Sherlock Holmes, meet Axel Foley. In a very competitive situation, CBS, which has new Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary coming this fall, has landed Beverly Hills Cop, a series offshoot from the blockbuster movie franchise. The films’ star Eddie Murphy and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan executive produce the Sony TV-produced project, which has received a pilot production commitment from CBS.
Ryan will serve as showrunner on the potential series, a sequel to the three movies that chronicled the exploits of wise-cracking Detroit detective Axel Foley (Murphy) in Los Angeles. The proposed series has a similar fish-out-of-water setup and centers on Axel Foley’s blue-collar police officer son, Aaron, who helps take down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills while trying to escape the shadow of his larger-than-life father. Murphy will reprise his role as Axel in the pilot and may recur if the pilot goes to series. Ryan will write the script and executive produce with his producing partner at MiddKid Prods. Marney Hochman.
Murphy had been trying to get a Beverly Hills Cop series about Axel’s son off the ground for about a year, after plans for a fourth movie were scrapped. He took the premise to his agency WME, which paired him with fellow client Ryan. Because of Ryan’s overall deal at Sony TV, the project was set up there after lengthy and complicated deal-making with Paramount Pictures, which produced the movies and will own a piece of the potential series.
Beverly Hills Cop, which was pitched to all four major broadcast networks last week, is right in CBS’ wheelhouse: a light procedural with a male lead in the vein of NCIS, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five-0 and Elementary. CBS also likes taking on famous properties as evidenced by its successful reboot of Hawaii Five-0 and Elementary.
This marks Ryan’s return to CBS, where he executive produced and ran military drama The Unit. Just like he did back then, when he ran The Unit and his FX cop drama The Shield simultaneuously, Ryan, managed by the Shuman Co., will shepherd the Beverly Hills Cop pilot while running the upcoming ABC drama Last Resort. Beverly Hills Cop also marks Ryan’s return to his comedy roots. He started off in half-hour comedy and did a three-year stint on CBS’ action comedy/drama Nash Bridges. His most recent dramedy effort was FX’s well-regarded Terriers. Murphy rose to prominence on TV as a star of Saturday Night Live before segueing to features. He returned to TV as creator of The Royal Family and co-creator of The PJs.
Beverly Hills Cop marks the second pilot production commitment for CBS this season, along with Backstrom, a drama penned by Hart Hanson based on the Backstrom books. Its series reboots in the works for next season include the Vince Vaughn-produced The Brady Bunch, which, like Beverly Hills Cop, is a sequel centered on one of the Bradys sons; and Have Gun – Will Travel, from The Unit creator David Mamet.