TNT Orders Drama Pilots From Jerry Bruckheimer, Howard Gordon and Shane Brennan

Jerry Bruckheimer

When Disney briefly shut down "The Lone Ranger" in August, the principals -- including Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer -- agreed to cut action sequences and their own upfront fees to bring the cost down to about $215 million.

TNT is banking on industry veterans to expand its original programming slate.

The cable network has gone ahead and ordered three drama projects to pilot: Jerry Bruckheimer's Trooper, Shane Brennan's King and Maxwell and Howard Gordon's Legends, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.

The Warner Bros. TV-produced Trooper, which starred Mira Sorvino when it was ordered to pilot at CBS during the last cycle and is produced by Bruckheimer, centers on a mother who becomes a New York state trooper.

King and Maxwell, a one-hour drama from NCIS: Los Angeles boss Brennan, revolves around crime novelist David Baldacci's characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell from his best-selling novels. Sean and Michelle are ex-secret service agents who have unique skill sets that give them an upper hand on suspeccts and law enforcement. Like Trooper, the CBS TV Studios project was originally set up at CBS.

Gordon's Legends, which was originally for NBC, follows a deep-cover operative named Martin Odum, 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 and Mark Bomback developed the project from the novel by Robert Littell.

The news comes after TNT greenlit new reality series The Hero with host/executive producer Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Trooper, King and Maxwell and Legends join the Michael Bay-produced The Last Ship and Frank Darabont's L.A. Noir for series contention.