A&E on hunt for 'Fugitive'

Nine-episode series blends scripted, unscripted genres

After building a reality brand with series including "Intervention" and "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and venturing into scripted drama with "The Cleaner," A&E is blending the two genres with "The Fugitive Chronicles," a new hybrid docu-drama series.

The cable network has ordered nine episodes of the project from RDF USA and Raw Prods.

"Fugitive Chronicles" will chronicle in detail some of the most compelling fugitive captures in the past 20 years. Like Steven Spielberg's 2002 feature "Catch Me If You Can," the stories will be told from the perspective of the hunter and the hunted.

At the heart of each episode will be a cinematic reconstruction of the events in a style similar to the verite technique used by Paul Greengrass in "United 93" and "The Bourne Ultimatum."

"We're taking the drama documentary form and are supercharging and modernizing it for today's generation," RDF's Charles Tremayne said.

The re-enactments will be based on interviews with law enforcement agents involved in the chases, snippets of which will be featured on the series.

The point of view of the fugitives will be represented mostly though interrogation tapes and court transcripts. The producers also are in communication with some of the criminals to clarify details of their escapes -- primarily through correspondence, as most of them are in prison.

"Fugitive Chronicles" was developed internally at A&E by vp Scott Lonker.

The network's senior vp nonfiction and alternative programming Rob Sharenow recalled how the DVD of the pilot was passed around the network, creating strong word-of-mouth.

In addition to its unique style, "one of the things that drew us to the show is that it's very compatible with a lot we do" both on the scripted and the unscripted side, Sharenow said.

"Fugitive Chronicles," which is expected to premiere this year, is exec produced by Raw's Dimitri Doganis and Bart Layton, RDF's Tremayne and Chris Coelen and A&E's Sharenow, Lonker and Jordana Hochman. Mary Jane Mitchell will serve as producer.
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