WGN America is adding to its Prime Crime slate with the acquisition of two original series in the detective procedural genre — the comedic Carter, starring Jerry O’Connell (Billions), Sydney Poitier Heartsong (Chicago P.D.) and Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), which will premiere August 7, and crime drama Gone, starring Chris Noth (The Good Wife), Leven Ramblin (The Hunger Games) and Danny Pino (CSI: Miami), for debut in early 2019.
Carter and Gone are part of WGN America’s new programming strategy of cost-effective originals launched a year ago that involves acquisitions of already produced series, virtually all in the crime arena. The two new pickups represent a new element in the tactic. While all previous acquisitions have been foreign series — 2017 Canadian detective drama Bellevue starring Anna Paquin, 2015 Swedish-American thriller 100 Code, 2016 Canadian police series Shoot the Messenger and the 2017 Canadian drama Pure — Carter and Gone, while having international pedigree, both originated in the U.S.
Carter was commissioned by Sony Pictures Television Networks and is distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television. Gone is from NBCUniversal International Studios and is the first series to come from the company’s partnership with Germany’s RTL and France’s TF1 to produce U.S.-style procedural dramas for the global market.
The 10-episode Carter was created by Garry Campbell (MADtv), who developed it alongside writer John Tinker (Chicago Hope). It revolves around Harley Mackay (O’Connell), an actor playing a detective on a hit television show until he is forced to retreat to his sleepy hometown after an embarrassing public meltdown in Hollywood. Now that he’s back, he taps into his acting experience to become a real-life detective, partnering with his two best friends, Sam Shaw (Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Bruun).
Carter is produced by Amaze Film + Television and executive produced by the company’s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther (The Stanley Dynamic). Scott Smith (The Magicians) directed the pilot.
Created by Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) based on Chelsea Cain’s novel One Kick, Gone follows the story of Kit “Kick” Lannigan (Rambin), survivor of a highly publicized child-abduction case, and Frank Novak (Noth), the FBI agent who rescued her. Determined never to fall victim again, Kick trains herself in martial arts and the use of firearms. She finds her calling when Novak persuades her to join a special task force he created dedicated to solving abductions and missing persons cases. Paired with former Army intelligence officer John Bishop (Pino), Kick brings her unique understanding of a predator’s mind to the team.
Lopez executive produces with NBCU International Studios’ former EVP of Scripted Programming JoAnn Alfano, former Dexter executive producer Sara Colleton, Kim Moses and Barry O’Brien.
“Carter and Gone are very exciting additions to WGN America’s superb Prime Crime lineup,” said Gavin Harvey, president of WGN America. “Both shows bring stellar casts and appealing stories to powerfully complement the network’s multi-faceted mix of hit procedurals, dramas and comedies.”