Emmy Award-winning writer/showrunner René Balcer (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) has set up The Council, a one-hour international thriller woven around a murder in a remote Canadian Arctic town, with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Council will be produced by Lark Productions and NBCUniversal International, in partnership with Keston International Productions. NBCUniversal International Television Production retains all distribution rights.

The series follows an investigation that begins with a ritualistic killing in an isolated Arctic outpost but grows to expose an international conspiracy to control the vast natural resources of the Arctic. It’s a thrilling and realistic look at the effects of globalization set against the last frontier on Earth, where countries and corporations are waging war for sovereignty over an ungoverned territory.

Balcer, who has had a lifelong interest in the Arctic and its indigenous Inuit culture, is a 20-year veteran of the Law & Order franchise. He wrote an episode in the first season of the flagship series and joined it in Season 2. He rose to executive producer before leaving in 2001 to executive produce and showrun spinoff L&O: Criminal Intent, which he developed with creator Dick Wolf. Balcer also created the international drama JO, which aired on TF1 in France.

“There isn’t a writer who is a better fit for this show than René,” said JoAnn Alfano, Executive Vice President of Scripted Programming for NBCU International Television Production. “He has a unique ability to weave complex mysteries with character-based drama. His personal connection to the story and knowledge of the arctic and Inuit culture will bring a unmatched level of authenticity.”

The Council will be produced by Lark Productions (Motive), with executive producers Louise Clark, Erin Haskett, and Keston’s Trevor Walton and Denis Coyne.