Mazzara on 'Crash' course

Heads first original Starz drama

Writer-producer Glen Mazzara has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner on "Crash," Starz's first original drama series.

The 13-episode series, co-produced with Lionsgate TV, is based on the Oscar-winning feature about race relations post-Sept. 11.

"I was very intrigued with the idea of doing a character-based drama set in Los Angeles that revolved around explosive moments in people's lives that came out of seemingly mundane events," Mazzara said.

Members of the team behind the movie —including director/co-writer/producer Paul Haggis, co-writer/producer Bobby Moresco, producers Bob Yari, Don Cheadle and Mark R. Harris and executive producer Tom Nunan — will be involved in the series, slated to premiere this year on the John Malone-backed pay cabler.

In addition to running the series, Mazzara also will rewrite the first episode script, which was penned by Caleb Kane.

Mazzara, who plans to keep elements from Kane's script, is deciding which story lines and characters from the movie will make the transition to series.

Cheadle is expected to reprise his role and might also direct episodes if his feature schedule permits.

"Crash" marks Mazzara's first showrunning duties. A major draw to take on the series was that it is the first scripted drama for Starz.

"I was involved with 'The Shield' that launched FX, and it's very exciting territory to be back in," he said.

CAA-repped Mazzara most recently served as co-executive producer on NBC's freshman drama "Life," which recently was renewed for next season. His credits also include Fox's "Standoff."