EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that DirecTV is close to picking up its third original series. I hear the satcaster is finalizing the deals for a 10-episode straight-to-series order to Navy St., an hourlong drama from Byron Balasco (Detroit 1-8-7) and Endemol Studios, the Los Angeles-based scripted TV producing operation of Endemol USA. Written on spec by Balasco, Navy St. is described as a gritty family drama set against the backdrop of a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym based in Venice, California. It deals with survival, ambition, self-destruction and love in all of its messy iterations. Balasco is attached to serve as showrunner on the series, which I heard has begun preliminary casting, with production start eyed for early next year. Navy St. is said to be in the vein of acclaimed family/football drama Friday Night Lights, which ended its run on DirecTV. This would mark the third original series to launch on DirecTV, following Rogue, which was recently renewed for a second season, and the upcoming Full Circle. At Endemol Studios, Navy St. would join two other gritty drama series, AMC’s Hell On Wheels, which returned for a third season on Saturday, and Low Winter Sun, which premiered last night. Balasco’s first stab at creating a series, drama Westside which also was set in Venice, CA, attracted McG as director and executive producer last season when it went to pilot at ABC. He also worked on Happy Town, FlashForward and Without A Trace. He’s repped by ICM Partners and Management 360.
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