EXCLUSIVE: Another hit feature thriller is getting a series adaptation. NBC has given a scripted commitment with a hefty penalty to In The Line Of Fire, a series based on the 1993 Sony film starring Clint Eastwood and John John Malkovich. Written by Carol Mendelsohn and Josh Berman — reuniting after working together on CSI — the In The Line Of Fire series centers on a Secret Service agent who, after a fall from grace, gets the chance to redeem himself when a rogue CIA hitman threatens to assassinate the president. The agent and his female partner will investigate cases while engaged simultaneously in a twisted cat-and-mouse with the would-be assassin, who will upend their lives — forcing them to question their loyalties both professional and personal. Sony Pictures TV is the studio.
Sony TV-based Mendelsohn and Berman executive produce the project with Gail Katz (Pawn Sacrifice), who was a producer on the movie, and Carol Mendelsohn Prods.’ Julie Weitz.
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by Jeff Maguire, In The Line Of Fire was a commercial and critical hit, grossing more than $187 million worldwide and earning 3 Oscar nominations, including for best screenplay and best supporting actor, Malkovich. Here is a trailer:
Both Berman and Mendelsohn already have other high-profile projects set up at the broadcast networks through Sony TV. Drop Dead Diva creator Berman is executive producing Sawyer & Huck, a modern-day take on the classic Mark Twain characters, which has a put pilot commitment at CBS. Former CSI showrunner Mendelsohn is executive producing two projects through her Carol Mendelsohn Prods.: a Hart To Hart remake with a gay couple at the center, which has a script commitment with penalty at NBC; and drama The Jury at ABC, which has a big penalty attached to it. The company also is producing midseason NBC drama series Game Of Silence.
Thriller/action movie titles have been popular this pitch season. In addition to In The Line Of Fire, NBC just gave a series order to Taken, a prequel series to Luc Besson’s hit feature franchise. The network also is developing a series adaptation of the RED movies. Fox gave a put pilot commitment to a Behind Enemy Lines series, and CBS handed out a pilot production commitment to a Training Day reboot.
Additionally, the CW has a remake of The Notebook in the works, and Fox gave an off-cycle pilot order to an Urban Cowboy reboot.
Berman, repped by CAA and attorneys Ken Richman and Jason Hendler, began his career as a junior writer on the first season of CBS’ CSI, working for executive producer/showrunner Mendelsohn. He eventually rose to executive producer. Mendelsohn is with WME.