EXCLUSIVE: Father/son duo Craig T. Nelson and Noah Nelson have partnered with nascent producer Landmark Studio Group to develop spy thriller The Operative, loosely based on Harvey Gomberg’s book Code Name Stinger.
Noah Nelson, who has written on shows including Hawaii Five-0 and Secrets and Lies, has created the drama, which is being eyed as a ten-part series, with his Coach and Parenthood star father set to star in the leading role of retired intelligence operative John Straw.
The father and son team has echoes of Eugene and Dan Levy, whose Schitt’s Creek bowed out this week, albeit in drama.
Straw was mysteriously forced to end his career following the Cold War but re-emerges to warn of an upcoming attack on American soil. A young analyst named Emma, sent by the CIA to interview him about his claims, uncovers that Straw is full of stories, some pointing to a decades old conspiracy with ties to the Kremlin. In her search for the truth, Emma and John soon become allies as they work together to try to stop a skilled, cunning, and formidable enemy before it’s too late.
The series is loosely based on Harvey Gomberg’s book Code Name Stinger with Gomberg consulting on the series.
Noah Nelson will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Anne Clements (The Oath), Landmark’s CEO David Ozer, and VP, development and production Tim Rouhana will also executive produce, while Gary Hellerstein joins as supervising producer.
Former IDW Entertainment President Ozer, who launched Landmark Studio Group with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment last year, told Deadline that it will be a “high-end thriller” that they’ll take out to premium broadcasters and streamers.
It is the company’s latest TV project since its launch following Flagrant, a dramedy with Atypical’s Michael Rapaport.
Ozer added that the company recently wrapped production on Nic Cage feature film Willie’s Wonderland, days before the Coronavirus shutdown, and that it is also developing a project for sister company Crackle, a YA-themed project based on a comic book.
“The Operative demonstrates the caliber of quality content we have focused on creating since forming Landmark last year, and we are extremely proud to be a part of this production,” said Rouhana. “We are aiming high to create a franchise series that tops the binge-worthy lists, and with the incomparable talents of Noah and Craig on board to bring this series to life, we are confident we will achieve it.”
“I couldn’t be happier to be working with Landmark,” added Noah Nelson. “Tim has been instrumental in helping us take the show to the next level. I can’t wait to see all the hard work pay off and see this story come to life.”
“My son and I worked really hard on the premise. It’s a great team, and I’m excited to get it going,” said Craig T. Nelson.