NBC has acquired the U.S. broadcast rights to EuropaCorp Television‘s Taxi Brooklyn for a summer debut. The 12-episode action/comedy series is produced by showrunner Gary Scott Thompson (Las Vegas, The Fast And The Furious) and based on Luc Besson‘s Taxi feature franchise. It stars Grey’s Anatomy alumna Chyler Leigh and Jacky Ido (Inglourious Basterds). Former Blue Bloods co-star Jennifer Esposito, Ally Walker (Profiler), James Colby (Person Of Interest), Bill Heck (Pan Am), Jose Zuniga (Body Of Proof) and Raul Casso (Blue Bloods) round out the cast. Formerly known as Taxi: Brooklyn South, Taxi Brooklyn was shot in English in the titular borough along with Manhattan and Queens. Leigh plays Detective Caitlyn “Cat” Sullivan, who is determined to find the truth about the death of her father, an NYPD detective who was killed in the line of duty. When her stubborn character and recklessness behind the wheel see her demoted to foot patrol, she teams with the highly skilled and charming Marseille-born cabbie Leo Romba. Realizing Leo lied on his immigration form, Cat offers him a deal: in exchange for his driving prowess and taxi, she will help Leo with his papers situation. He becomes her personal driver and police consultant as they race through the streets of New York City solving cases.
Among the series directors are Olivier Megaton (Taken 2) and the helmer of three films in Besson’s Taxi franchise, Gerard Krawczyk. Exec producers are Edouard de Vesinne, Thomas Anargyros and Thompson. The series hails from EuropaCorp Television with the participation of France’s TF1 which starts airing the series April 14. Thompson says, “After over a hundred episodes of Las Vegas on NBC, and The Fast And Furious at Universal, it’s a happy home coming for me. I’m very pleased NBC recognized our show’s potential, and I look forward to working with them on Taxi Brooklyn.”
Besson has produced four Taxi films. The original, about a Marseille cabbie who inadvertently gets involved in fighting crime, was helmed by Gérard Pirès and became a smash hit when it was released in 1998. It sold over 6M tickets in France and spawned three sequels and a U.S. remake. In 2000, Krawcyzk took over directing the franchise, and Taxi 2 became the top-grossing movie of the year with over 10M admissions. The latter two films were also in the Top 10 in 2003 and 2007. Each starred Samy Naceri and Frédéric Diefenthal. Oscar winner Marion Cotillard appeared in the first three films.