TNT pins hopes on 2 pilots

Net looks to put one series into prod'n for 2005 sked

NEW YORK — A female deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Dept. and a rules-breaking Miami prosecutor are the main characters in two pilots for hourlong melodramas greenlit Tuesday by TNT.

“The Closer” focuses on “a strong, provocative, atypical female character” who heads up a unit of the LAPD that handles high-profile murder cases, according to Michael Wright, senior VP of original programming for TNT.

The central figure of “The Line” is a prosecutor whose decadent lifestyle reinforces his maverick ways on the job.

The Shephard/Robin Co. (“Nip/Tuck”) will produce “Closer” with Warner Bros. TV. James Duff is the writer and co-exec producer.

DreamWorks TV and Sony Pictures TV will co-finance “Line.” Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (NBC’s “Las Vegas”) are co-exec producers with writer Mark Rosner (“Crime Story”).

TNT soon will announce casting for both shows, and Wright said his goal is to put the better pilot of the two into series production in January for scheduling in summer 2005.

The winner will be TNT’s first original series since it canceled “Witchblade” in 2002.

Wright said the timing is right for the network to get back into original series because it has a promotional base of high-rated off-network series like “Without a Trace,” which kicks off in the fall, and the continuing “Law & Order,” as well as exploitable big-budget theatricals and live sports like NASCAR races and pro basketball.

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