ABC has closed a deal for a pilot production commitment to New York Undercover, a new incarnation of Dick Wolf’s 1994 cop drama series, which will be written by Hand of God creator Ben Watkins. The project from Wolf Entertainment is a co-production between Universal TV, where the company is based, and ABC Studios.
This matches the pilot production commitment commitment ABC recently made to a reboot of another 1990s New York cop drama, NYPD Blue, which is currently casting a pilot.
Wolf and Watkins executive produce the new New York Undercover with Wolf Entertainment’s Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski.
Created by Wolf and Kevin Arkadie, New York Undercover aired on Fox for four seasons, between 1994-98. It starred Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo as two undercover detectives in New York City’s Fourth Precinct. It was the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles.
I hear ABC and New York Undercover‘s original network, Fox, were interested in the revival when it was recently taken to the marketplace, with ABC entering negotiations last week. As a procedural, New York Undercover can be reinvented with new characters and cast. Even the original series rebooted itself in the fourth and final season with a largely new cast joining Yoba and Season 2 addition Lauren Velez as the other series regulars exited.
The pilot at ABC for New York Undercover joins the series order Wolf has at NBC for a new Law & Order series, Law & Order: Hate Crimes, to launch next season. He currently has veteran Law & Order: SVU and the three Chicago dramas on NBC and freshman FBI on CBS. This would be his first series on ABC since the 2003 Dragnet reboot, which aired for one season. Wolf is repped by WME.
Watkins created and served as showrunner of Hand of God, which ran for two seasons on Amazon. He also executive produces Apple’s upcoming series Are You Sleeping, starring Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan and Aaron Paul. Previously, Watkins rose from staff writer to executive producer over the seven-season run of USA’s Burn Notice. He is repped by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein.