5:49pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'L.A.'s Finest,' With Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, Eyes New Home at Charter
L.A.'s Finest, the pilot many insiders expected to be the biggest slam-dunk of the season, could find a new home at Charter Communications.
Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that the company is in preliminary talks to potentially pick up the Bad Boys II TV spinoff starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.
Charter and Sony Pictures Television Studios, the company behind the former NBC pilot, both declined comment.
Sources say Charter has been actively in the market for scripted originals after hiring former NBC and Chernin Entertainment exec Katherine Pope at the beginning of the year. Conversations between Charter and Sony for L.A.'s Finest are said to be in the preliminary stages. It's unclear what budget level Charter is looking for, given that L.A.'s Finest, with its star-studded cast, big-name producer (Jerry Bruckheimer) and a licensing fee to potentially pay to Sony, is considered a pricey swing.
L.A.'s Finest, which saw Union reprise her role from the second Bad Boys feature film, was the frontrunner all pilot season given its built-in premise, star and producing team, which included the feature film franchise's Bruckheimer. Union also personally recruited Alba — who hadn't done TV in years — to be her co-star. The drama landed at NBC with a sizable penalty and was among the network's first pilot pickups.
Sources note that it was NBC's former president of entertainment Jennifer Salke who bought L.A.'s Finest when she was at the network, but given her move to run Amazon Studios, the drama lost its champion.
The project revolves around free-spirited former DEA agent Syd Burnett (Union), who has a fresh start in her new job as an LAPD detective. She is partnered with Nancy McKenna (Alba), a working mom who can't help but look at Syd's freedom with some grass-is-greener envy. The two have totally different lifestyles and approaches, but they both are at the top of their fields in the action-packed, character-driven procedural. Ernie Hudson, Ryan McPartlin, Zach Gilford and Duane Martin co-starred. The Blacklist duo Brandon Sonnier and Brandon Margolis penned the script and executive produced alongside Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Jeff Gaspin, Jeff Morrone, Doug Belgrad, Union, Alba and Anton Cropper, the latter of whom directed.
Charter, meanwhile, in January hired Pope to head original content and overee the cable giant's new effort to create its own scripted programming. The company previously announced partnerships with AMC and Viacom, with Pope overseeing those and other forthcoming relationships dedicated to a slate of original shows on its own platform as the cable operator attempts to retain subscribers in an era of cord-cutting.
Should Charter and Sony reach a deal for the show, L.A.'s Finest would be the latest to jump networks in an upfronts season that saw NBC rescue Brooklyn Nine-Nine after Fox's cancellation and Fox revive ABC's Last Man Standing. Key to both deals was the fact that the respective networks' studio counterpart owned each series.