With all producing deals closed and a cast in place, TNT has given the green light to The Librarians, a 10-episode series follow-up to the network’s hit movie trilogy The Librarian, for a premiere in late 2014. The series will have a female lead played by Rebecca Romijn, returning to TNT where she played one of the leads in King & Maxwell. Noah Wyle, who toplined the movies, is executive producing and reprising his role in a recurring capacity because he is the star of another TNT series, Falling Skies. Romijn leads a cast that includes Christian Kane (TNT’s Leverage), Lindy Booth (Copper) and John Kim (Neighbors) as well as John Larroquette. Joining Wyle from the movies are Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin, who also will reprise their roles, with Matt Frewer (TNT’s Falling Skies) also set to recur. The series, which will be produced by the company behind the movies, Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, is part of TNT’s continued expansion into the action-adventure genre and will likely run in the network’s popcorn entertainment Sunday slot where Falling Skies airs. “The Librarian movies have been a huge success for TNT, and we jumped at the opportunity to build a series around the incredible world Dean Devlin and his creative partners created,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright.
The Librarians centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library that solves impossible mysteries, fights supernatural threats and recovers powerful artifacts from around the world. For the past 10 years, Flynn Carsen (Wyle) has served as the Librarian, collecting and protecting these artifacts and preventing them from falling into the wrong hands. But as great as Flynn is, the job of Librarian has become more than one person can handle. To aid him in his duties, the Library has recruited four people from around the world: Eve Baird (Romijn), a highly skilled counter-terrorism agent who is responsible for protecting the group and keeping them all alive; Jake Stone (Kane), an Oklahoma oil worker with an IQ of 190 and an encyclopedic knowledge of art history; Cassandra (Booth), a quirky young woman with the special gift of auditory and sensory hallucinations linked to memory retrieval, known as synesthesia; and Ezekiel Jones (Kim), a master of new technologies and aficionado of old classic crimes who enjoys playing the role of international man of mystery. Overseeing the new team of Librarians is the cantankerous Jenkins (Larroquette), an expert in ancient lore who has been working out of the Library’s branch office for longer than anyone knows. Together, they must tangle with many adversaries, chief of whom is the Serpent Brotherhood, an ancient cult led by the mysterious immortal Dulaque (Frewer).
The Librarian movie franchise began in 2004 with The Librarian: Quest For The Spear, which ranked as basic cable’s #1 movie of the year. The second installment, The Librarian: Return To King Solomon’s Mines, premiered in 2006 and placed among the top five movie telecasts of the year. And in 2008, TNT premiered The Librarian: Curse Of The Judas Chalice to more than 5.7 million viewers.
The idea for a Librarian series had been around for a while. It was put on hold by a lengthy WGA arbitration over the credits for the movies, which recently was successfully resolved, clearing the way for a new installment six years after the third and final movie in the franchise aired. (During that time, Electric Entertainment produced TNT series Leverage for five seasons.) Devlin teamed with Leverage co-creator John Rogers and approached TNT with an outline for a 10-episode series. With TNT interested, Wyle was approached about joining the project. Because of his starring role on Falling Skies, a full-time return was out of the question, with talks focusing on him executive producing and doing multiple episodes. Wyle is expected to appear in the opening two-hour episode, written by Rogers and directed by Devlin, and possibly in the last two episodes. Filming is expected to begin shortly in Portland, Oregon, where Electric Entertainment shot Leverage. I hear Devlin and Wyle met with the Governor of Oregon to personally lobby for a tax credit on the project, which they were successful in landing. The two executive produce The Librarians with Rogers and Marc Roskin. Wyle is with UTA and Brillstein Entertainment; Booth is with APA and Thruline Entertainment.