CBS has given a pilot commitment to an exorcism-themed drama from Joan of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall and producer Joe Roth.
The project, from CBS Paramount Network Television and studio-based Joe Roth Television, is inspired by the real-life experiences of Bob Larson, an expert on cults, the occult, and supernatural phenomena.
Through his ministry and what he calls Spiritual Freedom Conferences, Larson teaches "the principles of spiritual freedom" and the "many ways that demons attack human beings," according to his Web site. Larson is the founder of an international fellowship of churches and has written 30 books, including such titles as Larson's Book of Spiritual Warfare, an encyclopedia reference of demons, the devil, and deliverance, and Larson's Book of Cults.
Hall, who is under an overall deal at CBS Paramount TV, is writing the script and is executive-producing the project with Roth.
This is the first major commitment for Joe Roth TV, which launched in late 2004 with a three-year deal at CBS Par TV and an initial focus on comedy development.
Roth is not a stranger to the subject of exorcism, having executive-produced the 1990 feature film The Exorcist III.
The Revolution Studios founder most recently executive-produced the summer comedy Little Man and directed the drama Freedomland.
Former Judging Amy executive producer/showrunner Hall most recently created and executive-produced the CBS drama pilot Ultra this past development season. The project, from CBS Par TV, centered on a city-girl superhero.
Larson hosted the syndicated radio program Talk Back With Bob Larson, which featured such topics as Satanism and exorcisms, and now hosts a radio and a TV show, both titled Bob Larson Presents: Spiritual Freedom, that air on selected stations and on the Internet.