9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
WGN America Adds Three Crime Dramas in Latest Acquisition Push
WGN America is solidifying its 2018 slate.
Fresh off exiting the scripted originals business, the cable network has added three more low-cost foreign crime dramas to its slate. Set to air next year as part of WGN America's "prime crime" lineup are Swedish drama 100 Code — starring the late Michael Nyqvist — as well as Canadian procedurals Shoot the Messenger and Pure. They join recent Canadian acquisition Bellevue starring Anna Paquin.
"WGN America continues to deliver one of the best crime lineups in television,” WGN American president Gavin Harvey said Tuesday in a statement. “These four new original series build upon our strong slate of compelling programming that offers nonstop mystery, thrills and suspense for the growing number of fans of the crime genre.”
Following WGN America's decision to exit the scripted originals space — a move that stemmed from Sinclair Broadcast Group's acquisition of parent company Tribune Media — president Matt Cherniss exited the cable network. Tribune CEO Peter Kern tapped Harvey as interim president. The cabler now is shifting from high-cost originals to more cost-effective originals and reruns, with sources noting the new WGN America will be more in line with ION rather than AMC.
Bellevue was the first pickup under this new direction and will premiere early next year. It will be joined by eight episodes of Shoot the Messenger, 12 episodes of 100 Code and six episodes of Pure, with a timeframe for the latter still yet to be determined. They join a slate of syndicated repeats including Blue Bloods, Elementary, Person of Interest, Bones, Law & Order and Cops.
Series descriptions and trailers for all three new pickups are below.
New York. Stockholm. Young, blonde and blue-eyed women have been turning up dead in fields of flowers. Through a special dispensation from the NYPD, Detective Tommy Conley (Dominic Monaghan) is permitted to observe and advise the Stockholm PD. Upon arrival in Sweden, he is paired with Mikael Eklund (Michael Nyqvist), a by-the-book Swedish cop with an aversion to American culture. Both hate each other, but the two are quickly forced to resolve their differences as the mysterious killings continue. As the web of shocking murders continues, Conley and Eklund are led down a path of no return in their hunt for the vicious killer.
Developed by Academy Award winner Bobby Moresco (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), 100 Code is produced by 100 Code AB & Zen Productions in association with Fabrik Entertainment, Red Arrow International and Strix Drama for Kanal 5 and Sky Deutschland. It is being distributed worldwide by Red Arrow International and has sold to more than 100 territories including the U.K. (Sky Atlantic), Italy (Mediaset) and Scandinavia (HBO Nordics).
Shoot the Messenger
A gritty political-crime thriller centering on the complex relationships between crime reporters and the police, Shoot the Messenger follows Daisy Channing (Elyse Levesque), a young reporter trying to balance a messy personal life with a burgeoning career. Things begin to go sideways for Daisy when she witnesses a murder she thinks is gang-related, only to find herself slowly drawn into an interconnected web of criminal and illicit sexual activity that reaches into the corridors of corporate and political power. It’s the kind of story that will destroy lives, including those of her own family. With help from her editor Mary Foster (Alex Kingston), co-worker Simon Olenski (Lucas Bryant) and lead homicide detective Kevin Lutz (Lyriq Bent), Daisy uncovers a cover-up so scandalous it could bring down the government.
Shoot the Messenger is produced by Jennifer Holness and Victoria Woods for Hungry Eyes Film & Television in association with CBC Television and ITV Studios Global Entertainment. It was co-created by Holness and Sudz Sutherland, who also serves as lead director on the series.
Pure takes viewers deep inside a closed, secretive subculture through the eyes of a conflicted, good-hearted man trying to protect his family and preserve his faith. Inspired by true events, Pure is the journey of Noah Funk, a newly elected Mennonite pastor who is determined to rid his community of the scourge of drugs and its nefarious ties to a transborder smuggling alliance with ruthless Mexican cocaine cartels. But just when he thinks he's won, he is thrust headlong into a desperate world of violence, greed and betrayal. Ryan Robbins, Alex Paxton-Beesley, A.J. Buckley and Rosie Perez star.
Pure is produced by Two East Productions and Cineflix. It was created and written by Michael Amo and directed by Ken Girotti, who executive produce along with Brett Burlock, Peter Emerson and David MacLeod. Cineflix Rights has the exclusive worldwide distribution rights. WGN America will be the exclusive U.S. TV home for the first season. Pure previously premiered on Canada’s CBC, and the first season is now streaming on Hulu.