CBS is hitting Rush Hour traffic, landing the high-profile series adaptation of the blockbuster movie franchise with a pilot production commitment. The hourlong action comedy, written/executive produced by Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick and executive produced by the movies’ director Brett Ratner and producer Arthur Sarkissian, was taken out to the broadcast networks this week by Warner Bros. TV. CBS pursued it aggressively just as it recently did with another big WBTV package, Supergirl, which received a series commitment.
Written by Cougar Town co-creator Lawrence and the series’ executive producer/showrunner McCormick, Rush Hour is staying close to the premise of the original movie, with a stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer (played in the features by Jackie Chan) assigned to a case in Los Angeles, where he’s forced to work with a cocky black LAPD officer *originally played by Chris Tucker) who has no interest in a partner. WBTV and Lawrence’s studio-based Dooxer are producing, with Lawrence, McCormick, Sarkissian and Ratner exec producing alongside Doozer’s Jeff Ingold.
Produced by Warner Bros subsidiary New Line Cinema, Rush Hour was a sleeper hit when it came out in 1998, launching a successful three-movie franchise that has grossed more than $500 million domestically and topped $845 million worldwide. There had been a lot of talk about doing another movie sequel, with Chan indicating as recently as last month that Warner Bros. was still interested in doing a fourth Rush Hour film, but there is nothing actively in the works.
Rush Hour marks the third big sale for Doozer this season, all at CBS. A comedy from Tommy Johnagin, Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker also landed a pilot production commitment from the network, as did a Meatball comedy from writer Jeff Astrof. The ICM Partners-repped company also has series Undateable on NBC as well as Cougar Town and Ground Floor on TBS.
Before joining Cougar Town, McCormick, repped by UTA and Kaplan Perrone, worked on Fox’s King Of The Hill. Last season, Lawrence and McCormick teamed for another hourlong action buddy comedy, Chasing Skips, which had a put pilot commitment at Fox. Rush Hour joins another big movie title, Minority Report, which was sold as a series to Fox with a put pilot commitment.