‘Dragnet’ closes in on staff

ABC drama adds writers, exec producers

Dick Wolf is adding some new muscle to the “LA Dragnet” production team as the ABC skein prepares for its second season.

Scribe-siblings Josh and Jonas Pate (“G vs. E”) have been tapped to serve as head writers and co-exec producers for the Wolf Films/Universal skein, which is being reworked in advance of its second season. In addition, vet helmer Jeffrey Reiner is joining the skein as co-exec producer handling daily physical production of the series.

Walon Green continues to serve as exec producer with Wolf and Peter Jankowski.

“With Josh and Jay joining the ‘LA Dragnet’ team, we now have the best of both worlds,” Wolf said. “Walon continues as executive producer, and with his over 30 years of feature film and television experience, he is one of the top writers in the business. In fact, Walon and I have spent more years in show business than Josh and Jay have spent on planet earth.”

Wolf said the Pates — twin brothers who first attracted notice at Sundance in 1996 with their feature “The Grave” — “speak with the voice of the demo.”

As for Reiner, Wolf called the helmer “another integral addition to the team.”

“Wolf Films has had a long tradition of director-producers in charge of day-to-day production, including Ted Kotcheff and Ed Sherin, for example,” Wolf said. “Jeff, along with the Pates, represents the future of ‘LA Dragnet.’ ”

At ABC’s upfront presentation to advertisers last month, Wolf promised “a slight expansion and makeover” of the skein, starting with the addition of “LA” to the title. He said the skein’s scope would now expand beyond the robbery homicide division.

” ‘Dragnet’ is the most important piece of business for my company since ‘Law & Order’ went on the air,” he said. “We have assembled the best team in the business to make sure this show grows next year.”

Wolf is expected to add several new cast members to “LA Dragnet” in the coming weeks.

In addition to their work on USA Network’s “G vs. E” — also known as “Good vs. Evil” — the Endeavor-repped Pates most recently worked with John Wells Prods. developing a feature project. Josh Pate directed several episodes of Fox’s “Fastlane” last season, while the duo also developed a drama script for UPN last year.

Reiner, repped by WMA, recently directed U-produced ABC pic “Columbo Likes the Nightlife,” which drew critical notice for bringing new flair to the veteran gumshoe franchise. His other helming credits include the pilot for USA Network’s “The Huntress,” Lifetime’s “The Division” and the indie pic “Blood and Concrete.”

Pates issued a statement saying they were looking forward to working with “the icons of Joe Friday, Dragnet and the LAPD,” while Reiner said he hoped to parlay the energy and intelligence of the New York shows into ‘LA Dragnet.’ “