In their first development season at Sony Pictures TV, showrunners Shawn Ryan and Simon Mirren have teamed for a crime drama. The untitled project has sold to CBS, where Mirren recently served as co-showrunner on Criminal Minds, with a put pilot commitment. The drama, which Mirren will write, does evoke Criminal Minds as well as Showtime’s drama Dexter. It is a procedural about a genetic scientist who uses his newfound discovery that he has the psychopath gene to help the FBI catch killers. The show, which Ryan and Mirren are executive producing, is inspired by the true story of UC Irvine Professor James Fallon, a brilliant but genetically flawed scientist who, while helping to unlock the mysteries of the genome code, discovered that he was a psychopath linked to a long line of serial killers, including axe murderer Lizzie Borden. The deal extends the trend this development season for the big put pilot commitment to go to A-list producers, including Ryan, Jerry Bruckheimer (the Aron Eli Coleite mom-turned-NY State Trouper drama at CBS), Dick Wolf (the Michael Brandt-Derek Haas firefighter drama at NBC) and Greg Berlanti (Marc Guggenheim’s legal drama at Fox).
Mirren joined Criminal Minds after the pilot, rising to executive producer/co-showrunner before leaving the series last spring to sign an overall deal with Sony. Ryan also has a history with CBS. He cut his teeth as a writer-producer on Nash Bridges and then executive produced and ran the network’s military drama The Unit. The Shield creator Ryan, repped by WME and the Shuman Co., moved to Sony in June after more than a decade at Fox. WME-repped Mirren also is executive producing the Cinemax series The Sector.