NEW ORLEANS — The verdict is in: thesp Brian Dennehy will host the upcoming Dick Wolf reality strip “Arrest & Trial.”
Casting of the host slot has been highly-anticipated for the Monday-through-Friday show. Although enough time remains to get the show out the door in order to make its Oct. 2 debut, production on daily syndie skeins typically must be in full-swing by summertime in order to have enough episodes in the can to meet delivery deadlines — and mid-June verges on cutting it close. Production is already under way on elements that do not feature Dennehy, sources indicate.
“A&T,” which has been the subject of positive buzz among the syndie and station communities, has a clearance list that boasts highly prized access time periods in several major markets. Overall, the show’s clearance represents coverage of 95% of the United States. Marketing plans for the show are being rolled out to stations that have bought the show at this week’s Promax & BDA 2000 convention in New Orleans.
Skein is expected to profile criminal cases by utilizing interviews with people involved in the cases, as well as news footage and re-creations. The idea is to offer info and perspectives not revealed in previous coverage of the cases, within the context of Wolf’s signature dramatic storytelling style.
Sources said the deal with Dennehy has been in the works for several weeks, and was finalized on Wednesday.
Skein is to be produced by Wolf Films and Maury Povich’s and Robert Port’s MoPo Entertainment, with Wolf and Port exec producing. Studios USA Domestic Television is distributing.
Wolf could not be reached for comment at deadline, and a Studios USA spokesman declined to comment.
Dennehy, who won the 1999 Tony Award for his portrayal of Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” will reprise the role at the Ahmanson Theatre this fall.
His film credits include “Presumed Innocent,” “Best Seller,” “Never Cry Wolf” and “Cocoon.” He was nominated for Emmy Awards for TV roles in “Burden of Proof,” “To Catch a Killer” and “A Killing in a Small Town.”
Wolf, the exec producer of NBC dramas “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” will roll out a third NBC drama this fall, the Oliver Platt starrer “Deadline.”