Upfronts 2012: TNT Developing Shows From Steven Bochco, Dick Wolf, Matthew McConaughey, More
Ahead of its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue, the Turner-owned cable network announced a slate of seven dramas and four unscripted projects.
TNT is partnering with some of the biggest names in Hollywood -- Steven Bochco, Dick Wolf, Matthew McConaughey and Michael Bay, to name a few -- as it continues to build toward its year-round original programming goal.
As it prepares to present its ambitious summer slate to Madison Avenue buyers Wednesday during its upfront presentation in New York, the Turner-owned cable network unveiled a development slate that features seven scripted dramas and four unscripted offerings, which the execs hope will appeal to a "popcorn mind-set."
To hear TNT, TBS and TCM president Michael Wright tell it, the 11 projects "entertain and excite viewers, while taking them on a ride that lands them safely at the end" as the net looks to reach new viewers.
With nine original series on its calendar -- including a Dallas reboot, the final round of The Closer as well as Rizzoli & Isles -- TNT will look to bolster its lineup with original hours to join David E. Kelley's medical drama Monday Mornings and unscripted hours Boston Blue and 72 Hours with genres both new and familiar.
In addition to Frank Darabont's L.A. Noir and Carol Mendelsohn's canine-centric Scent of the Missing, here's a look at the projects in development at TNT:
King and Maxwell: Based on author David Baldacci's popular characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, the ex-PIs are former Secret Service agents who use and their unique skill set (not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry) to get a leg up on suspects and conventional law enforcement. Baldacci will consult executive producer Shane Brennan (NCIS: Los Angeles). Karen Spiegel and Grant Anderson will produce the drama from CBS Television Studios.
The Last Ship: The action-adventure drama is based on the novel by William Brinkley and revolves around the crew of a naval destroyer that is forced to confront the reality of a new existence when a pandemic decimates most of Earth's population. Bay (Transformers) will direct the pilot if it is greenlighted and executive produce with Brad Fuller, Andrew Form and Without a Trace's Hank Steinberg, who will serve as showrunner and write the Platinum Dunes project with Steve Kane.
Legends: The action drama hails from Homeland's Howard Gordon, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Mark Bomback (24) and is based on the novel by Robert Littell that follows Martin, an operative who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. His own identity, meanwhile, comes into question when a mysterious stranger suggests that Martin isn’t who he thinks he is. Alexander Cary and Jonathan Levin will executive produce the Fox Television Studios drama.
Lew Archer: Based on the title character from Ross McDonald's novels, this drama from The Closer's James Duff and Close to Home's Jim Leonard follows the sleuth many consider to be "the original PI." Leonard will write and exec produce the Warner Horizon Television entry alongside Duff and Steve N. White.
Tom Clancy's Homeland Security: The event-based procedural written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Medium) and set in Tom Clancy's world of espionage pits a select team of domestic intelligence operatives against enemies from within and without, from narco-traffickers and nuclear terrorists to cyber-criminals and human smugglers. Clancy will exec produce alongside Michael Ovitz, Grillo-Marxuach and Chris George.
Untitled Steven Bochco murder mystery project: In the vein of AMC's The Killing, the crime drama will dissect a single murder case over an entire season, from the crime through the investigation, arrest and trial. Bochco will exec produce and write alongside Eric Lodal, who also will serve as a co-EP.
Untitled Ron Shelton family drama: Bull Durham writer-director Ron Shelton returns to the sports world with an drama centered on a disgraced football coach who loses his high-profile job in Los Angeles and moves his three kids and 70-year-old father to Louisiana. Shelton will write and exec produce alongside Michele Weisler and Andrea Buchanan.
American Troubadours: From executive producers Nigel Lythgoe (American Idol) and McConaughey, the reality competition effort searches nightclubs for the best unsigned bar band and singer-songwriter bands that represent the greatest tradition of rock 'n' roll in America. Lythgoe, McConaughey and Anastasia Brown will exec produce the effort, which hails from Nigel Lythgoe Productions and J.K. Livin Foundation.
Cold Justice: From Law & Order's Wolf, the docudrama follows former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and crime scene investigator Yolanda McClary as they crack cold cases. Wolf, Tom Thayer, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz will exec produce the Wolf Films and Magical Elves entry.
Rivals: Jockeys producers return to the track with an unscripted entry set in the world of thoroughbred horse racing. Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein will exec produce for BermanBraun; Gary Ravet for Promark Productions; and Gary Auerbach and Tina Gazzerro for Go Go Luckey.
24/7: Los Angeles: Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Robert Port crafted this gripping, all-access look at the men and women who protect the streets of Los Angeles. Port, Michael Goldstein and Michael Larkin exec produce the Port Films effort.