8:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
AMC Lands Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston Limited Series 'Night Manager'
AMC has landed The Night Manager.
Following a multiple-network bidding war, AMC has handed out a straight-to-series pickup for the John le Carre limited series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. AMC declined comment, but sources say the cabler is looking at the project as a six- or eight-part miniseries.
The drama starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston is being developed in partnership with the BBC, which will air the series in the U.K. Ink Factory (A Most Wanted Man) is also producing. David Farr (Hanna, Spooks) will pen the adaptation. AMC will also have partial ownership and will co-produce the series with Ink Factory and BBC One.
Published in 1993, le Carre's Night Manager follows Jonathan Pine, a British soldier turned luxurious hotel night auditor. Pine crosses paths with a French-Arab woman named Sophie with ties to Richard Onslow Roper, an English black marketeer who specializes in weapons. The woman provides Pine with incriminating documents, which he forwards to a friend in British intelligence. After Sophie winds up dead, Pine works with intelligence operatives and goes undercover as part of a sting against Roper to avenge Sophie's death.
For Laurie, the series marks the in-demand actor's return to TV following his Emmy-nominated run on Fox's House. He's repped by WME, the U.K.'s Hamilton Hodell and Ziffren Brittenham.
The show also will mark Hiddleston's largest U.S. TV role to date. The Thor and Avengers star previously featured in British black comedy Suburban Shootout, Wallander and more recently had voice roles on Robot Chicken and Family Guy. He's repped by WME, the U.K.'s Hamilton Hodell, Authentic Talent and Literary, and Peikoff Mahan.
Farr is with Paradigm and the U.K.'s Curtis Brown Group.
Night Manager marks le Carre's latest TV foray, joining Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A Perfect Spy, A Murder of Quality and more. On the film side, his adaptations include A Most Wanted Man, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Constant Gardener, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and more.
The Night Manager order comes as AMC has largely abandoned its unscripted fare — save for Talking Dead and Comic Book Men — as the cable network home to The Walking Dead bulks up on scripted originals. It marks a return to the miniseries format that launched AMC into scripted programming with Broken Trail, which earned 16 Emmy nominations and took home four, and opened its doors for Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
The network has already renewed The Walking Dead for a sixth season and has a companion series in the works. AMC's original programming roster also includes the second seasons of dramas Halt & Catch Fire and Turn, upcoming Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul (already renewed for a second season after it was bumped from the fall to early 2015), as well as martial arts drama Badlands, which was also picked up straight to series and eyed for late 2015 or early 2016. Western Hell on Wheels, which hasn't yet been renewed, could join that roster. Also in the works is Humans, a co-production originally developed for Xbox.
The deal also will likely make AMC a player in the increasingly competitive miniseries Emmys category, which has been dominated of late by AMC's top competitors including FX (American Horror Story) and HBO, though the latter's True Detective was submitted in the drama category.