X marks spot for Bruckheimer, CBS


Jerry Bruckheimer is expanding his business at CBS with a new adventure drama project.

The network has handed out a put pilot commitment to the untitled show from "Sleeper Cell" creators/executive producers Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff that revolves around freelance treasure hunters.

Warner Bros. TV and Bruckheimer TV are producing the project, with Voris, Reiff, Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman serving as executive producers.

Bruckheimer, a fan of "Cell," first approached Voris and Reiff about doing a series together shortly after Showtime at the beginning of the year opted not to pick up a third cycle of the acclaimed, terror-themed limited series.

"We took that as a huge compliment and a great opportunity," Reiff said.

After Voris and Reiff inked a two-year overall deal with Warner Bros. TV, where Bruckheimer TV is based, they began working together on series ideas.

For Reiff, a history buff who holds New York University degrees in film and history, doing the treasure hunter project is a dream come true. He describes the one-hour as an "A-class network version of an archaeology adventure show."

"The relics, the treasures on it will run the gamut from biblical and ancient history though medieval and Renaissance times up to modern days," he said.

Like "Cell," which maintained a high degree of realism thanks to Voris and Reiff's extensive work with experts in terrorism and Islam, the CBS show will incorporate real work from archaeologists and historians.

"It's not 'Indiana Jones' for television," Reiff said. "It's more grounded, more contemporary."

The show won't be serialized. "There will be overarching character arcs, but in terms of plot lines, it will be self-contained episodes," Reiff said.

Treasure hunting is a familiar arena for Bruckheimer, producer of the successful "National Treasure" action adventure feature franchise. His new project on CBS is looking to join the producer's six other series on the network: the three "CSI" dramas, "Cold Case," "Without a Trace" and "The Amazing Race."

On the feature side, Voris and Reiff penned the spec "Nottingham," which sold this year in a seven-figure deal to Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Ridley Scott is attached to direct and Russell Crowe is attached to star in the project, which is eyed for a start at year's end. The two also wrote "Kung Fu Panda," which will be released next year by DreamWorks Animation.

Voris and Reiff, who also created and executive produced the series "Brimstone," are repped by WMA, Field Entertainment and attorney Dave Feldman.