The first question from TV journalists at today’s TCA panel on NBC’s new series, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector, was, well, what’s up with that title?
The series, which made its debut Friday, is based on Jeffrey Deaver’s Bone Collector book series. The first book in that series was also the basis of the 1999 feature film The Bone Collector starring Denzel Washington as quadriplegic Detective Lincoln Rhymes.
The new TV series was first announced as Lincoln, then acquired the lengthy new title, which does not exactly lend itself to headlines and social media. However, the show’s executive producers pointed out that people tended to confuse the name first with the President, second with the car. In addition, EP Barry O’Brien said the new title leaves the door open to expand the story across multiple platforms. And, “We found that a more dynamic, fuller title brought all viewers into the story,” he added.
The EPs did not reveal which of Deaver’s other killers might show up in the story. But O’Brien did acknowledge in response to a question from a book fan that Deaver’s Skin Collector and the Vanished Man characters would be good choices.
The producers made some changes from the first book, including nixing the romantic relationship between Rhyme and Kebbel’s character, NYPD officer Amelia Sachs, in favor of leaving the door open for Rhyme to reconcile with his ex-wife and child. Rhyme is also not suicidal over the accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. “That felt like a little too dark a place to start,” Kaplan said.
The producers did not tease a first season story arc, but said each episode will have a closed procedural story. Unlike the pilot, producers said the series would very rarely flash back to Rhyme’s days before his accident, and the story would be dominated by the current story line.
One nod toward the future: Traugott said the “toe wiggle” in the pilot would be dealt with.
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