Fuqua, Icon coast on ABC drama

Project is prod'n co.'s first foray into TV

Fresh off boffo box office returns for his new feature “Training Day,” helmer Antoine Fuqua has partnered with Mel Gibson’s Icon Prods. and Columbia TriStar TV to develop an hourlong drama for ABC.

Script, penned by Alan Sereboff, will follow the exploits of an elite group of Coast Guard officers in Miami. Fuqua Film’s Dawn Lambertsen Kelly, whose husband is a member of the Coast Guard, came up with the concept and will serve as a co-creator and producer.

The untitled project is Icon Prods.’ first foray into series television. Company, run by Gibson and partner Bruce Davey, has previously produced telepics such as ABC’s “The Three Stooges” (with Storyline Entertainment) in addition to its roster of feature pics (“What Women Want,” “Braveheart”).

“We are pleased that our first venture in the network series business is with such a hugely talented filmmaker,” Davey said. “Icon celebrates everyday heroes in many of our movies; we are as proud to talk about the content of the project as we are to be involved with Antoine and Alan.”

Fuqua, whose “Training Day” grossed $24 million in its opening weekend, said he was inspired by directors such as Michael Mann, who cut his chops in primetime TV.

“TV is another avenue for filmmakers to express their ideas and reach a lot of people,” said Fuqua, who started out as an award-winning commercial and musicvideo director. “I think this is an exciting show to create. I don’t think anyone has done something interesting as far as the streets and drugs since (Mann’s) ‘Miami Vice.’ ”

Given the resurgence of shows such as CBS’ “JAG,” Fuqua said he thought the time was right to produce this project.

“I think we need heroes right now, and the Coast Guard is about real people doing extraordinary things,” he said. “These guys are diverse. They deal with drug smuggling, they do undercover work as well. It’s a pretty big job.”

Fuqua’s next feature project is Castle Rock’s Vietnam drama “Bloods.” Both the director and Icon Prods. are repped by ICM; Sereboff is repped by WMA and Industry Entertainment.

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