Smith envisions hit for Sci Fi

Overbrook crime procedural 'Business' gets net order as backdoor pilot

Sci Fi Channel is teaming with Will Smith for a new crime procedural. The network has ordered "Unfinished Business," a drama about an ex-cop who starts seeing flashes of memories from the recently deceased. The visions compel him to help wronged souls resolve their unfinished business.

The network plans to air "Business" as a two-hour movie that will serve as a potential series pilot.

"Business" is being produced through Overbrook Entertainment, with Smith, James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz executive producing. Emmy-nominated scribe Sally Robinson ("Iron Jawed Angels") will write the pilot, and Emmy winner Mikael Salomon ("Band of Brothers") is attached to direct. Both also will serve as executive producers. The project will be produced by Universal Cable Prods., with Overbrook head Heather Courtney overseeing production.

"Sci Fi is excited to begin development on 'Unfinished Business' with Overbrook Entertainment and Will Smith," said Mark Stern, executive vp original programming at Sci Fi. "It is a compelling and thrilling drama that is perfect for our audience."

The drama represents a meld between Sci Fi's brand and the most sturdy scripted genre format. The network's most recent stab at the crime procedural was 2007's "The Dresden Files."

"Business" joins "The Phantom" and "Riverworld" as backdoor pilots coming to the network, which changes its name to Syfy on July 7. (partialdiff)
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