CBS Picks Up Drama Series ‘Ransom’ From Frank Spotnitz, Luke Roberts Stars

Liane Hentscher

CBS has come on board as the U.S. broadcaster of Ransom, a 13-episode drama series starring Luke Roberts (Black Sails, Game Of Thrones), from Entertainment One and The X-Files alum Frank Spotnitz. CBS joins TF1 (France) and Corus’ Global (Canada) which also will be carrying the suspense series, originally announced at Mipcom 2014.

Created by David Vainola (Combat Hospital) and Spotnitz, Ransom is inspired by the professional experiences of crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert who, along with his partner Marwan Mery, are considered to be among the top negotiators in the world.


Ransom follows crisis and hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont (Roberts). Eric understands criminals better than they do, and uses his insight into human behavior to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. Despite the stakes, Eric refuses to resort to violence, even when confronted by some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. While Eric’s considerable powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

“The world of crisis negotiation is incredibly compelling, as demonstrated by the fascinating real-life cases Laurent Combalbert has negotiated,” said Spotnitz, who executive produces through his Big Light Productions. “Laurent has inspired a brilliant and complex character, and you can’t help but be moved seeing all the lives he’s saved around the world.”

Ransom is slated for the 2016-2017 season. It is unclear whether it will run during the regular season or in the summer when most straight-to-series international co-productions air.

“As CBS continues to program year round, we are always looking for series that can fit seamlessly within our schedule and connect with our viewers,” said CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller. “Ransom brings a compelling new approach to a character-driven crime drama with a sense of urgency and closure in each episode.”

For the past three seasons, Roberts has played Wood Rogers on Starz’s Black Sails. From 2005-2011, he starred in the BBC Drama Holby City. His recent television credits include Taxi Brooklyn, Reign, The Dovekeepers, and Wolf Hall. In film, he has been seen in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 300: Rise Of An Empire and Dracula: The Dark Prince. Roberts is repped by Silver Lining Entertainment, Paradigm and United Agents in the UK.

Spotnitz  served as showrunner on the Amazon drama series The Man In The High Castle until his recent exit.

Ransom is a Canada-France treaty co-production and will be co-produced by eOne; Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny via their Sienna Films banner; and Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald of Wildcats Productions who brought the IP to eOne. Ransom was co-developed by TF1 and Shaw Media, with the participation of the Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Animé in France as well as Canada Media Fund, and will be produced with the financial assistance of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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