The pay cable network landed Ayer’s hot spec script in a competitive situation last November with a production commitment. While the project was not formally ordered to series, that was reportedly the intention at Starz, which is in the straight-to-series business. I hear Family Crimes already had a writers room up and running, with writers churning out scripts, and a casting director had been hired and working when Starz on Monday notified the producers of its decision not to move forward with the series, citing creative reasons. There had been some production planning done for the series but no formal production dates had been set yet. (Family Crimes had been eyeing a summer 2018 shoot.)
Written by Ayer, Family Crimes centers on a young privileged Latina who must reinvent herself in order to save her family when the feds close in on their business with the Mexican mob. She quickly learns to navigate the criminal underworld and finds herself trapped in a web of complex rules, rivalries and deep politics.
Ayer executive produces alongside with Jerry Bruckheimer TV’s Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed.
At Starz, JBTV also had been developing action-drama series Black Samurai (working title), in development, with Common set to star and executive produce. The company currently has two broadcast pilots, Main Justice, a legal drama inspired by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at CBS under the company’s overall deal with CBS TV Studios, and L.A.’s Finest, a Bad Boys spinoff starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, at NBC.
Next for Starz are the May 6 premieres of new scripted comedy series Vida, about two Mexican-American sisters, and Sweetbitter, set in the restaurant business.