'Taken' TV Prequel Picked Up Straight-to-Series at NBC

Based on Luc Besson's 2008 Liam Neeson action thriller.

Luc Besson is revisiting Taken with NBC.

The network on Thursday handed out a straight-to-series order for a drama prequel based on the 2008 action thriller written by Besson, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The drama hails from Universal Television and EuropaCorp, which produced the Liam Neeson feature film that helped transform the actor into an action star. There is no writer or showrunner attached to the reboot, though a search is underway. Also undetermined is the number of episodes that the Taken prequel will feature.

The original film starred Neeson as Bryan Mills, a retired CIA operative on a mission to save his daughter. NBC's modern-day prequel would focus on how a young Bryan honed his skills and became the character depicted in the feature. 

The Taken prequel comes as IP — including features and TV series — have been hot commodities across broadcast and cable networks amid an increasingly cluttered original programming landscape. This development season, Fox is taking on Behind Enemy Lines, CBS is tackling Training Day, while The CW is prepping a series based on The Notebook and Friday the 13th, as the reboot trend continues into its second development season. For its part, NBC is also prepping a gay-focused remake of TV series Hart to Hart

Coming this broadcast season are TV series based on features Rush Hour (CBS), Limitless (CBS), Uncle Buck (ABC) and Minority Report (Fox).

For NBC, the news comes after the network recently pulled the plug on its straight-to-series order for a Coach revival. Straight-to-series orders like Taken (and Coach) come as broadcast, cable and streaming services compete for high-demand fare in a bid to break through. 

The Taken reboot will be a co-production between EuropaCorp and Universal Television. NBC has a history with EuropaCorp, having aired summer comedy Taxi Brooklyn a few years ago. For Besson, Taken becomes his latest movie to be adapted for TV. It joins La Femme Nikita and Transporter.

It's unclear when Taken would arrive on the schedule or if it would be for this broadcast season.

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