Lowe will play high-flying US cop, Bill Hixon, who is appointed Chief Constable of the East Lincolnshire Police Force in the six-part series.
Wild Bill is created by David Griffiths (The Hunted), Kyle Killen (Halo) and Silent Witness writers Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble and will be written by Keeble and Appleton, who will showrun the series.
Commissioned by Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, the show will follow Lowe’s Hixon as he lands in Lincolnshire with his 14 year-old daughter Kelsey, hoping to flee their recent painful past.
With a first class degree in Criminology, a Masters in Psychopathology and a Doctorate in Statistical Mapping, Hixon is impressively qualified to tackle the county’s crime figures with his graphs, charts, algorithms and a tapestry of digits. Whip-smart, acerbic and unstoppable, Bill is very good at what he does but from the outset Bill isn’t about making friends. He’s here to get the job done and get the hell out as quick as possible. However, he soon discovers the people of Boston are just as smart-mouthed, cynical and difficult to impress as he is. They don’t suffer fools, authority or algorithms gladly. And the man who’s spent his life keeping the messiness of human intimacy at arm’s length is reluctantly propelled into frontline policing and forced to reconsider his relationship with those closest to him.
Parks and Recreation star Lowe will also act as an Executive Producer on Wild Bill alongside Eleanor Moran (Rome) and Rory Aitken (In Darkness) on behalf of 42, and Managing Director of ITV Studios label Shiver Tim Carter. Writers Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble, creator David Griffiths, Kyle Killen, Scott Pennington and Keith Redmon from Anonymous Content also join the team as Executive Producers.
The drama will be directed by lead director Charles Martin (Marcella) and produced by Chris Thompson (Emerald City). ITVS GE will be responsible for the international distribution of the series.
Lowe said, “As an actor, Wild Bill is a larger than life character who’s outrageously articulate, has nothing to lose and revels in being an American fish out of water. As a Executive Producer, I’m excited to work with such talented partners and to come back to work in the UK, which I always love.”
Keeble and Appleton said, “Wild Bill gives us an chance to write about modern Britain and modern crime through unique eyes. We wrote this for Rob Lowe, for his smart-talking, anarchic, soulful voice. Displacing Rob in Brexit Britain and specifically in Boston, Lincolnshire allows us to tell stories that are left field and unexpected. We wanted to write something that couldn’t take place anywhere else, or at any other time.”
Hill added, “I’m delighted to have Wild Bill on ITV, as it’s a really fresh take on police procedure and introduces a brilliant new cop to be played by the wonderful Rob Lowe. It’s a fantastic team and an exciting new drama for next year.”
Eleanor Moran and Rory Aitken of 42 said, “Wild Bill is a sharp-witted and original take on the police procedural show which audiences have yet to see in this genre. Rob Lowe has a magnetic screen presence which is perfectly suited to bring the character of Bill Hixon to life: a blunt, take-no-prisoners police chief who shakes up the Lincolnshire Force. We can’t wait to get started.”