Donnie Wahlberg into drama at TNT

Jon Avnet set to direct project centered on a DEA agent

Donnie Wahlberg and Jon Avnet have teamed with TNT to develop a crime drama about a young war hero-turned-Drug Enforcement Administration officer working in his hometown of Boston.

Wahlberg, a Boston native, is expected to star in the tentatively titled "Morse Code," from Warner Horizon TV. It's being written by former "Law & Order" writer-producer Walon Green, with Avnet anticipated to direct. All three will produce.

Michael Wright, TNT's top programmer, described the project -- one of several expected to be announced Wednesday at Turner's upfront presentation -- as in the vein of "The Departed," with the commingling of law enforcement and organized crime. He said "Code" would be a good fit with the network's schedule.

"Our original shows are character-based dramas that speak directly to the audience," Wright said. "The guy at the center of this is a relatable everyman kind of cop -- an honest, authentic character that our audience can connect with on a personal level."

Wahlberg and Avnet worked together on "Boomtown" and the upcoming film "Righteous Kill."

Wahlberg, repped by IFA and Jonathan Baruch at Rain Management Group, also has reunited with his New Kids on the Block bandmates for a tour kicking off Friday. Avnet is repped by CAA and attorney Tara Kole. Green is repped by ICM.
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