Endemol Shine Studios has optioned U.S. remake rights to French cop drama series Engrenages which goes by the title Spiral in the States. I understand the project is being developed at Showtime. Tom Fontana (Borgia) and James Yoshimura (Homicide: Life Of The Street) are attached to co-write and executive produce with Barry Levinson and former ABC president Steve McPherson also attached as exec producers.

Engrenages/Spiral has been compared to The Wire and has been instrumental in raising the profile and the quality of French drama. At home, Engrenages is the longest-running and highest-rated original series on Canal Plus. It’s a look at the machinery of the French justice system through the eyes of a young deputy prosecutor, a police captain, a preliminary judge and a criminal lawyer. Created by Alexandra Clert and Guy-Patrick Saninderichin, and sold by AB International, it airs in 70 countries. The original version was the first French series ever acquired by BBC Four and was the first non-English-language series available on Netflix in the U.S.

At home in France, it is going into its 6th season. Although this deal was done prior, Spiral coincidentally debuted episodes of its 5th season at Col-Coa last week.

Endemol Shine Studios is producing the eventual U.S. take and would handle international sales if it goes to series. EVP Jeremy Gold overseeing the project with Showtime.