Former “CSI: Miami” and “Boomtown” scribe Anne McGrail has landed at Paramount Network Television, inking a substantial seven-figure deal with the studio.
Two-year overall pact calls for the former CBS development exec to come aboard as co-exec producer of the Eye’s upcoming sci-fi drama “Threshold.” She’ll also create and develop series for the studio.
A number of execs now running Par and sister net CBS worked with McGrail back in the mid-1990s, when she was an exec under drama department topper Nina Tassler, who now runs CBS Entertainment. After making the transition to scribe, McGrail then worked with Eye folk on “That’s Life” and “The Guardian.”
Last season, she was a scribe and consulting producer on both “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY.”
Unit prexy David Stapf identified McGrail as a scribe to sign almost immediately after he took over Par a year ago. “She’s somebody we said we have to lock up,” he said.
McGrail talked to other studios before ultimately deciding to go with Par.
“It’s populated with people I had worked with before; I have a shorthand with them,” she said. What’s more, Par’s mission to be the Eye’s primary supplier made the studio even more logical, given the number of CBS shows she’s worked on.
Born and bred in South Boston, McGrail said her blue-collar background is “probably why I’ve gravitated” to procedural crime dramas like “Boomtown” and the “CSI” franchise. She’s taking a bit of a turn with “Threshold,” which explores how the government responds to an apparent alien invasion.
“It’s sort of a procedural that we’re making up,” she said, noting that unlike on “The X-Files,” “Our good guys are the government conspirators.” In “Threshold,” keeping evidence of an invasion away from the public isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
While “Threshold” may seem a departure for the crime-friendly McGrail, Stapf said he “wouldn’t pigeonhole” the scribe.
“There’s really no show she couldn’t go on and make an immediate impact,” he said.
After ankling her CBS exec gig, Endeavor-repped McGrail got her scribe start on the short-lived 1999 Fox cop drama “Ryan Caulfield: Year One” and then moved on to the WB’s “Young Americans.”