EXCLUSIVE: The LA’s Finest pilot starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba might go to series after all. I hear that the studio behind the Bad Boys offshoot, Sony Pictures TV, is in talks with Charter Communications about picking up the action drama. Sources stress that talks are still preliminary and might not lead to a deal. Reps for Sony and Charter declined comment.
Sony TV, as well as the project’s other production entities, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Primary Wave, and 2.0 Entertainment, started shopping the pilot to other networks immediately after NBC decided not to go forward in one of the most surprising passes this upfront season.
A pickup of L.A.’s Finest would be a major move in the high-end scripted series arena for Charter Communications, which recently signaled an entry into the original content space, signing deals with AMC Networks and Viacom to co-produce original series and hiring seasoned TV executive Katherine Pope to lead its original content efforts.
L.A’s Finest features two movie stars, Union and Alba, and is a rare drama series headlined by two diverse women.
With elaborate action sequences, 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 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.
Alba and Union executive produce alongside Sonnier Margolis, Bruckheimer, Belgrad, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Jeff Gaspin and Jeff Morrone.
Charter, which counts savvy billionaire John Malone as a key stakeholder, is among many cable operators looking to provide content that can stem the tide of cord-cutters ending their pay-TV subscriptions. Altice USA, Comcast and Verizon FiOS have recently set similar deals with cable programmers such as A&E, Viacom and AMC.