librarianA long-gestating series offshoot from TNT‘s successful The Librarian original movies is inching closer to a green light as a 10-episode, straight-to-series at TNT. Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment, which was behind the three Librarian movies, would be back as producer, partnering with the movies’ star Noah Wyle, who is in early talks to serve as an executive producer as well as reprise his role as Flynn Carsen in several episodes as he has a full-time job on TNT’s hit series Falling Skies. Also eyed to reprise their roles from the movies in guest starring/recurring capacity are Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin. Tentatively titled The Librarians, the proposed series would revolve around a group of younger men and women eager to become Flynn’s successor as the protector of secret artifacts. The green light for the series is cast-contingent, hinging on finding an actress for the lead role of a strong, ass-kicking woman. I hear the character is conceived as British, with actresses like Melissa George and Rhona Mitra as prototypes.

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The idea for a Librarian series had been around for a while. It was put on hold by a lengthy WGA arbitration over the credits for the movies, which recently was successfully resolved, clearing the way for a new installment six years after the third and final movie in the franchise, The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice, aired. Devlin teamed with John Rogers, co-creator of Devlin’s long-running TNT series Leverage, and approached TNT with an outline for a 10-episode series. I hear Rogers has written a two-hour opening episode. With TNT interested, Wyle, who was the heart of the movie franchise, was approached about joining the project. Because of his starring role on Falling Skies, a full-time return was out of the question, with talks focusing on him executive producing and doing multiple episodes. I hear that, if a deal is reached, Wyle would appear in the opening two-hour episode, which will be directed by Devlin, and possibly in the last two episodes, something his schedule on Falling Skies would permit. He also might direct an episode. Filming is tentatively scheduled to begin in April in Oregon, where Electric Entertainment shot Leverage. I hear Devlin and Wyle met with the Governor of Oregon to personally lobby for a tax credit on the project, which they were successful in landing. If everything goes according to plan, I hear The Librarian would air in late 2014, likely in TNT’s popcorn entertainment/adventure Sunday slot where Falling Skies currently airs.