Fox Networks Group Orders Espionage Thriller
Courtesy of NBC

'The Nine' was created by Matthew Parkhill and Simon Maxwell, who co-wrote 'American Odyssey' (above)

Fox Networks Group Europe and Africa has ordered espionage thriller “The Nine,” produced by Emmy-winner Hilary Bevan Jones. It is the first drama FNG has commissioned in the region as part of its strategy to source, develop and produce original productions at a local level.

“The Nine,” which is a working title, is composed of eight hour-long episodes. It is created by Matthew Parkhill (“Rogue”) and Simon Maxwell (“American Odyssey”), and written by them with Stephen Thompson.

The show, which is set in Britain, the U.S., Iran, Lebanon, and France, centers on Max Easton, an ex-spy, “who is brought back into the game to avenge the death of his son, only to find himself at the heart of a covert intelligence war and a conspiracy to profit from spreading chaos throughout the Middle East,” according to a statement.

Maxwell and Parkhill said: “We wanted to tell a story set against the backdrop of our dangerous and uncertain times. ‘The Nine’ unfolds through the eyes of a man caught between two versions of himself, the past and the present. The genre of an espionage thriller gives us the perfect opportunity to mix his personal story with the turbulence of an ever changing geo-political landscape.”

Bevan Jones, whose credits include Emmy winner “The Girl in the Café,” “Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot,” “State of Play,” and “The Escape Artist,” produces alongside Tom Nash for Endor Productions, part of the Red Arrow Group.

The project was commissioned by Jeff Ford, senior VP content development, and Sara Johnson, VP scripted drama for FNG, Europe and Africa, and will go into pre-production in the new year.

Ford said: “Following the huge success we’ve had with our Fox global content, we made a commitment to develop drama for this region specifically that has the potential to be a success worldwide.”

Johnson said: “Matthew and Simon have created a smart, modern, thrilling and mainstream new drama, and [it] is the perfect example of quality drama being created in Europe.”

The drama will be filmed on location in Morocco, with “The Night Manager’s” Khadija Alami attached as a producer. Parkhill wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner. He will also direct four of the eight episodes and executive produce. Maxwell will write and executive produce. Bevan Jones, Alan Greenspan of 6 Degree Media, and Helen Flint of Little Island Productions serve as executive producers. Ford and Johnson will be executive producers for Fox Networks Group, Europe & Africa. Fox Networks Group Content & Distribution will hold the global distribution rights for the series.

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