After ordering the script for the pilot for a US version of Jack Irish, the Fox network has opted not to proceed with the project.

Chernin Entertainment, which has a first-look deal with Fox, had pitched the idea of a one-hour series adapted from Essential Media and Entertainment’s trio of telepics starring Guy Pearce as a former criminal lawyer turned private investigator and debt collector.

The script was written by Anna Fricke (Being Human), who would have served as the showrunner, and Seamus Kevin Fahey (Spartacus: Blood and Sand).

“Fox network passed and our US agents are currently talking to Fox about getting the rights back,” Essential partner/head of drama Ian Collie tells IF.

“Our preference now is to focus on the Australian series, due to go to air on ABC in 2016, which will set up a better series template for any further reversions of this program.”

The ABC has commissioned a six-part series, which will follow Pearce’s character as he’s offered a scam that could cost him dearly; among the other storylines are an unexpected romance and a mysterious new client who goes missing before Irish meets her.

The series is being scripted by Andrew Knight (who will produce with Collie), Matt Cameron and Andrew Anastasios. Jeffrey Walker, Daniel Nettheim and Jonathan Teplitzky are slated to direct, although Teplitzky, who is in London after directing two eps of ITV’s Broadchurch, told IF last week he is still in talks to direct.

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