UK National Lottery studio franchise Pathe Pictures has acquired the comedy pitch The Season from Automatic Pictures, the LA-based production outfit run by There's Something About Mary producer Frank Beddor.

An original idea by London-based commercial and video director Aasaf Ainapore, The Season is currently being scripted by agent-turned-writer Sam North and will be directed by Ainapore.

Set in the 1920s, The Season is the story of an American reporter who masquerades as a waitress during London's "season" of sporting and social events including Ascot, Wimbledon and the Henley Regatta. However, things start going wrong when she falls for an eligible aristocrat.

The pitch was bought by Francois Ivernel, managing director of Pathe's UK operation Pathe Entertainment. Beddor and Adrian Milne will produce. Automatic Pictures' deal was negotiated by attorney Steven J Goldfisher of Goldfisher & Associates. London agent Jenne Casarotto negotiated North's deal and Nick Harris of AP Watt negotiated deals for both Ainapore and Milne.

Automatic and Pathe already have a relationship on a film adaptation of James Hawes' best-selling novel White Merc With Fins. John Hodge (The Beach, Trainspotting) wrote the original draft of the crime thriller and Danny Kuchuk and John Weiner have been brought in by Automatic and Pathe for rewrites. Stefan Schwartz is attached to direct. Attorney Steve Saltzman of Akin-Gump negotiated Automatic's deal with Pathe.

Former Pathe chief Alexis Lloyd is to executive produce both The Season and White Merc With Fins.