EXCLUSIVE: While Jack Sparrow is frolicking on the big screen in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, his brethren are becoming a hot commodity on TV. Just as FX and Fox International Channels teamed with producers Graham King and Gale Anne Hurd for 17th century pirate drama Port Royal, another pirate series is setting sail at Fox. The network is in negotiations for the project, Pyrates, which is envisioned as a 10-13-episode event-type limited series for summer 2012. The series was created by Law & Order/Numbers veteran Barry Schindel, with Stephen Hopkins (24) on board to direct the first episode. Indie producer Ensemble Entertainment is producing in association with Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. Based on historical events, Pyrates is described as a gritty portrayal of the men and women who pulled off the largest heist on pirate history — the capture of the Spanish silver fleet in 1628 — sparking the golden age of piracy, a time when there was greater honor amongst thieves than those who hunted them. Ensemble is exploring an international co-production model for the project and is scouting potential locations for the production, including the Caribbean and Australia. Endemol will handle international distribution for Pyrates through the first-look deal with Ensemble the company signed last fall.
Additionally, CAA-repped Ensemble, which was founded last year by Tony To, Jin Ishimoto, Patrick Murray and Ashley Stern, is developing with Scott Free Security, a drama series project created by Bruce McKenna that explores the privatization of law enforcement and the military and centers on an American private-security firm.