'Blood' ties: Ratner, NBC partner for police work

Helmer will also produce drama

NBC is getting in business with Brett Ratner.

The network has given the green light to "Blue Blood," a cop drama pilot written by Neil Tolkin, which Ratner will direct and executive produce.

The project, based on Edward Conlon's memoir, is an ensemble show about NYPD rookie cops assigned to street patrol that centers on one of them, a Harvard graduate.

"Blood," produced by 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Little Engine and Rat TV, originally was set up at Fox with a put pilot commitment last year (HR 7/21/06). The project has since been tweaked by Tolkin and Ratner.

"We love this world Neil Tolkin created inside of this fantastic script," NBC Entertainment executive vp Teri Weinberg said. "We could not be more excited to have this visually realized by Brett Ratner, one of the most successful film directors on the planet."

"Blood" is being executive produced by Tolkin, Ratner and Little Engine's Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo. Production is slated for the fall in New York.

"Blood" is one of several off-cycle pilots ordered this summer by NBC's new regime led by co-chairman Ben Silverman, all with A-list directors attached. An untitled legal thriller from writer Luke Reiter is being directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, while "Backyards and Bullets" is being helmed by Charles McDougall. Additionally, the network is proceeding with comedy pilot "Kath & Kim" after a strong script from the new writer on the project Michelle Nader.

"Blood" is the second pilot that Ratner will direct under his overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, following the 2005 "Prison Break." (He was also slated to helm the pilot for ABC's "Women's Murder Club" this past development season but had to bow out because of a scheduling conflict with "Rush Hour 3"). He serves as executive producer on "Break," which returns for a third season on Fox and the upcoming " Club." On the big screen, he most recently directed the third installment in the hit "Rush Hour" franchise.

Ratner is repped by CAA.

Tolkin's writing credits include the features "The Emperor's Club" and "Sticks and Stones," which he also directed. He is writing "The Dance" for Universal Pictures, to which Nicolas Cage and 50 Cent are attached to star.

Tolkin is repped by Endeavor and attorney Stuart Rosenthal.