10:25am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Howard Gordon's TNT Drama 'Legends' Gets Series Pickup
TNT is going into business with the producers behind Emmy champ Homeland.
A day after green-lighting Michael Bay's naval drama The Last Ship to series, the Turner-owned network has picked up Howard Gordon's Legends to series. The 10-episode spy drama will bow in 2014.
From Homeland executive producer Gordon, Legends -- which originally was for NBC -- follows deep-cover operative Martin Odum (Game of Thrones' Sean Bean), who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. But his own identity comes into question when a mysterious stranger suggests that Martin isn’t who he thinks he is.
Gordon, Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow), Alexander Cary (Homeland) and Jonathan Levin (Charmed) developed the project based on the book from spy novelist Robert Littell. David Semel will direct and executive produce the Fox 21 project. Emmy nominees Ethan Reiff and Cy Voris (Sleeper Cell) will serve as showrunners and exec produce.
"Legends has everything you want in a good spy drama: intriguing characters, multi-layered plots, a terrific cast and lots of action and suspense," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "At the center of it all is Sean Bean, giving an outstanding performance in an extremely complex and difficult role. We are very excited to work with Howard Gordon and his fellow executive producers, who have put together a truly extraordinary drama."
Ali Larter, Rob Mayes, Tina Majorino, Steve Harris, Amber Valletta and Lux Haney Jardine co-star. Worth noting: Bean replaced Brendan Fraser, who was poised to make his series regular TV debut in the project but parted ways early during production.
For his part, Gordon also has pilots at FX (Tyrant, with director Ang Lee attached) and CBS (Anatomy of Violence, starring Skeet Ulrich) awaiting word on their future in addition to the upcoming third season of Showtime's Homeland.
Legends is one of a handful of pilots in contention at the Turner-owned cable network. It joins recently picked-up The Last Ship and King and Maxwell as well as pilot Steven Bochco's Murder in the First. The series order comes about a week after TNT renewed Dallas for a third season. The fate of Monday Mornings and veteran Southland are expected to come shortly as Turner presents its upfront lineup to Madison Avenue.