MIPCOM: eOne, Shaw Media and TF1 Team Up on 'Ransom'

AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
Frank Spotnitz

'Transporter' showrunner Frank Spotnitz will executive produce the series about a hostage negotiator

Entertainment One Television (eOne TV) is teaming up with TF1 in France and Canada's Shaw Media to develop and produce Ransom, a new drama series based on the life of renowned crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert.

Frank Spotnitz, the showrunner on TNT's Transporter action series and an Emmy-nominated writer of such series as The X Files, co-created Ransom with David Vainola (Combat Hospital). Both will act as executive producers on the project.

“The real-life cases Laurent undertakes make for nail-biting suspense and incredible human drama,” Spotnitz said. “This is going to be a thrilling series.”

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Ransom will be based on Combalbert's true-life exploits but will be set up as a primetime procedural, following the private negotiator as he travels the globe handling international crises together with a team that includes a computer hacker, a therapist and a black-belt.

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Ransom is actually the second hostage-negotiator series to be announced at international TV market MIPCOM this week. On Monday, Gaumont International Television said it was doing its own similarly themed drama with showrunner Tom Fontana, based on the 2011 bestselling memoir of psychologist-turned-hostage negotiator Ben Lopez, The Negotiator: My Life at the Heart of the Hostage Trade.

Ransom will be produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny via their Sienna Films banner, alongside Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald and their newly created Wild Cat Productions shingle and Spotnitz via his London-based Big Light Productions.

Twitter: @sroxborough