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NBC ropes Western; Berg nabs ‘Suspect’

Moody drama set in post-Civil War era; 'Prime' gets new creative team

Exclusive: NBC has greenlighted a drama pilot for an edgy Western from scribe Josh Brand and helmer Peter Horton. It is also reviving its plans to redo the U.K. detective drama “Prime Suspect” with a new creative team and Peter Berg on board to exec produce and direct.

Dubbed “The Crossing,” the Wetern project revolves the post-Civil War era when a mysterious former soldier arrives in a small town to become something of a savior. The soldier experiences flashbacks to haunting experiences from the war.

Project from Universal Media Studios has a dark and moody quality — it won’t be confused with “Bonanza.” Brand and Horton first developed the project at FX but the script has undergone extensive revisions since it relocated to the Peacock. The duo are exec producers.

Oaters are few and far between on broadcast TV these days, but it’s part of new NBC Entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt’s bid to cast a wide net. The b.o. success of “True Grit” also indicates there’s an appetite among a younger demo for iconic Western heroes.

The new take on “Prime Suspect” was penned by Alexandra Cunningham, who exec produces with Berg and Sarah Aubrey. The project was in development last year but was pushed back because of trouble casting the femme gumshoe lead played by Helen Mirren in the original U.K. series.

Drama will be produced by Universal Media Studios and ITV.

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