.

It follows the story of a sheltered Maryland housewife who, at the moment her marriage falls apart, discovers she has special psychic powers and is recruited by a secret government agency where she will have to juggle her broken family and saving the world.

Fox’s President of Entertainment Michael Thorn told Deadline that it’s the “unlikely story of a heroic housewife”.

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“It has the signature Marc Cherry 40-something female lead,” he added. “This is not a procedural, it’s not a classic franchise, but it’s one of the first things that he’s done that has an episodic engine underneath a really unique character drama. It’s more like how the dead bodies were used in Six Feet Under than for a case of the week but we’re very excited for Marc Cherry to try something that has a case element.”

It marks Cherry’s return to linear broadcast television, having made two seasons of Why Women Kill for CBS All Access/Paramount+ and Devious Maids for Lifetime after the end of the hit ABC soap in 2012.

Jenny Is A Weapon comes from Fox Entertainment and Cherry is writing and exec producing the one-hour drama with Why Women Kill writer Joshua Michael Stern. The story comes from Cherry, Stern, Ryan McPartlin and Travis Lively with the latter pair also exec producing alongside Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel.

Fox’s Thorn added that the Cherry deal is part of its strategy to continue signing direct talent deals with creators. The list has previously included Dan Harmon, Mara Brock Akil, Jeff Davis, Sarah Watson, Scott Rosenbaum and Kyle Killen.

He said that he remains “selectively aggressive” when it comes to getting greater acces to talent. “We have such a good creator list on our air. Some of those people have homes at other studios obviously, so we’re really always trying to grow our own list. We’ve been chasing Marc for a while.”

He said that competition is tough given the number of overall deals and first-look deals offered by rival studios but that there are still creators to target. “What we’ve found is that there’s always a few good people out there. There’s usually a few people who’ve been in or in overall deals for a while, where for whatever reason, timing, bad luck, just the way it works, that they feel like they weren’t prioritized in whatever kind of closed system they were in and we track those people. We wait for them to become available. Then we try to convince them that our direct deals with no layers full transparency of process might be a better creative environment for them to play in. Companies are spending $10M, $20M or $30M on deals and instead [we’re] looking for emerging voices or established voices who maybe have a moment free.”

Cherry is repped by A3 Artists Agency, Debbee Klein Management and Del Shaw Moonves Finkelstein Tanaka Lezcano/Jon Moonves & Jean Tanaka Attorneys and Stern is repped by A3 Artists Agency, Ken Stovitz and Sloan Offer Weber & Dern/AJ Brandenstein.

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