I hear talks are progressing between Charter Communications and Sony Pictures TV, and the two sides are now in serious negotiations for a series order to the studio’s LA’s Finest drama pilot starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.
Sony TV took out the action pilot, a spinoff from the Bad Boys movie franchise, immediately after the project’s original network, NBC, surprisingly passed on it 20 days ago. Charter Communications quickly emerged as a likely potential home, starting talks with Sony TV just days later. A deal now appears likely. Reps for Charter and Sony TV declined comment.
With its title recognition and A-list stars, L.A.’s Finest may be used as a key launching piece in Charter Communications’s recently announced strategy to introduce high-end original content on its Spectrum cable systems. The company signaled its entrance in the original scripted series arena by signing co-production deals with AMC Networks and Viacom and by hiring seasoned TV executive Katherine Pope to lead its original content efforts.
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.
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.
L.A.’s Finest comes from Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Primary Wave, 2.0 Entertainment and Sony TV. Alba and Union executive produce alongside Sonnier Margolis, Bruckheimer, Belgrad, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Jeff Gaspin and Jeff Morrone.