Paramount Network continues to ramp up its scripted roster.
The Viacom-owned cable network (formerly Spike TV) has handed out a 10-episode series order to Coyote, a drama starring Michael Chiklis (The Shield) and from executive producer Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones).
Coyote follows agent Ben Clemens (Chiklis) who, on the day of his mandatory retirement from the United States Border Patrol, discovers an illicit tunnel used to mainline black market goods into the U.S. from Mexico. This soon puts Clemens in the crosshairs of the criminal mastermind he’s spent his career trying to destroy. The series order arrives less than two months after Coyote was first put into development at Paramount Network.
David Graziano (Southland) will serve as showrunner on the project and write alongside Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert. All three will exec produce alongside Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg (The Umbrella Academy). MacLaren will also exec produce and direct the pilot for the drama from Dark Horse and Sony Pictures Television. MacLaren Entertainment’s Rebecca Hobbs will also exec produce. The series is scheduled to debut in 2020; a formal premiere date has not been determined.
“David Graziano, our whole creative team, and I are excited to make a show with Paramount Network and Sony that will dramatize a conversation between Mexico and America,” MacLaren said Wednesday in a statement. “I have wanted to work with Michael Chiklis for a long time and am thrilled he is playing such a complex character whose journey will expose multiple points of view on this relevant and complicated issue.”
Coyote joins a rapidly growing roster of scripted originals at Paramount Network including the recently renewed Yellowstone, 68 Whiskey, Darren Star’s Emily in Paris (starring Lily Collins) and Paradise Lost (toplined by Josh Hartnett).
“We’re honored to work with Michelle MacLaren, Michael Chiklis, David Graziano and the rest of the gifted creative team on Coyote,” said Keith Cox, president of development at Paramount Network and TV Land. “The powerful, timely setting and complex characters are a perfect fit with the rest of our growing scripted slate. Coyote is befitting of the strong Paramount name.”
The Paramount Network drama brings Chiklis back into the Sony TV fold following his Emmy-winning breakout role on FX’s The Shield. Coyote is also an important series order for the indie studio, which continues to focus on cable and streaming.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with this creative powerhouse of a team and beyond thrilled to have Michael Chiklis back in our Sony family,” said SPT co-president Jason Clodfelter.
For Dark Horse, meanwhile, Coyote marks a rare original for the comic book powerhouse behind titles including Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy and such features as Hellboy. The company recently signed a first-look deal with Netflix.
“While most of our shows and movies come from our own library, in Coyote, we found an original idea and character that were undeniable and attracted this incredible creative team,” said Dark Horse Entertainment president and founder Mike Richardson. “We are genuine fans of Michael Chiklis and Michelle MacLaren, and we couldn’t be more excited about this show.”
Chiklis is repped by WME, Management 360 and Meyer & Downs. MacLaren is with ICM Partners and Stone Genow.