Gaumont TV, ‘Numb3rs’ Ken Sanzel Set Sights On CIA Thriller ‘Crosshair’

Planned as a 13-episode procedural, Crosshair is the latest English-language series project from Gaumont TV Europe after recently unveiling contemporary thriller 1001 during the April Mip-TV market. In Monte Carlo today, Gaumont vice CEO Christophe Riandée announced the new drama which will follow a former CIA assassin turned gunman-for-hire. Written by Ken Sanzel, whose credits include CBS’ long-running Numb3rs, Crosshair will be shot on location throughout Europe.

The procedural aspect of Crosshair will see each episode focus on the circumstances and implications of a single rifle shot. The story of the globetrotting thriller centers on John, a freelance sniper with a CIA blessing to go anywhere and shoot for almost anyone. After discovering he has a 16-year-old daughter with the only woman he nearly loved, and realizing that his partner tried to kill him, he drifts into a mid-life crisis. Questioning everything he’s seen and done, he begins to develop a mercurial moral code. There’s also a throughline which sees John attempt to untangle a large conspiracy while at the same time trying to protect his career status and life.

The fact that it’s being made as a procedural is notable given how primetime in Europe has been affected by a move towards event television in the U.S. European broadcasters have bemoaned a lack of procedurals that can easily be stacked for their audiences, and producers are looking to fill what could soon become a bigger void.

Sanzel, a 10-year veteran of the New York City Transit Police Department, was exec producer and showrunner on Numb3rs from 2005-2010, and was also EP and showrunner on CBS’ NYC 22 and NBC’s 2013 Ironside reboot with Blair Underwood. His upcoming action feature, The Effects Of Blunt Force Trauma, has a fall release and stars Freida Pinto, Ryan Kwanten, and Mickey Rourke. Sanzel is repped by UTA.

As part of Gaumont TV Europe’s expansion into scripted drama, Crosshair joins 1001 from Real Humans creator Lars Lundström, and William Boyd’s 10-episode period Berlin-set drama Spy City. Head of international co-productions, Elizabeth Dreyer, who joined Gaumont in late 2014, is spearheading the moves.

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