EXCLUSIVE: Another fan favorite from a long-running CBS series is back at the network as star of a new project. CBS is developing Dr. Death, a drama series starring and executive produced The Good Wife standout Alan Cumming. It is based on the upcoming book of the same name by James Patterson who is executive producing with former Royal Pains executive producer/showrunner Michael Rauch and Alex Kurtzman.
Written by Rauch, Mr. Death centers on a former CIA operative (Cumming) who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor and writer but is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose.
“It’s great to imagine Alan in the role — there aren’t many stars who can convincingly play drama and comedy with effortless wit, not to mention a musical savant and crime-solving genius,” Patterson said.
Rauch and Cumming executive produce alongside Patterson, Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment, as well as Kurtzman and Heather Kadin of Secret Hideout. CBS Television Studios — where Rauch and Secret Hideout are under overall deals and James Patterson Entertainment has a first-look deal — is the studio.
Secret Hideout recently landed a put pilot commitment at CBS for a character-based procedural from writer Jenny Lumet and producers Katie Couric and David Marshall Grant. The company also produces the upcoming CBS All Access Star Trek series, which Kurtzman co-created with Bryan Fuller. Kurtzman and Kadin also executive produce Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. Secret Hideout is repped by CAA and attorney Michael Gendler.
Dr. Death, which Patterson co-wrote with Howard Roughan, will be published by Little, Brown & Co. in 2017.
James Patterson Entertainment’s CBS/CBS Studios summer drama series Zoo was recently renewed for a third season. Additionally, the company is behind the upcoming CBS Films/Lionsgate movie Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life, based on Patterson’s book, which JPE co-financed, and has a six-part scripted series at Investigation Discovery written/exec produced by Patterson based on true crime stories written for his new line of novella-length stories, BookShots.
Patterson, the world’s bestselling writer, has sold 300 million copies of his 130 novels worldwide, and is the first author to sell 10 million e-books. He is repped by CAA and attorney Peter Grossman.
Rauch also is writing/exec producing a legal drama at CBS about polar opposite identical twin brothers, which is executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. He is repped by CAA and attorney Kevin Kelly.
Tony winner Cumming earned three Emmy nominations for his role as the intrepid political operative Eli Gold on The Good Wife. There are no current plans for him to appear on The Good Wife spinoff series at CBS All Access, where Sarah Steele, who played his daughter Marissa, is a regular. Cumming will next be seen in Battle Of The Sexes. He is repped by CAA, UK’s Troika and Untitled Entertainment.
CBS recently recruited NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly as the lead of new drama series Bull.