Jerry O’Connell is joining the force.
The veteran actor is set to star opposite Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Chicago P.D.) in AXN’s latest straight-to-series drama Carter, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Owned by Sony Pictures Television Networks, the network has picked up 10 episodes of the light-hearted procedural, which stars O’Connell as Harley Mackay, a detective on a hit American TV show who is forced to return to his sleepy hometown after an embarrassing public meltdown in Hollywood. Once back, Carter taps into his acting experience to become a real-life detective, partnering with long-time friend and no-nonsense veteran of the force Sam St. Clair (Poitier).
Garry Campbell (MADtv) created and wrote the series, which was developed with writer John Tinker (Chicago Hope). Scott Smith (The Magicians) will direct the pilot. Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther (Call Me Fitz) will exec produce for Amaze Film + Television. Amaze will produce and handle distribution in Canada, with Sony Pictures Television Distribution handling U.S. and international sales of the series. Principal photography on Carter begins next month in Ontario.
SPTN commissioned the series for its AXN channels. This marks the studio’s second global original production following the Stana Katic thriller Absentia. The drama premiered earlier this month at the Monte Carlo Television Festival and is set to launch on Sony networks, including AXN, this fall.
“Our channels are hungry for easy to watch, easy to program procedurals, and Carter more than fills that void,” said Marie Jacobson, SPTN’s executive vp programming and production. “It delivers both star power and self-contained crime stories with a comedic edge. The scripts are smart and charming, and Jerry and Sydney are great together. We love this show for our channels.”
Added SPTN president Andy Kaplan: “Strong original programming is key to differentiating our networks around the world, and during this time of rapid change in the industry, it also gives us greater flexibility in developing new advertising and distribution models.”
For O’Connell, Carter marks his first series-regular role since the CBS comedy We Are Men and before that, The Defenders. In addition to recent arcs on Billions and Scream Queens, he was also one of the favorites to succeed Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa’s Live co-host before Ryan Seacrest took the gig. He is repped by ICM, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Ziffren Brittenham.
The daughter of Oscar-winner Sidney Poitier, Sydney’s other roles include Veronica Mars and Joan of Arcadia. She is repped by ICM and Thruline Entertainment.