8:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell, Kate Stanhope
NBC Adds Dramas 'The Player,' 'Game of Silence,' Renews 'Night Shift'
NBC added to its 2015-16 slate late Friday, picking up two new high-profile dramas (The Player, Game of Silence) from Sony Pictures Television and renewing the studio's trusty medical drama The Night Shift for a third season.
The Player (formerly Endgame) hails from John Fox and John Davis' Davis Entertainment and SPT. Set in the high-stakes world of Las Vegas, the drama revolves around a former sniper turned security expert (Strike Back's Philip Winchester) who is drawn into a mysterious conspiracy that forces him to complete a series of heroic challenges in order to save innocent lives. Wesley Snipes co-stars in the drama, which was considered a lock heading into this week and had been already staffing. John Rogers (The Librarians) penned the script and exec produces the drama, which has been earning rave reviews for star Winchester.
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Game of Silence, considered a dark cable-type drama, marks CSI alum Carol Mendelsohn's first drama series under her new overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, with Universal Television boarding the series as a co-production. The show, which sources say is a 10-episode commitment, is based on the Turkish format Suskunlar and centers on a rising attorney (Revolution's David Lyons) on the brink of success who could lose his perfectly crafted life when his long-lost childhood friends unexpectedly reappear after 25 years. When a dark secret resurfaces, the brotherhood bands together to right the wrongs of their shared past, pushing the limits of their loyalty and quenching their thirst for revenge. Larenz Tate and Michael Raymond-James co-star in the drama penned by David Hudgins (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights). Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz and director Niels Arden Oplev exec produce.
The Player and Endgame pickups brings NBC's new drama offerings to six — compared with last year's tally of 10 when the network added limited series including Heroes: Reborn, A.D., The Slap and Emerald City.
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Meanwhile, little engine that could The Night Shift surprised when it debuted to solid ratings last summer — and earned a sophomore renewal just before options on the cast expired. Also from SPT — always good at negotiating renewals for bubble series (see Community) — The Night Shift has the added bonus of being relatively inexpensive. It shoots in Albuquerque and benefits greatly from New Mexico's tax credits. It also doesn't hurt that the second season — which moved from summer to midseason — had a lead-in from The Voice, lifting its ratings (albeit slightly) to an average 1.7 rating among adults 18-49.
Keep up with all the renewals, cancellations and new series orders with THR's handy Scorecard.