Lorenzo di Bonaventura is jumping into the TV biz, teaming with “24” scribe Evan Katz to develop an “A-Team”-like actioner for NBC.
Dubbed “The Red Team,” Katz-penned project will revolve around a band of renegade military personnel who use government technology to help out the little guy. Peacock has made a premium script commitment to the idea, with a six-figure penalty attached if a pilot isn’t produced.
It’s the first major TV project di Bonaventura has set up since opening his own Par-based film shingle. “The Red Team” will, however, be produced by NBC Studios since di Bonaventura is a free agent on the small-screen side. Katz and di Bonaventura will serve as exec producers.
NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker said he’s long wanted to get di Bonaventura working in television.
“I talked to Lorenzo myself a long time ago when he left Warner Bros.,” Zucker said. “His track record speaks for itself, and he’s someone I want to be in business with. And the idea for ‘The Red Team,’ coupled with Lorenzo’s producing prowess, was just a good match.”
Di Bonaventura said he’s always been a fan of TV and is looking forward to a gradual entry into the medium.
“They’re doing really interesting things in TV, in some cases better than feature films,” he said. “My strategy on television is to find a select group of projects that I can concentrate on and then deliver quality entertainment.”
From U.S. military
Name for “The Red Team” comes from a system used by the U.S. military to train troops. During war games, soldiers are split between blue and red teams, with the blue team acting as the good guys and the red team playing the meanies.
“Nobody wants to be on the red team, and those soldiers, for whatever reason, tend to be (outsiders),” said NBC senior VP of drama development Chris Conti. “In the show, these guys sort of unofficially borrow military equipment and help people out in an ‘A-Team’-esque way.”
‘Fun action hour’
Conti said “The Red Team” is “a big, fun 8 o’clock action hour” — a kind of show missing from network TV right now. He said NBC plans to develop other actioners for next fall.
“I’m very proud of the dramas we have on the air now, but sometimes we forget that people often watch TV just to have a good time,” he said.
Katz, who currently serves as co-exec producer of Fox’s “24,” created and exec produced the UPN actioner “Special Unit 2” and the WB drama “Three.” He’s also scripting the John Woo feature “Blind Spot” for MGM.
Deal for “The Red Team” was packaged by Endeavor.