MIPTV 2012: 'Shameless' Scribe Paul Abbott Aims High With Chloe Sevigny Transsexual Killer Drama
The writer talks to THR about his new series starring the award-winning actress.
FremanteMedia has struck its target with Paul Abbott’s new series Hit & Miss, with sales for the transsexual killer drama starring Chloe Sevigny in Australia, New Zealand and Israel.
Commissioned by Sky Atlantic HD in the UK, Hit & Miss has already been picked up by DirecTV in the U.S. and will air on ABC2 in Australia, on TVNZ in New Zealand and on HOT in Israel.
In the series, Sevigny plays a transsexual assassin who becomes the guardian of a new family and is forced to mix her killer instincts with more maternal ones.
The man behind the woman playing a man dressed as a woman -- Abbott -- has been successful in his native U.K. with series like Shameless and State of Play, and is now setting his sights on the U.S. market with the offbeat tale.
“This is a family drama with the credibility of a hit man story. It’s about everything from the boots up,” Abbott told THR of the show.
The pitch may sound outlandish, but according to Abbott, it works. “You can talk about how something has never before been on TV, but after three weeks of talking about it, you realize why it’s never been on TV,” he said, adding that the show’s appeal lies in its illogical contrast of content.
“You watch an interesting execution of an execution. It’s an intellectual contradiction. No one should be out killing people when they’re raising children,” he said.
The show will also be a daring one for its star, Sevigny.
“She looks like a bloke and she’s allowed herself to look like a bloke,” Abbott said of the show’s hero -- and heroine.
“I personally would have been happy to see an actress we’d never seen before in the role,” Abbott admitted. “Now I can’t imagine it being played by anyone else. She’s stunning,” he added. “Bizarrely, we drive the story through her.”
Like Shameless, Hit & Miss is also about family, a subject close to Abbott’s heart. “I’m intrigued by close families, but I like not coming from anywhere. I like not belonging to a family. It makes me able to write family better."
Shameless has been a hit in the U.K. and now its U.S. remake is also popular on Showtime.
“I love that the American response to Shameless has been so epileptically big," Abbott said.
Abbott’s production and development company AbbottVision has signed a first-look deal with FME and he’s constantly thinking up new ideas.
“My narrative metabolism is quick. I burn it off,” he said.
Next up for the prolific writer?
“I just went to a hypnotherapist to try to stop getting ideas.” So far, Abbott’s ideas have been good ones. “I’ve never ever not sold something I’ve come up with,” he said. So what advice does he have for budding writers? “Just remember to forget you’ve been looked out from the outside market.”
He added: “You have to teach the audience how to listen. Writers have to seduce. The audience needs to be taken somewhere and our job is to take them somewhere.”
And what audiences should tune in to watch Hit & Miss when it premieres on DirectTV and across the globe? “Everyone who likes a gloc with a cock,” Abbott said, adding that the new series is “unmissable.”