4:15pm PT by Kate Stanhope
TNT Renews 'Last Ship,' Orders Post-Civil War Drama Pilot From Rod Lurie
TNT is shoring up its original drama series slate.
TNT has renewed The Last Ship for a fourth season and has ordered a pilot for the Rud Lurie post-Civil War drama Monsters of God, it was announced Sunday at the cabler's Television Critics Association's summer press tour presentation.
The Last Ship, starring Eric Dane and based on William Brinkley's novel, centers on the crew aboard a Navy destroyer who become some of the world's lone survivors after a global catastrophe. Michael Bay serves as an executive producer on the series, along with Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Paul Holahan, Michael Katleman and showrunners Hank Steinberg and Steven Kane. The show hails from Turner's Studio T in association with Bay's Platinum Dunes. The 13-episode fourth season will premiere next summer.
Monsters of God, written by Lurie (The Contender), centers on Colonel "Terrible" Bill Lancaster's battle against the Comanche in post-Civil War Texas. Despite the peaceful co-existence between the Comanche and local residents of Slater, Lancaster begins a quest to kill every single member of the tribe and chaos ensues. Meanwhile, his wife, Cynthia, is equally determined to institute her wildly feminist ideals, even if it means challenging the United States Army and striking her own allegiance with the Comanche women.
Lurie, who studied the Comanche Wars while serving as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army, also will direct the pilot. He also will exec produce, along with Marc Frydman, his producing partner at Battle Plan Productions, and DeDe Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg of Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment.
"We're creating premium shows that are also unapologetically entertaining, whether it's through the tenuous and unexpected relationship in Good Behavior, the hard-hitting action of The Last Ship, or Monsters of God, our version of a Western chock-full of violence, sex and insane characters," said Sarah Aubrey, TNT exec vp, original programming.
The Last Ship joins the recently renewed Animal Kingdom, Major Crimes, Murder in the First, The Librarians and Rizzoli & Isles, which is in the midst of its final season on TNT.
In recent years, TNT has made a move towards less procedural and more risk-taking drama series with big bets like Good Behavior, starring Michelle Dockery, The Alienist and the Tales From the Crypt reboot. Monsters of God joins drama pilots Civil and Claws.
TNT also is expanding its unscripted originals slate with a series order for the Charles Barkley docuseries The Race Card. In the six-episode limited series, the former NBA star and current Inside the NBA analyst hopes to investigate the partisan politics and social divides that have come to define America. Each week, Barkley tackles rapidly calcifying positions around today's hot-button topics and seeks out today's cultural leaders and tastemakers. In the end, Barkley comes to his own conclusions guided only by his own wits and common-sense wisdom.
Studio T will produce The Race Card in association with DocShop and Kin Studios. Charles Barkley will exec produce with Lee Gaither, Marc Perman and Dan Partland (Intervention).
"We as Americans never discuss the issue of race in this country and how it impacts everything in our lives until something bad happens," said Barkley. "I see this project as a way to talk about race, class and cultural differences and challenge everyone's status quo."
Added TNT and TBS senior vp, unscripted series and specials Michael Bloom: "When it comes to unscripted programming, we're going to venture into new territory with unique subjects and formats not found anywhere else. With his enormous popularity and outspoken, sometimes controversial views, Charles is the perfect choice to kick off this new strategy."
The Race Card is a move back into unscripted fare for TNT, after the Turner network canceled its remaining original reality series Cold Justice and Cold Justice: Sex Crimes last year.