TNT has officially given a pilot order to Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay‘s long-gestating cocaine drama project. It was one of three drama pilots with blinking green light at the network, whose official pickup had been delayed by the regime change at Turner. The other two are Titans and Lumen.
Written by Masters Of Sex creator/executive producer Michelle Ashford, the untitled serialized character drama is set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s. Bruckheimer and Bay, who have worked together on such feature blockbusters as Bad Boys, Armageddon and The Rock, first teamed to develop a drama series inspired by Billy Corben’s 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, about the rise of the cocaine trade and the resulting crime epidemic that swept Miami in the 1970s and 1980s, back in 2008 when the project was set at HBO with Meredith Stiehm as a writer. Three years later, the drama went through another incarnation at HBO with a new script by Ashford. She got the assignment five months before Showtime picked up her Masters of Sex, also a long-gestating project, to pilot. Given how busy Ashford is with Masters of Sex, which was just renewed for a third season, it is likely that the Cocaine project would bring in a day-to-day showrunner at the pilot or series stage.
TNT’s Cocaine project is not expected to feature characters from the documentary but would borrow from its portrayal of the events of the illegal drug trade in Miami during that time frame. There is a feature adaptation of Cocaine Cowboys in the works at Paramount with Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg. Here is trailer for the docu:
The Cocaine project falls into TNT’s strategy to move towards edgier, premium drama fare. The pilot hails from Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Bay Films and Warner Horizon Television. Bruckheimer and Bay executive produce with Jonathan Littman, as well as Corben and Alfred Spellman, partners in rakontur, which produced the documentary. KristieAnne Reed serves as co-executive producer.