USA Network Orders Crime Thriller ‘Eyewitness’ from ‘Shades of Blue’ Creator

USA Network has given a straight-to-series order to “Eyewitness,” a crime thriller based on the Norwegian series, Variety has learned.

From Universal Cable Productions, “Eyewitness” hails from “Shades of Blue” creator Adi Hasak who will adapt the series for American television. USA has ordered 10 episodes.

The series, which explores a grisly crime from the point of view of the eyewitnesses, follows two innocent teenaged boys who secretly meet up in the forest and witness a shooting and barely escape with their lives. Desperate to keep their relationship a secret and in fear of being found by the perpetrator, they remain silent but soon learn that what has been seen cannot be unseen and when you witness a horrible event it changes everything — forever.

Hasak, who brought the format for UCP, will serve as writer, exec producer and showrunner on the series (originally called “Øyevitne” in Norway). Jarl Emsell Larsen will also exec produce.

“Norway’s incredible show ‘Eyewitness’ follows a horrific crime story through the unlucky and unlikely eyes of two innocent witnesses,” said Dawn Olmstead, EVP of development at Universal Cable Productions. “It’s a bone chilling thrill ride that not only exposes the details of a crime, but also the secrets of the witnesses who watched.  When Adi brought this to UCP, we immediately knew we had to be involved.”

”’Eyewitness’ takes a horrific crime and, in compelling fashion, uses it to examine a whole network of unique character relationships. We were immediately drawn to the source material and Adi has found a very smart way to adapt it into a truly universal and engaging story,” added Alex Sepiol, SVP of original scripted programming at USA.

The series order for “Eyewitness” marks a continuation in USA’s push into high-profile dramas. Following the huge success of “Mr. Robot,” the cabler is undoubtedly looking to find its next drama hit. Last week, “Falling Water” from “The Walking Dead’s” Gale Anne Hurd was picked up to series, as well.

The original “Eyewitness,” which premiered last year, was produced in Norway by NRK Drama and stars Norwegian actress Anneke von der Lippe who won the award for best performance by an actress at the International Emmys.

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