EXCLUSIVE: Dean Devlin, John Rogers and Chris Downey’s cult 2008 crime drama series Leverage is coming back with a new lead. IMDb TV, Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service, has ordered a Leverage reimagining, headlined by Noah Wyle in a reunion with Rogers and Devlin after their collaboration on The Librarian/The Librarians franchise. It marks the first major original series for IMDb TV, whose content team recently moved under the Amazon Studios umbrella.
The reimagining will include new characters, including one played by five-time Emmy nominee Wyle, who also will direct two of the 13 episodes. He will be joined by original cast members Beth Riesgraf, reprising her character as “Parker” and also directing an episode; Gina Bellman as “Sophie Devereaux”; and Christian Kane as “Eliot Spencer”– who will all be series regulars — as well as Aldis Hodge, who will return as “Alec Hardison” in a recurring role, subject to availability from his Showtime series City on a Hill, whose Season 2 will likely be filming at the same time as Leverage.
The one original Leverage cast member not returning for the reboot is lead Timothy Hutton, who recently faced sexual assault allegations.
The Leverage sequel is a fresh update of the original concept, about reformed crooks using their unique skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on common citizens.
The original series’ EP/director Devlin of Electric Entertainment is spearheading the followup series. He is executive producing the revival, with Leverage creators Rogers and Downey returning as consulting producers. Additional EPs for the reimagening include Marc Roskin, Rachel Olschan-Wilson and Kate Rorick.
“Since the day it was cancelled, I’ve longed to return to the world of Leverage. The show, the characters, the cast and the people who made it happen all hold a very special place in my heart,” said Devlin. “Our new series with Amazon Studios and IMDb TV is a re-imagining of the original premise. While Leverage centered on a crusade to avenge the death of a child, this series is propelled forward as a redemption story of misdeeds that need amends. I could not be more excited and fired up about returning to the world of Hitter, Hacker, Grifter, Thief!!”
The original Leverage series ran on TNT for five seasons from 2008-2012. It was a rarity at the time — a high-end drama series on a major TV network financed and produced independently by Devlin’s Electric Entertainment. “I’m incredibly proud of the show and what we’ve accomplished,” Devlin wrote in a letter to fans ahead of the Leverage series finale.
The pickup of a new Leverage installment follows the success of the the original Leverage series on IMDb TV, where it has been a popular title since its July 2019 launch.
That is an approach Devlin and Rogers took with The Librarians, the TNT series follow-up to their successful The Librarian original movie franchise for the network. The films’ star Wyle executive produced, directed, wrote and recurred as his Librarian character Flynn Carsen on the series, which ran for four seasons. Other cast members from the movies also came back as supporting players on the series, alongside a new ensemble led by Rebecca Romijn and Leverage‘s Kane.
Devlin’s Electric Entertainment has the upcoming Season 3 of the CW’s summer fantasy adventure series The Outpost as well as WGN America’s new drama Almost Paradise.
IMDb TV, available as an app on FireTV and a free channel within the Prime Video and IMDb apps across hundreds of devices, currently features a range of TV and film library titles and has no direct link to Amazon Prime Video originals. In addition to Leverage, its offerings include TV shows such as Chicago Fire, Schitt’s Creek, The Middle, Desperate Housewives and Friday Night Lights, and movies like Blade Runner 2049, Scooby-Doo, Spider-Man, The Smurfs and Spotlight.
I hear Wyle has a one-year deal to star in the new Leverage. Filming is tentatively slated to begin in late June-early July in Louisiana following safety protocols to protect the cast and crew from the coronavirus pandemic.
Following his 15-season run on ER, Wyle headlined the TNT sci-fi drama series Falling Skies, which ran for five seasons and where he made his directorial debut. Through Slippery Moon Productions, his new production label with Zach Luna, Wyle is working on several projects including a limited-series adaptation of the 2016 Hungarian Oscar submission film Kills on Wheels. Wyle is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Gersh.
Hodge, who plays the co-lead opposite Kevin Bacon on Showtime’s City on a Hill, recently starred in the hit horror movie The Invisible Man. He is repped by Paradigm and Priluck Company.
Riesgraf co-stars on Paramount Network’s 68 Whiskey, which has done well and looks promising for renewal. I hear an arrangement has been made for her to be a series regular on both 68 Whiskey and Leverage. She previously did an arc on The Librarians. Riesgraf is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Silver Lining Entertainment.
Bellman is heavily recurring on Season 2 of Sky’s Bulletproof. Also known for her starring role on BBC’s hit comedy Coupling, she is repped by Insight Entertainment, KMR & Associates and United Agents in London.
Kane currently headlines another Electric Entertainment series, WGNA’s Almost Paradise. He is repped by BRS / Gage Talent Agency.