USA Network has picked up its drama pilot The Sinner to series. The crime thriller anthology drama, from Universal Cable Prods., stars and is executive produced by Jessica Biel and also stars Bill Pullman.
The Sinner, written by Derek Simonds (When We Rise), is part of a three-pilot batch at USA that also includes Damnation and The Tap. The Sinner is the first USA brass have made a decision on; the fate of the other two, which also have been completed, is still TBD. The fourth USA pilot, Unsolved, about the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls murders, is still in the casting phase. All projects hail from UCP.
“We are pleased to announce The Sinner as our first series pickup of 2017,” said USA Network president Chris McCumber. “The series’ unique perspective intrigued us from the very beginning, and Universal Cable Productions, Jessica Biel and the entire team behind and in front of the cameras have delivered something very special.”
The first installment of the close-ended series, based on Petra Hammesfahr’s book, follows a young mother (Biel) who, when overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage, commits a startling act of violence and to her horror has no idea why. The event launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the “who” or the “what” — but the “why” — as an investigator (Pullman) finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman’s buried motive. Together they travel a harrowing journey into the depths of her psyche and the violent secrets hidden in her past.
Biel executive produces the series with her producing partner Michelle Purple through their company Iron Ocean, as well as Simonds and Charlie Gogolak. The pilot was directed and executive produced by Antonio Campos (Christine). The Sinner marks the first project to be picked up to series under Iron Ocean’s pod deal with UCP, whose development is overseen by Dawn Olmstead.
“From the moment Dawn [Olmstead] brought in this provocative thriller, we knew that only an exceptional creative team would realize its full potential,” said Jeff Wachtel, President, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Jessica, Bill, Derek and Antonio take us on an unforgettable ride.”
The Sinner marks the second USA drama anthology series, joining the lower-budget Eyewitness, which is on the fence for a second-season renewal.