Fox Pilot ‘The Oaks’ Takes Root in U.K.

Britain’s ITV is making five episodes of the time-tripping drama developed, but ultimately rejected, by Fox

Nearly three years after failing to take root at Fox, "The Oaks" has found new life as a British series.

The U.K.’s ITV1 network has ordered five hourlong episodes of a new take on the format, first produced by 20th Century Fox TV for Fox Broadcasting back in 2007. Shawn Ryan, who had produced that pilot, is not on board the reworked version.

"The Oaks" is being brought back to life as part of a joint deal between ITV Studios and 20th Century Fox TV Distribution signed in 2008. That creative collaboration previously prompted a U.K. remake of "Dharma & Greg," which is still in the works.

Stephen Greenhorn ("Dr. Who") is on board to executive produce and write the new "Oaks," along with exec producers Kate Bartlett and Kate Lewis. The show will keep its original format: Three families live in the same house during the 1960s, the 1980s and present days– and they’re linked by the spirit of a dead girl.

The new "Oaks" will be filmed over the summer and ready for broadcast by year’s end.

"The Oaks" was the first project greenlit by then-new entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. He made a series commitment to the project after other networks made a run for it. Then, in true TV land fashion, Fox decided it didn’t like the pilot and opted not to move forward with a series.

Maybe if the British version works out, Fox can revive "The Oaks" here.

A previously announced reworking of the 20th-produced "Dharma & Greg" is also (slowly) moving forward. Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley ("Black Books") are writing new scripts for the remake, which has yet to be sold to a broadcast outlet.