It's officially a-go!
After its pilot was passed over by NBC, Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba's Bad Boys television spinoff, L.A.'s Finest, has been given a 13 episode, straight-to-series order by Charter Communications to serve as its original programming for its Spectrum cable system.
The series is created by Sony Pictures TV, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Primary Wave and 2.0 Entertainment. The entities shopped it around after NBC passed, landing at Charter.
“Charter has a strong passion for the project, and we could not be more excited. Immediately we knew this innovative new platform was absolutely the right home for L.A.’s Finest,” said Jeff Frost, president of Sony Pictures.
“Charter is excited to partner with top producers Sony, (Jerry) Bruckheimer and the rest of the incredible team behind and in front of the camera on our first Spectrum Original Content endeavor. Our content partnerships offer us a great opportunity to provide Spectrum customers with the dynamic, authentic and unique programming that drives value for their Spectrum subscription," said Katherine Pope, senior vice president and head of original content at Charter Communications.
Charter Communications also has original content deals with AMC Networks and Viacom and recently hired a seasoned TV exec, Katherine Pope, to head up original content. As Charter's first move into this space, this is a big one. With high-caliber stars and recognizable continuity, it's a critical move for Spectrum's area in high-end, premium content.
Arguably the most high-profile pilot of the season (with an expensive pilot said to cost $12M), NBC passing on the series was a shock as it features two movie stars and women of color. Union, who fronted the spinoff from the start, wanted to land a big name as her co-lead and personally sought Alba.
Shadow and Act spoke to Union about the pilot recently. “We're really excited. And to be able to co-executive produce with Jessica Alba...it's like, we feel like boss bitches. It just really feels good that two women of color are the leads, are the executive producers, put the whole thing together and that we know that we are deserving of this opportunity. That nobody gave it to us, we took it. So hopefully NBC agrees. No pressure, NBC (laughs)...but we really hope we are on the fall lineup."
The series would see Union reprising her character, Special Agent Sydney “Syd" Burnett, from the second Bad Boys film. Burnett was an undercover DEA operative and sister of Martin Lawrence's Marcus Burnett and love interest for Will Smith's Mike Lowrey.
Here's her status in the show: “Syd Burnett, last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel, now is a Los Angeles Police Department detective and can pursue all the pleasures Los Angeles has to offer and leave her past behind. But things will get complicated when her new partner, Nancy McKenna (Alba), learns that Syd’s unapologetic lifestyle might be masking a greater personal secret."
Ernie Hudson, Zack Gilford, Duane Martin, Ben Baines and Ryan McPartlin will also star.