Cinemax orders 'Femme Fatales' series


Cinemax is looking to revive the thriller anthology series with a project based on the men's magazine "Femme Fatales."

The network has given a series order to a half-hour late-night program with the same title, which will explore noir-style mysteries with strong female protagonists.

The show is part of the network's effort to expand its scripted originals. Though "Femme Fatales" will have a strong erotic component, it will not fall into the network's famous softcore "Skinamax" genre.

"It's a different show than we've ever done before," said Bob Conte, senior vp creative affairs, HBO & Cinemax, who cited movies like "Bound," "Dead Calm" and "Red Rock West" as inspirations. "We have an opportunity to tell some sexy and thrilling stories that all have powerful women."

The show is co-created and executive produced by the ICM-repped Mark A. Altman ("Castle") and Steve Kriozere ("NCIS").

Like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone," Altman said the show will feature a mysterious narrator, one that he dubbed "a sexy Rod Serling."

"There's been so few opportunities to do contemporary noir," Altman said. "Within that, we can do different genres -- we can do a Western episode, we can do a supernatural episode."

Producers hope that, like previous anthology shows, they'll be able to attract notable directors who will be intrigued by the opportunity to tell standalone stories.

"Femme Fatales" will debut in 2011.