9:37am PT by Rick Porter
Paramount Network Orders Afghanistan Army Medics Dramedy
Paramount Network has added a third scripted series to its slate. The cabler has ordered 10 episodes of a dramedy called 68 Whiskey from Roberto Benabib (The Brink, Kidding).
The MASH-esque series is set at a U.S. Army base in Afghanistan nicknamed "The Orphanage." The series will follow the men and women deployed as medics there as they "endure a dangerous and Kafkaesque world that leads to self-destructive appetites, outrageous behavior, intense camaraderie and occasionally, a profound sense of purpose."
The show, based on Israeli series Charle Golf One, comes from Imagine Television and CBS TV Studios. It's the first series pickup for Paramount Network since Kent Alterman added oversight of the network to his Viacom portfolio in November 2018. It joins breakout Yellowstone, which returns for season two in June, and Darren Star's Emily in Paris, which is due in 2020, as part of Paramount's scripted slate.
"We’re thrilled to work with Imagine Entertainment on 68 Whiskey and have the powerhouse team of Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Roberto Benabib, who have an extraordinary track record in compelling and provocative storytelling, adapt it for an American audience," said Keith Cox, president of development and production for Paramount Network and TV Land. "I'm a huge fan of the Israeli series on which this series is based, and the unique mixture of drama and comedy infused throughout, and I know 68 Whiskey will be a great complement to Yellowstone and Emily in Paris on Paramount Network's growing slate of scripted originals as we seek to create TV as exciting as movies."
Added Benabib, "I'm excited to have the opportunity to produce a series that echoes the dark, irreverent films of the '70s and speaks to the dark, irreverent insanity of the world today."
Since it launched in January 2018, Paramount Network's scripted lineup has been in a state of flux. Limited series Waco drew solid ratings, and Yellowstone was among the most-watched series on cable in 2018, but since then, American Woman fizzled and several other series originally slated for the network ended up elsewhere.
A remake of First Wives Club originally intended for Paramount instead ended up at BET. Younger, which had been set to move from TV Land, will stay in its original home for its sixth season. Emily in Paris, originally targeted for a summer debut, is now set for a 2020 premiere, and an ill-fated Heathers reboot was burned off in late October.