8:25pm PT by Lacey Rose, Lesley Goldberg
Jennifer Lopez Drama Ordered Straight to Series at NBC
NBC is making a big bet on Jennifer Lopez.
The network has made a straight-to-series 13 episode order for the American Idol judge's star vehicle. The drama, Shades of Blue, will center on Harlee McCord (Lopez), a single mother and dirty cop recruited to work undercover for the FBI's anti-corruption task force. Part of a close-knit unit known for its conviction record, Harlee has become compromised by her colleagues -- all of whom also pitch in to help raise her daughter -- and finds herself faced with the moral dilemma of working against her cop brothers in order to redeem herself.
Adi Hasak (3 Days to Kill) is attached as the project's writer and executive producer, alongside Lopez's Idol colleague Ryan Seacrest and his Ryan Seacrest Productions exec Nina Wass. Joining them as fellow EPs are Lopez, her Nuyorican exec Elaine Goldsmith Thomas and manager Benny Medina. Production is slated to begin in 2015 for broadcast during the 2015-16 season. Universal Television, Nuyorican Productions, RSP, EGTV and H's Films will produce.
"Whether it's producing, acting, singing or any of her other many entrepreneurial activities, Jennifer is an extraordinary talent and life force, and we're delighted to be in business with her and Adi Hasak on this sophisticated show," said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke in a statement. "We're especially excited that Jennifer is returning to her acting roots from such great movies as Out of Sight and we know that she will create this complicated character in a vivid way that will breathe new life into the cop show genre. Ryan Seacrest is part of the NBCU family and doing his first scripted drama series with us makes perfect sense."
Added Seacrest: "Nina Wass loved the script from the moment she read it. When Elaine, Adi and Benny approached us about working on it, we jumped at the chance to collaborate with such amazing partners. The script is so powerful and ambitious, we can't wait to see Jennifer take on this remarkable role. Bob Greenblatt and Jen Salke's enthusiasm and support has been incredible, and we look forward to working with everyone at NBC."
Blue is the latest straight-to-series pickup this season as the networks are using larger commitments to help land projects in an increasingly competitive space. Already, NBC has four straight-to-series orders, including Emerald City, Mr. Robinson, Working the Engels and an untitled Ellie Kemper comedy from Tina Fey.
Elsewhere, CBS has committed to putting Vince Gilligan and David Shore's Battle Creek on the schedule, as has Fox with Will Forte comedy Last Man on Earth as well as Weird Loners and ancient Egyptian drama Hieroglyph, among others.
Blue marks RSP's first drama project sold. Better known in the unscripted arena for series including E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Bravo's Shahs of Sunset, the company has scripted comedy Mixology heading to ABC later this month. For Nuyorican's part, Blue joins a portfolio that counts ABC Family's The Fosters and TruTV's South Beach Tow within it.