'Shield' creator sets pilot at Fox

Shawn Ryan's new cop drama is 'Ridealong'

"The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan is back on the beat with "Ridealong," a new cop drama at Fox.

The network has handed a put pilot commitment to the project from 20th TV.

Set in Chicago, "Ridealong" will move the inner law-enforcement workings away from the police stations.

"The show is being done through the various (forces') windshields -- from cops to uniformed detectives to the new female chief of police," Ryan said. "Their cars are their offices, so we should be out in the streets a ton."

Although it might look surprising, Ryan's return to the cop genre so soon after the end of FX's "Shield" was planned.

"I always knew I wanted to go back to the cop arena but with a markedly different approach, not just do a network version of 'The Shield,' " he said. "I think I've found a way to do a unique cop show with 'Ridealong.' "

When he first got the idea for the show, Ryan approached director-producer Peter Berg, who liked it and wanted to be involved, but previous commitments prevented him from coming on board.

Setting the show in Chicago was key for Ryan, who is from Illinois.

"Chicago has become the center of the universe," said Ryan, referring to the rise of President Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel -- both from Chicago -- the clout of Oprah Winfrey and the selection of the Windy City as the U.S. choice to bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Ryan plans to mine the colorful history of the city, including the exploits of gangster Al Capone and Richard Daley's political machine and explore the intertwined worlds of police and politics in present-day Chicago.

Also important for Ryan was to be able to film the show in Chicago.

So before taking the idea to the executives at 20th TV, where he is based, Ryan went to the studio's head of production, Jim Sharp, to ask him whether that was feasible. "If we couldn't film it in Chicago, I didn't want to even pitch it," Ryan said.

Ryan is writing the script for the project and exec producing.

Ryan, repped by WME and the Shuman Co., has been keeping busy under his three-year overall deal with 20th TV: He serves as exec producer/showrunner on Fox/20th TV's sophomore drama "Lie to Me" and on FX's hourlong PI pilot "Terriers," from Fox21.