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CBS Orders Frank Spotnitz Drama ‘Ransom’ Straight to Series

CBS has given a straight-to-series order to “Ransom,” from “The Man in the High Castle” producer Frank Spotnitz.

CBS is partnering with France’s TF1 and Canada’s Global for the 13-episode show, which hails from global studio Entertainment One (eOne), Big Light Productions and producers Sienna Films and Wildcats Productions. The show will star “Black Sails” thesp Luke Roberts. eOne controls worldwide rights to the series, excluding French-speaking territories.

Spotnitz will serve as an executive producer on the series, which he created with David Vainola. “Ransom” is inspired by the professional experiences of crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert, who, along with his partner, Marwan Mery, is considered to be among the top negotiators in the world. Today, they travel around the globe to help multinational corporations and governmental agencies with complex negotiations and conflict resolution.

“Ransom” follows crisis and hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont (Roberts), whose team is brought in to save lives when no one else can. Eric understands criminals better than they do, and uses his insight into human behavior to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. Despite the stakes, Eric refuses to resort to violence, even when confronted by some of the most dangerous criminals in the world. While Eric’s considerable powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Is Eric being himself, or who he needs to be in order to get what he wants? The difference is often hard to tell. The series begins with Eric taking on Maxine Carlson, a new member of the team eager to prove herself. But a dangerous secret from Maxine’s past may pose a threat that even the great Eric Beaumont is unable to resolve.

“We are delighted to partner with CBS, TF1 and Global to bring ‘Ransom’ to screens around the world,” said John Morayniss, Chief Executive Officer, eOne Television. “We are especially grateful to the Wildcats team, who brought the IP on which the show is inspired, Sienna Films with whom we have a longstanding and successful relationship, and Frank Spotnitz whose talent and vast experience will ensure delivery of a top notch show.”

“The world of crisis negotiation is incredibly compelling, as demonstrated by the fascinating real-life cases Laurent Combalbert has negotiated,” said Spotnitz. “Laurent has inspired a brilliant and complex character, and you can’t help but be moved seeing all the lives he’s saved around the world.”

“As CBS continues to program year round, we are always looking for series that can fit seamlessly within our schedule and connect with our viewers,” said Glenn Geller, President, CBS Entertainment. “‘Ransom’ brings a compelling new approach to a character driven crime drama with a sense of urgency and closure in each episode.”

“We are thrilled to announce this new TV Series with our talented partners,” said Sophie Leveaux, Artistic Director, Head of International Development, Acquisitions and International Drama Development. “At TF1 we always want to offer compelling programming to our viewers and Ransom will be a great asset for our schedule.”

“It’s exciting to reunite with the talented teams at Sienna and eOne, and to expand our relationship with international broadcast partners TF1 and CBS on this powerful drama series,” said Maria Hale, Senior Vice President, Global Entertainment & Content Acquisition, Corus. “From the moment we read the first script we were hooked by the gripping storyline and we’re thrilled to work with Frank Spotnitz to bring it to life. We are proud to have co-developed ‘Ransom,’ lead by the charismatic Luke Roberts, and look forward to sharing the series with Canadian audiences.”

“Ransom” is a Canada-France treaty co-production and will be co-produced by eOne; Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny via their Sienna Films banner; and Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald of Wildcats Productions; while Spotnitz via his Big Light Productions banner will executive produce. “Ransom” has been co-developed by TF1 and Shaw Media, with the participation of the Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Animé in France as well as Canada Media Fund, and will be produced with the financial assistance of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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