‘Lethal Weapon’ Pilot Greenlit at Fox, Damon Wayans Sr. to Star

Lethal Weapon
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Fox has given an formal pilot order to “Lethal Weapon,” based on the film franchise, Variety has learned.

Damon Wayans, Sr. will star in the potential series, playing Roger Murtaugh, the role played by Danny Glover in the original 1987 movie and its three sequels, which co-starred Mel Gibson.

Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” will follow a Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs (yet to be cast) who suffers the loss of his wife and baby and moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he gets partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh (Wayans, Sr.), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. In the original buddy cop films, Gibson played Martin Riggs.

“Forever” creator Matt Miller will pen the television adaptation and exec produce along with Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz. McG has been tapped to direct the hourlong pilot, and he’ll also serve as an exec producer. Warner Bros. Television will produce along with Lin Pictures and Good Session Productions. (Warner Bros. was behind the film franchise.)

“Lethal Weapon” is the latest television adaptation of movies this pilot season, joining “The Exorcist” at Fox (which passed on their “Urban Cowboy” spin), “Cruel Intentions” and “Taken” at NBC,” “Time After Time” at ABC, “Frequency” at the CW, plus “Training Day” and “Nancy Drew” at CBS.

Movie reboots have taken over the past couple of pilot seasons, as broadcasters are looking for familiar titles and brand recognition in the hopes of luring in viewers in the highly competitive “too much TV” era — however, high viewer expectation is also risky.

This current TV season, Fox took their try with “Minority Report,” which was cut to 10 episodes, shortly after its initial run. Across the broadcast nets, “Limitless” has been a hit on CBS, which will also debut “Rush Hour” in March, and “Uncle Buck” will soon premiere on ABC. Cable is hot on the trend too — just this week, USA Network picked up “Shooter,” based on the Mark Wahlberg film.

Fox “Lethal Weapon” TV series was put into development this past October, landing at Fox after garnering much interest and bids from other networks.

The original “Lethal Weapon” flick spawned three sequels, released in 1989, 1992 and 1998, and a fifth installment has been in development at Warner Bros. for some time.

Wayans, Sr. is repped by ICM Partners and Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo LLP.

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  1. Ronald Horton says:

    I have watched this pilot and I love it. The humor, the background of each character is totally believable and the situations have both comedy and drama. The last show that I saw aired was the two of the characters sitting on a roof top drinking a beer. I sincerely hope this becomes a series.

  2. Ashley Stone says:

    TnT Animal Kingdom- this is the best show. Great writers, casting, and director. This show you must see. Great job on the show!!!

  3. Ashley Stone says:

    Lethal Weapon, this show is going to be great. I like the casting and the writers. Fox always have the best tv series. Great job you guys..

  4. Mrs Jackson says:

    If you put Christian Kane, the actor who plays “Elliot” on Leverage in the role of Riggs, this Lethal Weapon TV series would be number #2 after Empire on Fox 2. You should do a quick REPLACEMENT. GUARANTEED RATING BOOST!!!

  5. Tanya says:

    How about Fox come up with some of their own ideas. Are we all out of ideas that we have to do sitcoms of movies now.

  6. Andre says:

    One of the best buddy cop films ever .. Why would FOX kill my memory with this crap!! The Movies (LW4) series ended with the song why can’t we be friend? Hey FOX..you are not my Friend stop making good movies into crappy TV Show its not working..

  7. B- says:

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! FOX, you’re going to ruin Lethal Weapon by turning it into a TELVISION SHOW??? Predator wasn’t enough?!?!?

  8. how much of the hour long show will there be? or better yet will there be more time spent on commercials then the show

  9. Rena Moretti says:

    What a terrible idea, made worse by McG hacking the directing for the pilot.

    Another DOA”idea’ from Walden and Newman…

  10. pookysworld says:

    Boyd from Justified would be good as Riggs. I’m not going to watch because of Wayans.

  11. ludi66 says:

    Why a remake? The first 3 were great….. although I agree that Jason O’Mara would be a good Riggs but really Mel Gibson was perfect!

  12. Dunstan says:

    It might have been nice, and professional, to mention that the writer/creator of this very successful series of films is Shane Black. How did his name get left out?

  13. Jason O’Mara should play Riggs.

  14. LOL says:

    This is our – the audience’s – fault for watching and tolerating and wanting so much middling, creatively bereft crap churned out by American media industries.

    Culture has never been so rotten.

    • Rena Moretti says:

      But the thing is that we don’t.

      All those remakes crash and burn.

      Look at the ratings (journalists certainly don’t).

      But the networks’ owners are so absent that they’re accepting that endlessly doing bad remakes is the best they can do (under the false idea that they’re “pre-sold” concepts when they’re really pre-rejected by fed-up audiences).

      Overall I agree with you. US film and TV has become a creatively dead desert with very few oases left.

      • todd says:

        This is the golden age of television. There’s so much great stuff to watch and just not enough time to watch it all.

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