EXCLUSIVE: Remember the May 2013 shocker when CBS passed on the Beverly Hills Cop sequel pilot featuring Eddie Murphy? We have a similar situation this year with the Bad Boys offshoot pilot LA’s Finest, toplined by the films’ Gabrielle Union and fellow movie star Jessica Alba.
NBC has opted not to go forward with the project, from Sony Pictures TV., Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Primary Wave, and 2.0 Entertainment. I hear the producers are already fielding interest in the property from other networks.
While not off the charts, LA’s Finest had garnered solid buzz and is a rare marquee drama title headlined by two two movie stars. What’s more, it’s a rare broadcast TV drama with two diverse female leads — something we don’t have right now. It is not entirely clear whether NBC’s decision was based on creative or business reasons (NBC had been in negotiations with Sony TV on four projects — two pilots and two current series), but the answer is likely in some combination of the two.
LA’s Finest was one of the most expensive pilots this season, with its budget said to be around $12 million. It follows the Special Agent Syd Burnett character played by Union in 2003’s Bad Boys II movie as she moves to Los Angeles and joins the LAPD. In the pilot, written by Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier and directed by Anton Cropper, the free-spirited former DEA agent Burnett has a fresh start in her new job as an LAPD detective. She’s partnered with Nancy McKenna (Alba), a working mom who can’t help but look at Syd’s freedom with some grass-is-greener envy. These two have totally different lifestyles and approaches, but they both are at the top of their fields in this action-packed, character-driven procedural. (You can see the duo in character on the set below.)
Alba and Union executive produce alongside Sonnier Margolis, Bruckheimer, Belgrad, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Jeff Gaspin and Jeff Morrone.