Genderbent 'Oliver Twist' Procedural In The Works At NBC

NBC has a Dickensian series in production, but don't expect to see workhouses and amnesiac shoemakers. Twist is a genderbent Oliver Twist procedural that follows the title character, "a struggling 20-something female," as she "finds a true sense of family in a strange group of talented outcasts who use their unique skills to take down wealthy criminals."

Twist has a solid team to take it to TV. Lionsgate and Joel Silver (The Matrix, Veronica Mars) will produce along with Fruit Ninja writers Chad Damiani and J.P. Lavin, who are also in charge of the screenplay. No actors have been named in connection with the project at this time.

News of the genderbent Oliver Twist TV show comes mere days after Fox announced its own classic-turned-procedural, Camelot , which will turn King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Queen Guinevere into the corruption-busting Art, Lance, and Gwen: a graffitist, his BFF, and the "idealistic cop" he once dated.

This isn't the first time Oliver Twist has been fodder for a novel adaptation. Disney's Oliver and Company cast the titular orphan as an abandoned kitten, who falls in with a pack of stray dogs and their human before being adopted by a wealthy-but-parentally-neglected child.

(This book nerd wonders if Fagin will be villain or bumbler in the Oliver Twist procedural.)

Twist promises to be a "sexy" take on Dickens' classic novel, which, to be fair, isn't as tame as you remember. Among Fagin's ensemble of misfits are two sex workers: Nancy and Bet. These two would provide Twist the opportunity to present a much-needed positive representation of sex workers, should the showrunners be so inclined.

It's great to see another female-driven procedural hitting the market. Here's hoping that Twist's version of Fagin's gang will be as diverse as possible.

Image: Romulus Films